Did you read Chevy Stevens’ debut novel, Still Missing, when it came out about a year ago? Still Missing is the story of Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor who is abducted at a home showing one day. She’s held captive for a year in a remote cabin; that story is told in an interesting format – in one-way conversations with O’Sullivan’s therapist, as O’Sullivan relives that year, and tells the story of police attempts to find her abductor.
Now Chevy Stevens has published Never Knowing (St. Martin’s Press, July 5, 2011), with a similar format – the female protagonist tells much of the story in a voice speaking to her therapist, Nadine (*very* interesting – this is the same psychologist we met in Still Missing, and who I understand will tell her own story in Chase’s third novel).
In Never Knowing, Sara Gallagher has been searching for her adoptive parents; then she learns that her father was a serial murderer known as the Campsite Killer. Through Sara’s struggle, the reader sees the human side of this man, and ponders many of the same questions that Sara does.
This excerpt is from the beginning of the book (p. 29), when Sara first suspects the identity of her biological parents:
The Web site also mentioned the only woman who ever got away: his third victim, Karen Christianson. The photo was grainy, her head turned away from the camera. I went back to the Google home page and typed in “Karen Christianson.” This time numerous articles popped up. Karen and her parents were camping at Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the West-Central region of BC one summer thirty-five years ago. The parents were shot in the head while they slept in their tent, but he hunted Karen in the park for hours until he caught and raped her. Before he was able to kill her she managed to hit him in the head with a rock and escape. She’d been lost in the woods for two days when she stumbled out of the mountains and flagged down a passing motor home.
What a beginning – both to the novel, and to Sara’s life (if, indeed, the killer and Karen Christianson are her parents). Sara has a quick temper and difficulty regulating her anger; she begins to wonder if murder is in her blood …
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