Thursday, August 8, 2013

Still Missing

Even from the description it sounds like Chevy Stevens got the idea for her book not so much from being a realtor herself but from once upon a time reading Fowles' magnificent The Collector. Her character, Annie O’Sullivan is a 32-year-old realtor, who was just hosting an unsuccessful open house, had a fight with her mom and was supposed to run and have dinner with her boyfriend. When she starts packing up, the last visitor for open house shows up and Annie is hoping to wrap up a good day. Except he isn't the charming customer he pretends to be.

The book is written through Annie's visits to her psychiatrist and you are not reading chapters but Annie's sessions. Annie tells the story of being a captive of a psycho for about a year. One of the few truly compelling things this book succeeded at was blending and intertwining the stories of then and now. Annie is back but her life is shattered as police continue the investigation to find out who the man who kidnapped her actually was.

Annie calls her captor The Freak, since he only introduced himself to her at the open house and she has strong suspicions he lied. Well, Annie is not a character you will particularly like. And she knows she's not very likable. That makes sense. But The Freak himself doesn't. He seemed slightly off all the time and not in an eerie, scary way. He wasn't consistent, he didn't seem so scary and he also didn't seem as messed up as Chevy was trying to make him seem. On top of Annie not being very sympathetic, she also has a very potty mouth but not so much like a badass and not in a cute or daring way but just in a "god, you're annoying" kind of way. Meaning that she also cannot express herself better than a college dropout could on a very good day.

"Oh, and in case you were wondering? No, I wasn’t always such a bitch."

Stevens ends the book with a twist and not a particularly good one. It seemed like she thought the psychological thriller she was weaving needed a mystery turnaround. It actually didn't. At least not such a predictable one. Which it was, if you followed the story closely. I don't really know what the deal with the author is but seems she's set on this shrink path, because from the looks of it, one of her other books is also written in "sessions", not chapters, and two of them have the same psychiatrist as a "leading lady" as Still Missing does. In case you were wondering, there is no notion that Stevens has any psychological or psychiatrical experience or background. In my opinion that shows.

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