NEVER LET YOU GO Written by Chevy Stevens
March 14,2016; 384 Pages (St. Martin’s Press)
Genre: psychological thriller, suspense mystery, fiction, canadian
(I received an ARC from the PUBLISHER through NETGALLEY)
I am a HUGE fan of Chevy Stevens, period. I read Chevy’s debut novel, Still Missing, also as an advanced reader’s copy (ARC). Thank gawd, I started it on my day off, as I spent the rest of the afternoon reading the book. Her writing style reminded me of Karin Slaughter’s – raw, gritty and realistic. At times I have to put the book down and breathe. There is just so much emotion as you read the words that you need to process. I find that the characters and plot still linger in my mind as if they are real people and events. Ever since Still Missing (other than Always Watching – some how I missed it coming out) I cannot wait till her novels come out, and have been lucky to read most them of them as ARCs. I highly recommend her books to anyone who likes psychological thrillers and suspense. I usually finish her novels quickly, but this one took me three days to get through…
When Lindsey meets Andrew Nash at nineteen, she thinks that she has found the man of her dreams. He is sweet, successful and her family adores him. Just as quickly as they marry, Andrew begins to change. The birth of their daughter only increases his abuse on Lindsey. When she finally manages to escape him, Andrew is sent to prison for another crime, and Lindsey starts a new life with their daughter, Sophie.
Eleven years later, Andrew is released from prison and moves to the same town as his ex-wife and daughter. Not long after, Lindsey is starting to be stalked at home and work. Sophie reaches out to the father she barely remembers but suddenly those around her and her mother are getting hurt. Can Lindsey save her family before Andrew gets too close?
The first third of the book was difficult for me personally to read. I’ve read many books on and with domestic violence and controlling abuse but I can usually read it with objectivity. For fiction, I do sometimes judge whether the descriptions seem “realistic” and are written well. I have seen various types of abuse around me, and it effected me to the point that I am passionate about prevention and counseling. I worked at a women’s center, but it was a little too much for me. It was at that point I knew I could not counsel others until I could process my own thoughts on abuse. Then five years ago I met my own Andrew…not to the extent in this novel…and had to dig myself out. Knowing the signs is not enough when there are emotions are involved. This is not the forum I want to discuss this in, but I feel like my reviewing of this novel is dependent on my experience.
As I read how Andrew controlled Lindsey, I started to see some of my own experiences, and felt like Chevy did a wonderful job in explaining and showing how possessiveness is really like. I think she also did a good job in explaining why Lindsey stayed. I think when anyone thinks of an abusive relationship, the first question is why did they stay? I know some people may not think it is a strong enough reason, but that is why for me it seems realistic. It’s not that simple to explain. What starts out as sweet and romantic can quickly spiral into a scary situation. Once I got to the second part of the novel, which is Lindsey’s new life and Sophie as a teenager, I was able to move through the novel quite quickly as the suspense had me flipping pages. I did see the twist coming but I still wasn’t sure if I was right and how it would all come out. The reason I gave this novel a four and not a five was due to some of the secondary story lines I felt could have been a bit stronger or dropped. This novel touched me in a way I didn’t expect and this changed how I did my review for this book. Please read this as a review for a wonderful book rather than my story. Thanks to Chevy for not just providing a great suspense novel, but also making me realize that I am a survivor and stronger rather than just a victim.
CHEVY STEVENS grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still calls the island home. For most of her adult life she worked in sales, first as a rep for a giftware company and then as a Realtor. While holding an open house one afternoon, she had a terrifying idea that became the inspiration for Still Missing. Chevy eventually sold her house and left real estate so she could finish the book. Still Missing went on to become a New York Times bestseller and win the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. Chevy’s books have been optioned for movies and are published in more than thirty countries.
Chevy enjoys writing thrillers that allow her to blend her interest in family dynamics with her love of the west coast lifestyle. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s camping and canoeing with her husband and daughter in the local mountains.