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Never Knowing: A Novel Paperback – May 22, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 521 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Block off the weekend, grab a comfy seat and prepare for the rocket ride of your life! Never Knowing will consume you with the desire to read every page, gasp at every twist and know every last secret between one woman and her serial killer father.” ―Lisa Gardener, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love You More

“NEVER KNOWING is a chilling thriller with enough twists and turns so every time I thought I knew where it was going I was taken somewhere else. I have a feeling that Chevy Stevens is an author who is going to keep getting better and better with each book! I hope I'm still around for the next six -- at which point she'll probably give me a heart attack. But what a great way to go out!” ―Lois Duncan, author of I Know What You Did Last Summer.

“A terrifying, chilling scenario that unfolds into a nightmare and had me keeping the light on at night.” ―Rosamund Lupton, bestselling author of Sister

“ Stevens takes us on a wild ride in this action-packed book.” ―The Globe and Mail

“Stevens's unnerving stand-alone thriller about a woman's search for her birth parents matches the intensity of her impressive debut.... the skillful storytelling never flags.” ―Publishers Weekly

“As finely calculated in its escalating suspense as Stevens' grueling debut.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Stevens' second novel is a knockout, starting strong and finishing even stronger.” ―RT Book Reviews

“If you love racing through a psychological thriller, or if you're interested in writing within this genre, read both of these novels back to back and witness the development of a talented new storyteller.” ―National Post

“The action is non-stop and the story flows without a bump.” ―Seattle Post Intelligencer

“This is an excellent beach read because you'll find you can't put the book down for more than a moment once you pick it up, so have an open day planned.” ―The Surrey Now

“Never Knowing is a thrilling read.... Stevens is establishing herself as a writer who can be counted on to deliver an exciting story, told through compelling characters.” ―BC Local News

About the Author

Chevy Stevens is the author of Still Missing. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a realtor. When she held open houses, she had a lot of time waiting by herself between potential buyers, and Stevens would spend this time scaring herself with all the things that could happen to her. The most terrifying scenario she thought up became the story behind Still Missing. Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island, and she still calls the island home. When she's not writing, she's hiking with her husband and her dog in the local mountains.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition Thus edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250009316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250009319
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #969,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Never Knowing / 9780312595685

Sara Gallagher has a pretty good life - she has a beautiful daughter and a loving fiance, and if her adoptive parents haven't always been as kind to her as they have been to her sisters, well, they've never been outright abusive, either. But when she's given the chance to open her adoption records and look for her birth parents, Sara feels she has to take this chance - until she realizes too late that doing so will embroil her and her young daughter in an open case for a local serial killer...

"Never Knowing" weighs in at 400 pages, but I suspect most readers will feel compelled to finish it in a single sitting - this book is almost impossible to set down. The novel has all the skill and dark beauty as Chevy Stevens' debut novel, "Still Missing", and the narrative device of a young woman confiding in her therapist as events unfold over the course of several sessions is as incredibly compelling as before. And for readers who enjoy shows like "Law & Order" or "CSI", the hunt for the serial killer is intoxicating - full of exciting twists and frustrating pitfalls.

What really makes "Never Knowing" stand out as exceptional is the immediacy of the tension and the reality of the characters. The author clearly has an incredible talent with dysfunctional families and with the 'normal' everyday strife that is almost certain to set off bouts of panic attacks in dangerous situations like the ones our protagonist rapidly finds herself in.
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Sara Gallagher has always felt like someone who didn't belong in her family. She's known about her adoption from a young age, but it was the birth of her adoptive parents' two biological daughters that really set her apart and accentuated the "not belonging."

So when she searches for her biological parents and finds her mother living nearby, she thinks she may have finally found a place of her own. But Julia, her biological mother, openly rejects her, and soon Sara discovers why. Her birth father is a serial killer whose only living victim was Julia. And she herself is the product of that rape.

Just when Sara begins to realize that sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, she is drawn into a plan by the police to help capture John, the Campsite Killer. How this all comes about is part of the web of complexity that makes up this story.

Who can you trust when everyone around you begins to try to control, dominate, and change who you are? And what is the price of knowing where you belong? These themes propel this story forward along twisting and mysterious pathways.

The characters are sometimes unlikable, especially Sara's sisters, Lauren and Melanie, who seemingly vie for all the attention in their family. Even Sara's daughter Ally could have used a bit more discipline. She seemingly scowled or glared at almost every turn, making it harder for her mom to keep her safe.

I liked how Never Knowing kept me moving along rapidly, however, and when I thought I finally had it all sorted out, there were still a few more surprising turns to throw me off course. A five star read that will grab you and keep you turning pages.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was delighted to receive an opportunity to read "Never Knowing", which I read to the bitter end, and very bitter it was. I would have to say, it was one of the worst books I have ever read.

Sarra Gallagher hasn't always had it easy as the adoptive daughter to a perplexing family. While her mother was kind, her father made her feel unwanted and she played second fiddle to his two natural daughters. Things are definitely on the upswing, however, Sarra has gone to therapy, has a six year old daughter, refinishes furniture, and is getting ready to marry the man of her dreams. What better time to try and find your birth mother. Never it turns out, if your mother was the only women to escape from the clutches of the Campsite Killer. Sarra is his offspring, and subsequently becomes the only person who he will listen to. A bit over the top for a plot, but in capable hands certainly salvageable. I was horror-struck by the writing quality.

None of these characters were salvageable. Sarra appears too empty-headed to write out a grocery list. To think that she can be used as a ploy to reel in a serial killer is preposterous. Just as ridiculous are the two detectives assigned to the case. No wonder the Campsite Killer hasn't been caught. Evan the boyfriend, had such an erratic personality, that I wondered if he could be the Campsite Killer. Alternating between telling Sarra to calm-down and then starting a fight with her because he was jealous of the attention one of the detectives was paying her, he delivers lines such as:

"If he kills someone it's not your fault. He's a killer, it's what he does"
"Baby..." You've got to stop thinking about stuff like that, please".
"Hey, Baby. I'm sorry about that earlier, I was being a dick.
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