One of the suggestions in the My Life in Books Tag that I answered was to pick a book set in your city/country. I knew I had read an author who sets her stories in British Columbia, but all I could think of at the time was, Birds of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland! But after I recently bought Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens, I realized that she was the author I was remembering. She lives on Vancouver Island and her characters live and work either on the Island or in Vancouver itself.
Chevy Stevens’ first book, Still Missing, was published in 2010 and won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. It is a really gripping book about a realtor who is abducted from an open house and held captive in a cabin in the mountains for a year. The story alternates between present day, where she is emotionally “still missing” and trying to put her life back together, and the time she spent in captivity with her brutal tormentor. The book is quite violent in parts, but fitting with the story, and it doesn’t pull any punches. And, of course, as with all good thrillers, there are twists and turns and reasons that are not obvious at the start. A really good read!
In March, 2017, Stevens’ released her latest book, Never Let You Go. Again taking place on Vancouver Island, it tells the story of a woman who escaped with her daughter from an abusive marriage, with her then husband having been sent to jail for something that happened on the night of the escape. When he is released from prison, her fear is palpable, and yet her daughter hopes to have a relationship with the father she hasn’t seen for eleven years. Scary things start to happen, with the assumption being that her ex-husband is responsible. But there are a number of men in the picture — a new boyfriend, a friend she works out with, and her daughter’s admirer. The author does an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing, right up until almost the end, and all while tension is maintained as you worry about what might happen when they open the door or about who might be lurking around the corner.
I have one complaint about the new book, though. You know when you read a book and it has a satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends? And then you turn the page only to find that the author has added an unnecessary chapter that almost seems like paragraphs full of platitudes? Yeah. That was annoying. But apart from that and a few inconsistencies that a proofreader or someone should have caught, it was really a page turner and worth reading. I plan to give some of her other books a try, too.