July 12, 2012

Still Missing, by Chevy Stevens

Oh. My. God. This book was INTENSE. I read it on the flight to and from Vegas last month and I still find myself thinking about it. I have Julie to thank from Peanut Butter Fingers for this read as it was her May book club pick and while I generally already have too many other books on the go to participate in the group read, something about the synopsis of Still Missing made me really want to read it. Then I saw the book in the bargain section at Chapters for $7.99 which sealed the deal.

Still Missing is about Annie, a woman in her late twenties, who is a Realtor on Vancouver Island. One day, while Annie is wrapping up an open house, a man shows up and charmingly asks her if he could still have a quick peek at the house.  While Annie’s chatting to him inside the house, he sneaks up behind her and holds a gun to her back. The next thing Annie knows, he’s taken her back outside to his van, drugged her and kidnaps her. An unknown amount of time later, she wakes up in a cabin somewhere in the woods.  Here, she will live for almost an entire year. 

This story is recounted through Annie’s therapy sessions. So as the reader, we know from the start that Annie survives, but this doesn’t make this book any less suspenseful.  Actually, I’m not sure if my rapid beating heart could have taken it if we hadn’t known if she survives.  Chevy Stevens gets so deep into the psychological trauma and turmoil that it was hard not to think that this wasn’t based on a true story.  It took me a while to warm up to Annie because her voice is so harsh and bitter. But as you get further into her imprisonment and the brain washing that happened to her, you start to understand why Annie is the way she is now and just how powerful PTSD can be.  Even though she isn’t necessarily likeable, it didn’t make me any less invested in the book. 

The man who has captured Annie is nicknamed “The Freak” because by all means, he is a freak.  The fear and disgust that Annie felt from this man jumped right off the pages and I felt like I was playing witness to everything he was doing and saying to her. I still get goose bumps just writing about this book. The things that he says and does, to put it simply, are fucked up. This is not a book for the faint of heart reader. No little detail was spared for the sake of the reader.  In my opinion, this is what made this book so brilliant and a successful thriller. I had to keep turning the pages because I had no idea what was going to happen next.    

In the first half of the book, I was anxiously turning pages in order to find out how she survives – even though you know she survives, there was still a part of me that couldn’t believe that she really does.  The cabin that Annie is held prisoner in is so insanely secure. The Freak had thought of every little detail, right down to no springs in the mattress and nothing was made of wood that could be broken down. Anything that could potentially be used as a weapon had been altered in some way.  

In the last half of the book, just when I thought the story couldn’t get anymore dark and twisted, Chevy Stevens throws you a huge curve ball, one that I totally didn’t see coming.  At this time, Annie is trying to find closure in why her kidnapping happened in the first place. Was this a random act of violence? If not, why her? Will she ever heal from the psychological trauma she endured or is she destined to living the rest of her life a victim of her own fear? 

If you loved Room by Emma Donahue then you will most likely also enjoy this book, although there is a much stronger aspect of psychological thriller in it.  If you are looking for your next spine-tingling, goose bump raising page turner, then this is it.


  1. There is no way I could read that book!! Your synopsis freaks the hell out of me - I can't imagine reading page after page of it!

    1. Haha - it wasn't scary, just thrilling and quite the adrenaline rush! It's not my normal genre either, and I never usually read anything that has the potential to be scary, but I did really like this one! (But I also really like the Saw movies...)

  2. My husband and I listened to the AUDIO on a recent road trip and we were both disturbed by it. It is an incredibly engaging story, and it was the kind of story that we made multiple excuses to drive around the block a few times before pulling back into our driveway (after 6 hours in the car). I have the printed version of her new book released last year but I may still download the audio for that one, too.

    1. I hadn't realized you had reviewed this story too, but I've checked it out now! :) You are brave to listen to the audio version! I've been wanting to get into audio books more, but my first go at it was a huge let down (The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox). My husband isn't a reader, but we are making a a drive to BC in August (12 hrs one way) and I'd love to get him to listen to some books on the trip with me. I'm thinking now that maybe her newer book would be a good choice...