Buy This Book: Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

I've been reading a lot about abducted women recently, from the gripping and creative Room:A Novel, by Emma Donoghue, to the unputdownable real-life story that I believe inspired it, Jaycee Lee Dugard's A Stolen Life.

So when I read the description of Chevy Stevens' Still Missing, which revolves around the abduction and year-long captivity of a young Realtor taken from a house showing, I have to admit I nearly passed, thinking I'd had enough of this type of dark, woman-as-victim story. But the book had just been named the International Thriller Writers' Best Thriller of the Year-First Book, so I decided to download the first chapter to see what had impressed Ms. Stevens' colleagues so mightily.

Told in the form of heroine Annie O'Sullivan's first-person narration to her psychologist after escaping, Still Missing grabbed me from the opening lines, deftly blending past and present to tell a gripping, harrowing, and brilliantly-crafted story, not only of survival but of complex characters (Annie O'Sullivan's about as far from passive victim as you can get, for instance) and the web of secrets that they spin. There's mystery, too, the kind that keeps you guessing but never for a minute feels like a cheat.

If you're going to try one new thriller this year, I very highly recommend that you start with Chevy Stevens' Still Missing. Then do what I'm doing and pick up her brand new one, Never Knowing.

Very highly recommended.

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