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Still Missing Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 6, 2010
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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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 Reviews Still Missing
New York Times bestselling 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 of Still Missing:
Heading to a beach? Boy do I have the book for you!
Every now and then a new author comes along that totally knocks one out of the park. As a reader, I’m always thrilled to discover a great new voice. As a writer, of course I’m insanely jealous and suffer a terrible case of why-didn’t-I-think-of-that? Given that debut author Chevy Stevens is young, beautiful and talented, I’ve been gnashing my teeth for months!
Still Missing represents psychological suspense at its very best. Realtor Annie O’Sullivan is abducted from an open house and held captive for a year in a remote cabin by a sadistic survivalist who considers her to be his wife as well as preferred breeding stock. His goal is to get her pregnant and live creepily-ever-after as the last man and woman on earth. Her goal is to get away from him.
Now, you know Annie wins this war as the book opens with her talking to a therapist. So you may ask, where is the suspense? I can’t give you a simple answer to that, other than to say every page crackles with it.
Still Missing creates one of the most haunting narratives I’ve read in years. On the one hand, survivor Annie is tough, angry, and brittle. The very worst has happened to her, and she escaped through her own ingenuity and frankly, savagery. On the other hand, survivor Annie is jumpy, terrified, and sleep-deprived. All these months later, she still can’t pee “off schedule.” In one of the more moving scenes of the novel, she downs a gallon of iced tea in order to force herself to urinate by her own free will. She can’t do it.
In addition to her compelling heroine, Stevens has created one of the best psychopaths since Hannibal Lecter—and that’s not something I say lightly. Annie refers to her captor simply as The Freak. Much like Hannibal, The Freak considers himself to be a civilized human being. Intelligent, good looking and resourceful, he’s an excellent “husband.” He has provided a charming cabin. He supplies fresh food—sometimes so fresh that city slicker Annie must bleed it out first, but details, details. Of course he has expectations of his wife. She must be well groomed, properly garbed, and 100% submissive. All failures to comply are met with The Freak’s idea of appropriate punishment. The Freak is also thoughtful and tender. Want to stop sleeping for a few nights? Read the scene where The Freak first shaves Annie. And he means it in the nicest sort of way.
Stevens skillfully juxtaposes the back story of Annie’s captivity with the front story of a woman desperately trying to reclaim her old life. As with all great suspense novels, the surprises abound. Annie thought she’d survived the worst with The Freak. But has she?
As the taut cat and mouse game unfolds, you will cheer for Annie. You will hate The Freak. And you will be absolutely mesmerized by the last line of this novel. Then, most likely, you will return to page one, and start it all over again.
So give yourself a summer vacation. Check out debut author Chevy Stevens, and soon you will be Still Missing.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
Annie O'Sullivan is trying to put her life back together since the year of hell she spent captive in the mountains in the hands of a controlling psychopath, but every day she feels closer to the edge, completely ready to snap from the fear, grief, guilt, and horror that she lives with. Finally, she's decided that she needs help and is seeking professional counseling in order to tell her story for the first time. And yet, the story she is telling may not be completely finished: the case is far from closed, and the police are beginning to believe that she may still be in danger...
I cannot praise this book enough - debut author Stevens skillfully weaves a story of utter horror as we follow Annie through her year of captivity, and through the days that follow as she tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Annie is the perfect protagonist as the reader will almost certainly identify instantly with her - having seen the occasional episode of "CSI" and "Law & Order", she intellectually knows all the things an abducted woman "should" do, and yet faced with the impossibility of her situation, she finds that all she really *can* do is just hold on and survive. Rarely have I seen a female protagonist characterized so fully and completely as a strong, vulnerable, realistic woman caught in an utterly impossible situation, and Stevens should be congratulated for so thoroughly and carefully characterizing Annie to the point where every pain inflicted on her is felt acutely by the reader.Read more ›
In a series of sessions with her therapist Annie O'Sullivan recounts her yearlong ordeal of being held hostage in a mountain cabin and being raped, beaten, and controlled by the psychopath who kidnapped her. She also explains what it's like trying to piece together her broken life and in the process she learns an unsettling truth about her family.
Superficially the writing is simple, but Annie's words were potent and explicit. Her voice was distinctive and genuine, her candor was raw, and her descriptions vivid. In one breath you can be left shuddering and gasping for air and in the next chuckling. Even when you're afraid to turn the page, afraid to learn what you know and dread is coming, you can't help yourself. All the while you're hoping for some miracle to happen and set the poor woman free from both her captor and herself.
The only complaints I had were with consistency--a few references to a past moment or an individual were inexplicably altered without warning (I'd offer some examples, but they would be spoilers)--and a few of the psychological elements were too convenient, so convenient as to seem trite. But as a whole, these gripes were minor. Ultimately this is a haunting book, a buoy of hope in the sea of literary mediocrity, which one will need to steel oneself in order to read, but the end result is worth it.
I've been waiting for months for Still Missing to be released. With all of the advance press and buzz it has been generating, people have been writing tons of reviews containing intimate story details that I didn't want to hear about before reading the book, and I've found it very difficult to keep forcing myself not to read them. So I won't do that to you in this review.
What is commonly known about Still Missing is that it is focused around Annie, a Realtor, who is abducted while running an open house. When I started the book, I expected the entire story to be about the abduction, her survival, and eventual escape. I was wrong. The abduction, and her survival through it (and being that the book is written in the first person as Annie talks to her therapist, the fact that she survives is no secret) is only half of the book. It's the vivid and introspective view into what happens to Annie AFTER the abduction, including some completely unexpected plot twists, where the story gets interesting.
Annie is a raw person. The author has spent a great deal of time developing Annie's psychology and internal thought processes, and this is shared with the reader, making Annie a three-dimensional person with real feelings and a real life. She says what is on her mind, and she doesn't hold back. She has the ability to utilize language you would expect of a truck driver, and uses it as she sees fit. But she is not crude - she is a sharp-witted, intelligent, smart-mouthed survivor whose brilliant comebacks often had me laughing out loud. I fell in love with Annie, her damaged psyche notwithstanding. Still Missing is told in the first person, and the reader really gets to feel as though they are a part of Annie's mind.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Heartbreaking, but I loved the perspective and the way each chapter was broken out into. Highly recommend!Published 16 hours ago by Cassi
LOVED this book! Did not want to put it down the entire time I was reading it. This was the first book I have read by Chevy Stevens but I will be reading more! Read morePublished 1 day ago by Courtney
I wasn't sure I'd enjoy a book written completely as a monologue. It was a little hard to get into at first, but I was hooked before long. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Susan - NY
Fantastic! I couldn't put it down. I was totally into the style with which it was written, which I was unsure about after reading reviews (it begins after the victim has been... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amanda Jo
Really good novel, but VERY chilling. This novel really struck me in a way others haven't. Very good read.Published 8 days ago by jack
I can tell right away if a book will keep my interest and this one sure did. I finished it in two days. It's dark and twisted. Suspenseful and a bit depressing. Read morePublished 11 days ago by WyoMom
It was such an engaging book, but also so disturbing. The writing style took a little getting used to, but once I did, it was great.Published 22 days ago by The Donleys