Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review of Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Would you like to read a novel you cannot put down? If so, Still Missing by Chevy Stevens is the novel for you.

About Annie

Annie O’Sullivan is a 32 year old real estate agent who is kidnapped after an open house and then, after a year in a captivity, escapes.  Her story unfolds chapter by chapter in twenty-six sessions with her therapist.  Still Missing is Chevy Stevens first novel and from reading her debut novel, you know she will be around for quite some time. 

It is clear from the first few sessions that Annie is permanently scarred by whatever torture she has endured by her capturer whom she calls The Freak.  As a result of what she has endured, she sometimes hides in her closet when she does not feel safe and she hates being touched.  As she tells her story, you find out that she no longer works as a real estate agent because she fears strangers. She is also still dealing with the schedules and the control methods that her capturer put her through.  Stevens invites the reader to find out more and more about Annie through flashbacks during her therapy sessions. 

The Freak
The Freak takes Annie away to a remote area in a mountain somewhere.  Annie talks to her therapist about her year up in the mountains enduring cruelty at the hands of the Freak including rape and physical abuse. He forces Annie to behave in specific ways and insists that she is well groomed and that her nails and her skin are perfect.  He makes her go through a bath time ritual and tells her how to dress and even when everything is done to his specifications, he still finds ways to torment and abuse her.  Annie learns through much trial and error how to please the Freak and how to keep his behavior under control.  In addition, although she hates him, at some point the Stockholm syndrome kicks in, and she actually starts to sympathize with him.  At one point, she calls him “interesting and articulate” and even says, “How can I ever tell anyone he made me laugh?”

During her time in captivity, Annie becomes pregnant with the Freak’s baby and all the things he wants to control about Annie are out of his hands.  He hates the way her body changes and then when the baby is born, he is not able to control the baby’s behaviors as he did with Annie.  Annie also changes when the baby is born through her actions and responses to the Freak.  All of these things further anger the Freak and force Annie to fear for her and her daughter’s safety even more.  However, there is a violent end that leads Annie to take things into her hands. 

Finding Her Way Home

She is finally free but when she returns home, she realizes that her nightmare is not over.  Her boyfriend and her best friend are not as loyal as she thought they were.  Her mother and her step-father have a lot to hide as she unravels what led to her fate of being victim.  It does not take her long to figure out that the reason she was taken was because someone in her old life wanted it to happen.  And if you were already shocked - the answer of why Annie was kidnapped and who was involved is the biggest shocker of the entire novel!

My Impressions

Chevy Stevens did an amazing job crafting the storyline.  It is like Annie is writing her diary rather than sharing the story with her therapist.  From the very first chapter, you know you are about to hit an emotional rollercoaster into Annie’s life for the past year. In Still Missing, Chevy Stevens finds the right balance of suspense and tension that leaves you at the edge of your seat to the very end.  Annie tells her story with a lack of emotion which is the first indicator to the reader of the horror and torture she has endured.   Annie struggles with finding a sense of normalcy and she allows the reader to follow along as she finds her way.   The reader builds a connection with Annie wherein you start to sympathize with her and to understand her pain and her ordeal.

Still Missing is a thriller that leaves chills down your spine.  It also can, at moments, bring you to tears or leave you laughing.  Annie is a character that forces you to listen while allowing you to sympathize with her ordeal.  Still Missing and Chevy Stevens are both amazing additions to the suspense thriller genre.


If you want to find out more about Chevy Stevens’ Still Missing, Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. has a fantastic E-VENT coming up on May 24 at 3 p.m. ET in honor of the paperback release of Still Missing.  Chevy Stevens has been nominated for an International Thriller Writers award for “Best First Novel.”

If you would like to purchase Still Missing, visit Chevy Stevens’ official website.

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