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Still Missing    by Chevy Stevens order for
Still Missing
by Chevy Stevens
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Thirty-two year old Annie O'Sullivan is happy with her life. She sells real estate, has a good relationship with her boyfriend Luke, and lives in her Victorian dream house with her dog Emma. All of this is about to change - Annie has no idea what the future holds for her.

She is holding an open house and business is slow, so she starts to pack up early. A friendly gentleman in his mid-forties comes in to look at the house and engages Annie in conversation concerning the home. Before she knows what is happening, he is abducting her in his van. Her personal belongings and car are left at the open house. All Annie can think about is her dinner date that night with Luke, and Emma waiting for her at home.

Annie is taken to a secure cabin somewhere in the surrounding wilderness. She asks why, but is not given an answer. She is abused to the point of becoming docile and letting the Freak, as she calls him in her mind, control her every movement. As the days, weeks, and months go by, Annie has no access to TV, newspapers or even a clock. She endures the unspeakable and waits for her moment to escape. Eventually after a year, Annie has her opportunity and seizes it.

The story is told in Annie's voice as she talks to her psychiatrist. It is bitter and hard edged. She talks of her kidnapping, being held captive, and finally her escape. Now that Annie is home, she has to try and return to a normal lifestyle, but after a year of extreme circumstances, old habits are hard to break. Friends, family, and the media demand details, but she only feels safe talking to her psychiatrist. Even though Annie knows the Freak can never hurt her again, she feels something is not right. She soon learns that things are far from over.

Still Missing is a gripping, debut novel. It's impossible to put down, and lingers in memory long after the last page is turned. It deals with the aftermath of horrific abuse, something that no one should endure.

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