If my mother were Lorraine O’Sullivan, I’d have shot her self-absorbed ass and fed her decomposing corpse to the coyotes, while whistling the theme to Deliverance through my missing two front teeth. Which would have presented me with one of two scenarios: either I would have been locked up so fast I wouldn’t have had time to stop whistling let alone scream for an attorney, or Clayton Falls might have thrown a parade for me on the spot, to include fire engines and penny candy and clowns and the local marching band. Either way, though, it would have ended in fireworks.
But aside from parades and jail cells, STILL MISSING creeped me out something fierce. Heck, Deliverance (which I should disclose I haven’t seen) with its mountain men and male rape scene sounds more like rainbows and pixie sticks compared to what transpires in this novel. STILL MISSING is told through flashbacks via Annie O’Sullivan’s therapy sessions, as she talks about her yearlong mountain cabin confinement, daily rape, scheduled pee breaks, and attempts to escape. David, her captor, brings a new definition to the word psychopath.
There’s also a second narrative recounting events in her life following her escape, and frankly, it doesn’t sound like her life has improved all that much. Annie sleeps in closets, jumps at any sound that races through the night, and shuts down from the world around her. She’s a victim in every sense of the word, and her strong, vibrant nature and social life suffer accordingly. Reading about her dramatic change was near gut-wrenching, but this was a book I wasn’t about to put down. With its plot twists, true-to-life characters, confinement issues, and individuals with psychopathic tendencies, this novel has something for everyone, minus the kiddos.
With her debut novel, Chevy Stevens has already proven that she’s a psychological thriller master. I’ve already purchased her follow-up NEVER KNOWING, and I eagerly await the opportunity to be creeped out all over again. I just need to take a few deep breaths before I make the plunge.