Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Review: Always Watching by Chevy Stevens

As a psychiatrist, Nadine Lavoie has a true desire to help people put their demons at rest, but she has demons of her own, some she can barely think about, and some she can’t even remember. Nadine’s mother was a wildly unpredictable manic depressive, her father an alcoholic, and there are whole chunks of Nadine’s life that are black holes. It takes all her willpower to tamp down her recurrent claustrophobia, and her daughter, Lisa, is a runaway who has been on the streets for eight years.

After she’s attacked outside her office, Nadine decides to take a job at a hospital in Victoria as a staff psychiatrist. It’s the perfect opportunity: She won’t get as attached to her patients and she’ll be closer to her daughter. But when a distraught woman, Heather Simeon, is brought in to the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit after a suicide attempt, Nadine gently coaxes her story out of her—and learns of some troubling parallels to their lives. Digging deeper, Nadine is forced to confront her own history, and the damage that began when she and her brother were brought by their mother to a remote commune on Vancouver Island. What happened to Nadine? Why was their family destroyed? And why does the name Aaron Quinn, the group’s leader, bring complex feelings of terror to Nadine even today?  (Good Reads)

My review:

Chevy Stevens had one of those debut novels that kicked the ass of many readers. Still Missing terrifies me to this day when I think of it. Because of the impact it had on me I have eagerly anticipated each book she has written. Her second Never Knowing packed a punch as well. I was fortunate to receive a galley of her third, Always Watching, due out in June of this year. It didn't take me long to get wrapped up in the crazy story she created.

It seems that Stevens is hitting her stride. The story was a bit more refined, less flashy and startling than her other two. There were still twists and turns and "holy shit" moments but it seemed a bit more fleshed out. More character development, more back story. 

The story included a twisted tale of a cult like leader which for some insane reason always fascinates me. How people could blindly follow the voice of another and have them completely control every aspect of their lives, I'll never know.

Nadine was a tough cookie but still had her vulnerable side. I did figure out some of the secrets within the book over half way through but it really didn't ruin it all for me. Overall, I thought it was a pretty decent thriller. I'm hoping Stevens takes longer breaks between her books so she doesn't get too formulaic. The authors that tend to churn them out lose their flash after awhile, in my opinion.

For readers new to Stevens, I would start out with Still Missing. I think it's her best but they are all worth reading.

Author Website: Chevy Stevens

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child 


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Glad to hear that you liked it, even if not as much as the first one. I still need to the first one.

Marce said...

You know Michelle, I really didn't enjoy Still Missing but can remember so many details and the emotion of 'hate' so ChevyS did her job.

I should try another by her.

Lisa said...

Good golly, I need to get caught up with Stevens - I still haven't read "Still Missing" yet and it sounds like I'm going to want to read the next two as well.