Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Never Knowing

Author: Chevy Stevens
Genre: Suspense, Canadian
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 410
Publisher: St Martin's Press
First Published: July 2011
First Line: "I thought I could handle it, Nadine."

Book DescriptionAt thirty-three Sara Gallagher is finally happy. Her antique furniture restoration business is taking off and she’s engaged to a wonderful man. But there’s one big question that still haunts her — who are her birth parents? Sara is finally ready to find out.

Sara’s birth mother rejects her—again. Then she discovers her biological father is an infamous killer who’s been hunting women every summer for almost forty years. Sara tries to come to terms with her horrifying parentage — and her fears that she’s inherited more than his looks — with her therapist, Nadine, who we first met in "Still Missing." But soon Sara realizes the only thing worse than finding out your father is a killer is him finding out about you.

Some questions are better left unanswered.

"Never knowing" is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand where she comes from. That is, if she can survive…

My Thoughts:  When I read Chevy Steven's 'Still Missing' (see my review of that book HERE) I was shocked that it was Ms Steven's debut novel because it was so amazing.  For her sophomore book she has written another thriller with an 'edge of your seat' ending.

There are several things that I loved about this book.  First, I adore it when Canadian authors keep their stories and characters in Canada.  A little Canadian pride goes a long way with me, eh? 

Once again Stevens proves that she has a wonderful knack for providing her readers with a creepy suspenseful read.  The constant threat to Sara was evident throughout the book which kept the pace and energy level high for the most part (there was, admittedly, a bit of a lag mid-way though). 

Unfortunately Sara wasn't my favourite protagonist.  I found that she came off as whiny, overly needy and impulsive.  She'd repeatedly ask her fiancĂ© for his opinion only to ignore it and suffer the consequences.  And while I understood where she was coming from (her very negative relationship with her father and youngest sister) I had a really hard time reading about Sara getting verbally walked on by them time and again.  She became the proverbial door mat whenever they were around and that made me grit my teeth.

Being the oldest of three sisters I get the sibling rivalry but Sara's rivalry with her extremely self-centred and obnoxious youngest sister felt overdone and their issues very repetitive.  I also think that her relationship with her adoptive father put a very negative slant on adoption with him constantly being so cold and unloving  -- and obvious about it too.

I did find it interesting that the author attempted to, I think, create sympathy for John by giving the reader information about his youth.  We get to see the nature versus nurture issue when it comes to how a serial killer comes into being.   That said, I did have a very hard time understanding Sara's desire to become more involved to find the Campside Killer knowing that she was putting herself and her family in mortal danger.

While I did see one of the big reveals coming and found this book a little less compelling than 'Still Missing' I still enjoyed it.  I liked the premise of the book and the ending but I didn't always enjoy getting there.  Ms Stevens still maintained her signature 'edge of your seat ending' and I really look forward to her upcoming book, Always Watching (check back for my review this summer).

My Rating: 3/5 stars

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