Saturday, April 9, 2011
Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens
3/5 stars - There are some things that you just might not really want to know....
The premise of this story was a good one: a young woman who was adopted but never felt wanted tries to locate her birth parents and finds that she was born as a product of rape and that her father is a serial killer -- one still active and loose.
The narration is in first person and the technique that worked so well in STILL MISSING is used again as a method to advance the story -- Sara relates what happens as though she is in therapy sessions with her psychiatrist (Nadine).
The first part of the story was absorbing and I was racing through the pages as Sara's life starts to fall apart and she becomes embroiled in a bait tactic to entice her killer father into a trap set up by police. Although she's engaged to be married to the love of her life and they've had a happy life together with her daughter from a previous relationship (Ally), she has a lot of issues and emotional drama that start to cause problems between them. She's obsessive and compulsive -- and in some ways a very weak person. About half way through the book, I started to scoff in disbelief and frustration at what was transpiring. I almost put the book down in disgust. Because I can't NOT finish a book, and because I so enjoyed this author's debut novel, I made myself continue by suspending that disbelief and waiting for what I was positive was going to happen. Most of what I had anticipated was exactly as presumed.
Without spoilers, let me say that the ending, however, was NOT exactly as I had anticipated. There was a wholly out of nowhere twist which really didn't sit right and that left me unsatisfied with the conclusion.
Although I really wanted to love this book, I have to say that it was not as good as STILL MISSING though written in the same style. I like believable, strong heroines who, though damaged, don't behave like invincible superheroes and who don't dissolve into tears or uncertainty at every turn. Who can make decisions without doing stupid, unsafe things and who know their own minds. That said, Sara was not that heroine.
I'm sure that fans of Chevy's previous book will buy this one anticipating the same experience they had with STILL MISSING. I venture to say that most will find it won't provide that thrill but I do feel most will enjoy it anyway if they don't think too deeply and just go along for the ride.