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Always Watching    by Chevy Stevens order for
Always Watching
by Chevy Stevens
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2014 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Chevy Stevens, author of Still Missing and Never Knowing, now brings her fans Always Watching, a psychological thriller set on Canada's Vancouver Island.

The lead is widowed psychiatrist Nadine Lavoie, whose only daughter, Lisa, became addicted to drugs after her father's death and since disappeared. Nadine moved to Victoria, British Columbia to work at a hospital Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. In her spare time, she searches the city for her lost daughter

As the story opens, Nadine starts treating a new patient, Heather Simeon, a young woman who became suicidal after losing her baby. Heather and her husband Daniel had lived at the River of Spiritual Light Center, run by Aaron Quinn and with centers around the world. Members of that commune had been pressuring Heather to return and blaming the baby's death on her having left.

Her patient's experiences jar open traumatic memories of Nadine's own childhood (along with her mother and older brother Robbie) in a previous commune run by Aaron Quinn. Aaron's brother Joseph lived there also and was prone to violent outbursts. Eventually Nadine's father extracted his family at gunpoint, but the time there left her with blanks in her memory and severe claustrophobia.

Nadine has long wondered what happened to teen Willow, a young woman who befriended her at the commune and who left very suddenly. As she recovers childhood memories of abuse, she contacts the police, but also investigates on her own, increasingly sure that something bad happened to Willow. As she stirs up trouble, Nadine senses that she is being watched.

When history starts to repeat itself, Nadine will do whatever it takes to ensure her daughter's safety. Will she be too late? Though Chevy Stevens builds up her suspenseful story more slowly than I liked, Always Watching held my interest throughout.

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