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Still Missing

A book by Chevy Stevens

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Not easy to read, but impossible to put down

  • Apr 1, 2011
In a story about a Realtor who's abducted, trapped, beaten, raped, and forced into a living hell, you have to expect some rough territory. And indeed, there are several points in Still Missing where it's hard to turn the page. Difficult, due to the subject matter, not to simply put the book down and walk away for a while.

And yet, Chevy Stevens has the knack of compelling you to turn the page anyway, convincing you to keep going, which makes Still Missing a book that's both hard to get through and nearly impossible to put down. I read it in one day.

Still Missing is told through the lens of a series of therapeutic sessions, as kidnap victim Annie O'Sullivan goes over what happened to her in excruciating detail with her chosen therapist. The rules are that Annie gets to tell her story without the therapist asking annoying and intrusive questions, which makes the therapist a completely silent intermediary - and also makes it feel as though Annie's revealing her story to us personally.

It's quite a story - simplistic at first, as Annie relates the blow by blow account of how her kidnapper ("The Freak") captured and imprisoned her, and all the horrible things that happened afterward. And many of them are very horrible - the stuff of nightmares. As the sessions continue, though, it gets even worse. Annie's reflections step out of the past and become a horrifying, shocking, and immediate present as the book rushes breathlessly to the end.

Though Stevens' writing voice in Still Missing is strong overall, there is some parts that are a little clumsy or overdone. It's her first novel and the strength of the narrative more than makes up for it, but I could see places where she could have made edgy scenes even sharper, dialogue more natural (or unnatural, when needed), hard truths even harder. These are minor flaws in an otherwise powerful story.

In Annie O'Sullivan I discovered a heroine who is sharp and clear, damaged but not quite broken. In Chevy Stevens I find a writer who tells a difficult story well, whose only flaws can be overcome with a little practice and polish.

Still Missing is a book that works because it's not afraid to go places most authors (and readers) fear - as long as Stevens doesn't lose that edge, I think we can expect more great stories from her.

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More Still Missing reviews
review by . July 12, 2010
I really enjoyed the structure of this book- a kidnap victim talking to her therapist to work through her complicated fears and feelings in the aftermath of the abduction. The narrative voice was strong, and Annie was definitely a character that pulls the reader into the story. The majority of the book deals with Annie's quest to recapture some of the life she used to lead, and this portion of the narrative is definitely 5 stars. For me, the ongoing question of the identity of her captor was less …
review by . July 07, 2010
Still Missing is about a young woman named Annie O'Sullivan. She's 32, a real estate agent, has a patient and loving boyfriend, lives in her dream house with her dog Emma. Things are looking up for her at work since she is in the running for head realtor of a big condo complex. Her biggest worries are when her mother plans on returning her cappuccino maker, arriving on time for dinner with the boyfriend and selling the property that she is hosting an open house for. At the end of her day when her …
review by . June 08, 2010
I really enjoyed reading this book. Once I started, I was hooked and couldn't stop until it was done less than a day later.    It is a quick read and kept me enthralled till the end.    The style of writing is great, a combination of narration by the main character, Annie, as told to her therapist in the present tense, coupled with storytelling as the events from the past unfolded. The switching of style never got in the way of the story and the writing was …
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Rich Stoehr ()
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I often hide behind a pithy Douglas Adams quote or maybe some song lyrics. I guess it makes sense that much of what I share is reviews of things I like (or don't).      People … more
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Product Description
On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-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 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 as the captive of a 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 life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

Still Missing is that rare debut find--a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted debut novel.

Amazon Exclusive: Lisa Gardner ReviewsStill Missing

New York Timesbestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after her hair caught on fire numerous times she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics, and twisted plots into a streak of 11 bestselling suspense novels, including her most recent release, The Neighbor. Read her guest review ofStill Missing:

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ISBN-10: 0312595670
ISBN-13: 978-0312595678
Author: Chevy Stevens
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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