Never Knowing is the second book by Canadian author Chevy Stevens. It follows in the footsteps of her international bestseller Still Missing in which a young woman realtor is abducted at the end of an open-house visit. She is then brought to a remote cabin on a mountain, where she is regularly raped, physically beaten and psychologically abused through the course of a full winter.
There are some similarities between the two books: both are fast-paced; they’re told in first person narrative --in each, the main character tells the story to her psychiatrist (the same woman in both books); the Serious Crime Unit is involved in the investigations, although without recurring characters/detectives --in real life, this Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) unit is called the Major Crime Unit everywhere in the country except in British Columbia where it is officially known as the Serious Crime Section (according to the Canadian Government website).
The events in Never Knowing have implications on a larger scale and the repercussions affect more people than in Still Missing where the story centers on a woman alone in her fight for survival; Never Knowing concentrates on a woman fighting to protect everyone around her.
If "very intense" and "thought-provoking" were terms used often to describe Still Missing, in reviews everywhere, they'll certainly be used again for Never Knowing. The main character, Sara, is the mother of a six-year old girl named Ally. When Sara, who was adopted as a baby, decides to look for her birth mother and biological father, her life becomes a whirlwind that quickly grows stronger and out of control, putting other persons' lives in danger –everyone close to her, as well as complete strangers, are sucked into the destructive vortex of a serial killer.
Sara sometimes suffers from breathlessness caused by panic attacks; an old proverb describes accurately her situation: "Life is in the breath. He/She who half breathes, half lives." As long as the threat is still out there, Sara, caught in the ferocious winds and turbulence of events, won't be able to breathe and live a normal life. As for others, it might already be too late if they got in the way of John, the serial killer who is very interested in Sara.
With the help of two detectives from the Serious Crime Unit and of her fiancé, Sara tries to gain back control of her quiet life and, at the same time, her normal breathing. But while others decide on certain course of actions, while also trying to protect her, Sara realizes that nothing will be solved unless she decides what to do and that she acts upon it; she also knows that “…sometimes even when you have a choice, the things you’re choosing between are so horrible it doesn’t feel like much of a choice at all.”
In Never Knowing, Chevy Stevens proves without a doubt that she is not a one-hit wonder and that Still Missing was just a glimpse of what she can deliver. She writes with the self-confidence of more experienced writers like Chelsea Cain and Tess Gerritsen, while already developing her own style.
Highly recommended if you like suspense novels, especially if you don't mind reading them in only one or two sittings. Take a deep breath and dive in; you might find yourself coming up for air only after turning the last page.
You can also visit Chevy at www.chevystevens.com
I’ll be adding an interview with Chevy Stevens in a day or two.
Thanks for visiting and for reading.