“Still Missing” by Chevy Stevens

Still MissingMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

Realtor Annie O’Sullivan is thinking about giving up on her open house a bit early when a single man shows up to look at the property. Or so she thinks.

Before she knows, Annie is kidnapped and held prisoner by the man she dubs The Freak for more than a year, systematically abused, stripped of her identity and raped each evening. During her year of captivity, Annie gives birth to a daughter, only to see the child die of complications from a cold when The Freak won’t allow Annie to seek medical care for the child.

Annie’s story unfolds in confessional sessions with her therapist as she seeks to recover her life and her self-worth. Annie is also seeking to come to grips with the things she had to do to survive and escape The Freak as well as the death of her daughter. But as the therapy sessions unfold, Annie and readers began to suspect there may be something more to her kidnapping than just a random stalker.

Annie’s relationship with her mother is a strained one, at best. Annie’s father and older sister were killed in a car wreck years before and the lingering bitterness and pain from that event still lie beneath the surface, ready to rear their ugly head at any time.

Debut author Chevy Stevens writes a fascinating, compelling and, at times, frightening memoir of not only Annie’s year of captivity but also the time before and after Annie was taken and the impact those events have had on her. At times the novel moves as a quick, deliberate pace while at others it lulls you into a false sense of security before pulling the rug out from under you. But one thing “Still Missing” is never guilty of–being boring. The pages fly by and Stevens sets up the final twist of how and why Annie was kidnapped extremely well. While I began to suspect what was coming a few pages before Annie did, the moment of realization is still one that is stunning, shocking and well foreshadowed by what we’ve seen of the various characters up to that point.

“Still Missing” intrigues me a great deal and gives me high hopes we’ll see more books of this quality from Stevens in the future.

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