Author: Chevy Stevens

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Book Review: That Night

June 17, 2014 Book Review, reviews 8

Book Review:  That NightThat Night by Chevy Stevens
Published by St. Martin's Press on June 17th, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 384
Source: complimentary review copy
Amazon
Goodreads

 

That Night opens with Toni being released from prison after serving sixteen years.  Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were both tried and convicted of Toni’s little sister, Nicole’s, death while they were in high school. Now that Toni is released she finally tries to figure out what really happened “that night.”

The novel goes between Ryan and Toni’s days in high school during the ’90s, Toni’s life in the penitentiary and finally Toni and Ryan’s release from prison.  Normally I really enjoy when a novel goes between time periods but in That Night I struggled with ‘liking’ Toni or even empathizing with her during her stint in high school and even in the pen.  Toni was horribly bullied by the mean girl clique in high school, and while incarcerated she suffered from the same fate.  I wanted her to stand up for herself; fight; tell; do something rather than continue to play the victim.  I was so frustrated for the first half of the book and the build up to discovering what really happened to sister Nicole but fortunately I held on. . . . .

Once the clues started unfolding, That Night became an unputdownable.  Discovering the clues alongside Toni and the slow realization of the truth is darkly gripping.  We finally begin to see a thread of growth and character in Toni which only adds to the tension of the storyline.  The Justice System is a character in itself and provides much fodder for disgust and frustration.  Having worked in the court systems and seen first hand the travesties only made That Night seem that much more real.  Stevens certainly did her homework on the pros and cons of the entire criminal justice system AND on mean girl mentalities; i.e. bullying.

This was not my favorite Chevy Stevens novel, Still Missing will probably always be my favorite; but That Night does deliver a heck of a last half.  It’s also one that had me reflecting on the time period my daughters were in high school and how bullying has become so prevalent {or is it that we are finally talking about it, naming it, and confronting the problem?}  So in the aspect of leaving the reader with a bit to think about, Stevens certainly succeeds.

For more information on bullying Jodee Blanco’s Please Stop Laughing at Me is an excellent resource.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the complimentary review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

June 29, 2010 Book Review, reviews 12

Still Missing by Chevy StevensStill Missing by Chevy Stevens
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 6th, 2010
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 352
Source: complimentary review copy
Amazon
Goodreads

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.
Still Missing is that rare debut find--a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted debut novel.
Appropriate for Adults due to violence and strong sexual content

Have you ever had that nightmare where you’re in a seemingly public place and then wham!

someone has a gun held to you and your forced into a van and taken away just like that?

 Annie is a realtor struggling to reach the top and finally gain a moment of respect and acceptance from her mother.  On a seemingly normal, slow day at an open house a man pulls up just as she is about to lock up to go meet her boyfriend for dinner.  This man looks respectable and like a good potential buyer. Unfortunately, he’s not.

The next year of Annie’s life is spent in hell in a remote mountain cabin.  We understand her life through Annie’s telling of it to her psychiatrist, only the thousandth one she’s visited since her harrowing escape. I could not put this book down.  While Annie is telling us about her life in the cabin there is also the police investigation to find out who was behind the kidnapping.  This book had me on pins and needles the whole time I was reading it! I was terrified for Annie; I was terrified for me! I was in the house alone at the time, with the windows wide open! And I was too scared to move to close them! Now isn’t that something? Has a book ever done that to you or am I the only fradey-cat?
The emotional roller-coaster that Annie goes through upon her return is so real, so volatile and just gut-wrenching! I wanted to reach inside the book and hold her tight. I wanted to hold all of those around her who had to watch Annie’s suffering but could not help her. She felt abandoned. She felt violated, betrayed. There’s so much that happens in this book that I want to throw open the pages for you, but then you’d miss guessing for yourself the plot that thickens and the “what happens next” feeling! Oh, you must read this book! It is simply a tour de force in mysteries! A fantastic debut! And come back here and tell me what you think! Please! I’d love to know.
Plot ~ 5+
Setting ~ 5
Characters ~ 5
Dialogue ~ 5
5 Quills! 

So many thanks to St Martin’s Press for the Advanced Reader’s Copy to review. It in no way influenced my opinion of this book.  This is my honest review.

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