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Review: Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Submitted by on June 1, 2011 – 4:51 am3 Comments

Author: Chevy Stevens
Book: Still Missing
Release: December 9, 2010
Series: Novel
Source: St. Martin’s Press
Purchase: – Book Depository

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.

Still Missing has a very interesting premise and is told through counseling sessions with the victim either speaking directly to her doctor or retelling the events before, during and after her abduction.

I will concede that this is pageturning read that keeps readers racing toward the finish line…or in this case last page. However, it was missing that special something that would have made it exceptionally spectacular in my opinion.

The main character is a victim and when we meet her she is in desperate need of therapy due to the abuse she went through during her kidnapping. However, there isn’t anything compelling about the character aside from the fact she had something awful happen to her. That in itself makes it hard to really like her, and considering the whole book is narrated by Annie (the main character), readers have to suck it up in order to find out what happened to her, who did it and why…it was frustrating.

*Spoiler Warning*

The man who abducted Annie, to whom she calls “the Freak”, was a more interesting character than Annie was in my opinion. Every so often we get a little peek at his back story and all the various factors that played a part in his criminal behavior and those had the potential to be really scary and disturbing. And, to an extent they were but mostly because I let my overactive imagination run with the ideas. There are some scenes of sex and rape, that though awful to think about were non-descriptive and bland compared to other books in the genre. With this whole story told in the “safety of a shrink’s office”, I felt like the author could have really gone the distance with the crimes and their descriptions and made it really terrifying to read, instead some things were just glossed over.

Annie is missing for a year and during the time becomes pregnant by her captor and gives birth to a baby. Why the author decided to add this part into the story is a mystery to me. The baby plays absolutely no part in the story after Annie is found, and because she is the only person alive that knew her baby, there isn’t anyone who can relate or fully understand to her loss and pain. I suppose this could be more of a character development tactic–if so, I didn’t really get it. Another possibility is that the baby was used to cast a parallel between Annie’s feelings toward her infant and her relationship with her mother. Again, if that was the author’s intention, it never fully surfaced.

Annie also developed an attachment to the detective that was running her case from the beginning. After Annie is rescued it is made known that the Detective has sacrificed a lot personally in his crusade to solve the crime. Though against his better judgement, their relationship gets intimate one evening. The aftermath of their night together leaves much to be desired. It seemed like it should have been a big deal–Annie’s first intimate encounter since her abduction– and it is basically a one night stand. Sure, the author left room and hints at a possibility, but the physical deed itself seemed too rushed to feel realistic and was a bit bizarre to read about. Perhaps if it had been a movie instead of a book it might have flowed better because we could have seen the detectives side of the encounter and the body language or facial expressions between the two characters.

The truly interesting thing about this book was the aftermath of Annie’s escape. The cops are still trying to determine the why behind her abduction in the first place and that Mystery (in my opinion) is the driving force of the entire book–it is what kept me turning pages.

*End of Spoilers*

Overall, I found STILL MISSING to be a debut work that is chock full of  potential but all in all a very vanilla flavored thriller for my personal taste. I would have loved seeing the author go a little further and take some chances with the story. I mean, the general story at it’s core is a chilling concept and I can see where Stevens was going, but for me… it was “still missing” something. That being said, I gave this book to a dear friend who loves shows like Criminal Minds and CSI, but doesn’t like overly graphic details in her books (she says it gets too creepy for her) and she LOVED it! So, you see it is very likely that this book just wasn’t for me or perhaps I am comparing it too much to other books in the genre?


I attended the online E-vent for Chevy Stevens May 24th on The author was very polite and answered several questions. After seeing her interactions with fans, I am very curious to read her sophomore book which is due for release July 5, 2011. It will be interesting to see how the author has grown and if her writing continues to get better. Stevens is currently working on her third book at this time, so it is safe to assume that her creative juices are flowing.

Also Reviewed By: – That’s What She ReadDevourer of Books

Day is a dreamer who has never met a stranger. She is fearless and will talk to anyone and read anything! She taught music and dance and was a singer/actress for years, performing on stages both nationally and overseas. Now married with children, she spends less time singing on stage and more time writing songs at home. But, family life has not completely slowed this chick down. She still loves an adventure and learning new things. She resides in Texas with her family, Great Dane (Sophie), Labradoodles (George & Cosmo) and Chihuahua (Juan Carlos).
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  • Nice job. Lots of times I find the bad guys to be more interesting characters, more compelling. I like thrillers, etc., but I'm not sure I would pick this one up. I would be curious to read your review of the 2nd book.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Day says:

    Thanks. As soon as I get a chance to read it I will let you know. Like I said, there is lots of potential so I will definitely pick up the next book by this author.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Great Depression Facts says:

    Interesting read , I’m going to spend more time reading about this subject

    Reply to this comment »