Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been hearing a lot of buzz about this novel over the last few months and couldn't wait to get my hands on it! The entire premise of this novel was so intriguing and interesting to me. Here's an overview from Goodreads on the plot just to set the stage ...
On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two year old Realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever- patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor of the day pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.
Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive of a sadistic psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered spirit back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.
Can you see why I was so intrigued?? It sounds amazing. And overall, it is super close to amazing. It's a debut novel that is actually a pretty good one. Many debut novels just don't deliver but this one does ... for the most part. It's not a 5 star but its close!
The psychological suspense of the novel, combined with the intensity of the character study that it entails makes it one of those books you don't want to put down until it concludes! I enjoyed how the events of the past (the kidnapping/captivity) were told through sessions with her psychiatrist. I thought it added some authenticity to Annie's voice. She certainly wasn't particularly likeable but I did enjoy watching her journey throughout the novel.
What I see as the primary flaw in this novel is essentially the ending. I don't want to get too much into it because I do not discuss spoilers in my reviews but it was the ending that really made this a 4 rather than a 5 star book for me. I was captivated with the story throughout the novel ... until the ending. I remember shaking my head and thinking 'Seriously?' I was pretty disappointed in how the ending was handled and how it went from WOW to eh in what felt like moments. I struggled with rating the novel but ultimately decided that it was more of a 4 than a 3 despite the ending and its flaws.
Overall, the book is excellent (minus the ending) and I do recommend it. However, be prepared ... the ending could very well disappoint!
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