I sure picked a doozy of a month to jump into Julie’s book club. May’s selection, “Still Missing” by Chevy Stevens, was at times incredibly graphic and all-around rough to read — but I could not stop turning the pages.
Okay, I actually flipped through pages on my iPhone. (I downloaded the book for my Kindle app.) Either way, I devoured it in less than two days. I’d describe “Still Missing” as compulsively readable.
It’s the story of a thirtysomething Realtor, Annie, who gets kidnapped and held captive on a mountaintop by a man she refers to simply as The Freak. It’s told in first person POV, as Annie relates her terrible tale — and attempts to readjust to freedom — to her shrink.
The title is rather ingenious, referring to the fact that even when Annie is back home, in the not-so-loving arms of her family, she feels like she’s still missing. The Freak took a part of herself that she worries she’ll never get back.
As I sped through each scene and chapter, I wanted Annie to not only escape from the cabin but also from the prison of her mind. I wanted desperately for everything to be OK for her again — one of the hazards of writing romance, I suppose. All my stories end with “happily ever after.”
“Still Missing” didn’t deliver the kind of happy ending I prefer, but I did get the feeling Annie will be fine. I will hang onto that feeling, because she deserves a better deal than she got, that’s for damn sure.
The novel is explicit, messy and shocking — not my normal type of read at all. I tend to gravitate toward light, romantic comedies. But I’m still glad I took the time to read it.
In fact, I liked it so much that I’m also looking forward to reading Stevens’ other novel, “Never Knowing” (released in July 2011). There was a sample from it at the end of “Still Missing,” and it, too, sucked me right into the story. Again, it’s told in first person to the heroine’s shrink. But this time the heroine is an adopted woman who starts looking for her birth mother and discovers her father is a serial killer.