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17 reviews

Still Missing
by Chevy Stevens

Published: 2014-03-25
Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
49 members reading this now
35 clubs reading this now
18 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 15 of 17 members

"Pulsates with suspense . . . jaw dropping . . . enthralling." ?Publishers Weekly (starred review)

On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two-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 ...

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Introduction

"Pulsates with suspense . . . jaw dropping . . . enthralling." ?Publishers Weekly (starred review)

On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two-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.

"Will have you glued to the page."?People magazine

Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive in a remote mountain cabin?which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist?is the second narrative recounting the nightmare that follows her escape: her struggle to piece her shattered life back together, the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor, and the disturbing sense that things are far from over…in Still Missing.

"Explosively frightening…Chevy Stevens is sure to rock lovers of the thriller genre." ?USA Today

Editorial Review

Product Description
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.




Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

1. How would you describe Annie's character...especially those qualities that enable her to survive her ordeal at the hands of The Freak? How well might you have fared?

2. At some point during captivity, Annie begins to almost like The Freak. She goes to far as to admit that "sometimes he's kinda sweet." Although identifying with a captor is a known phenomenon—referred to as the "Stockholm Syndrome" in psychiatric parlance—how do those feelings develop in Annie?

3. Are the early parts of the novel, the sex scenes, too lurid for your taste—do you consider them sensational. Or are they an integral part of the plot, necessary for us to grasp Annie's tormented state?

4. Is "The Freak" a good name for Annie's abductor? What would you have called him? Describe him.

5. Chevy Stevens has written her book as a flashback, the present peering back into the past. We know at the outset, therefore, that Annie escapes her ordeal. Why might the author have structured her book in such a way?

6. David-The-Freak tells Annie that she is perfectly safe with him. There's a degree of ironic truth in his statement. How so? (Consider what happens when she escapes to freedom.)

7. Describe what Annie finds once she returns home—starting with her mother and the accident that took her father's and sibling's lives. Then there's the old boyfriend, Luke, as well as her best friend.

8. What prompts Annie to realize that her captivity was intentionally set-up by someone in her old life?

9. What is the significance of the title, "Still Missing"?

10. In all, does this book deliver? Were you held in suspense? Or did you find it predictable? Was the ending satisfying?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from author Chevy Stevens:

Dear Readers,

Several years ago I was a Realtor working at an open house and a horrific thought came to me: What if I was abducted and held captive for a long time? Could I survive such a brutal experience? Can you be so hurt, so broken, and so damaged that there’s no putting you back together?

In STILL MISSING I explore all of these questions as my character, Annie, struggles to come to terms with what happened to her. I’ve always been drawn to stories of survivors, of people who overcome tragic events, terrible childhoods, and monstrous indignities. So many people never recover and remain locked in their pain. I wanted to know about the ones who rise above and succeed despite everything that’s been thrown at them.

For me STILL MISSING isn’t just about a shocking crime or terrible abuse, it’s about fighting back. It’s about not letting them win. Even when it’s your own despair you’re struggling against.

-Chevy Stevens

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by tlctlcx2 (see profile) 01/25/20

 
  "Still Missing"by nmsanders34488 (see profile) 05/04/18

This is my all time favorite psychological suspense novel to date! I recommend this book to everyone!

 
by AnnFant (see profile) 08/16/17

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 08/08/17

This book was very interesting. As usual I worried about the characters.

 
  "still missing"by vfkos (see profile) 04/21/17

good story kept you in suspense. suprising ending

 
  "Half good, half not-so-good"by bettyhorton (see profile) 09/27/13

The first part of "Still Missing" is interesting, seeing how one person reacts to being held captive by a lunatic. Also, the narrative device of a person talking to a psychologist is effective and interesting.... (read more)

 
  "Good quick read"by treefrog20 (see profile) 05/01/13

 
  "Still Missing"by HM384 (see profile) 09/19/12

This book was a great read and provoked a lot of discussion in our book club. I started it and couldn't put it down. I would definitely recommend this one!

 
  "Still Missing"by Michelle_Priest (see profile) 06/10/12

This is one you will not be able to put down ! From beginning to end, it tests every emotion you have !! I highly recommend !

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