Author: Chevy Stevens
Type: ebook Advanced Reading Copy
Publisher: St Martin's Press
First Published: July 7, 2015
First Line: "We'd only been on the road for an hour but we were almost out of gas."
Book Description from GoodReads: Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives.
Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past.
This time there’s nowhere left to run.
As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, THOSE GIRLS is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.
My Review: Chevy Stevens is a Canadian author who has this whole suspense genre thing down pat. I have truly enjoyed some of her books, especially Still Missing and That Night which left me on the edge of my seat more than once. In Those Girls she adds in a big emotional factor as readers follow the lives of three sisters who go from being tormented by their father for years to being victims of aggressive sexual abuse and torture at the hands of strangers.
The first half of the book is told from the point of view of Jess, the youngest sister. Her recount of their horrendous upbringing and subsequent escape was heartbreaking and told in a no holds barred kind of way. Jess' account of their experiences was very suspenseful and yes, at times, very hard to read. Please note that this book isn't for the faint of heart. While the rape scenes weren't overly graphic, not a lot was left to the reader's imagination as to the torment these three went through with these men.
The last half of the book, told from Skylar's point of view, took on a different tone which I didn't enjoy as much. A lot of that had to do with the fact that some of the characters made silly and extremely dangerous decisions. Their sudden choices didn't mesh with how they had tried to keep away from their past for so long. I understand that if they had let things lie it wouldn't make for an interesting suspense read but I was hoping for a more realistic final half. I just couldn't imagine these women ever, EVER, wanting to go back and face their tormentors. If Jess and Dani had just sat down with Skylar and told her the truth then that situation could have been avoided. Skylar, even though she is young, made too many silly and dangerous decisions. Sure, it propelled the story line but her decisions/reactions often felt ridiculous.
In the end this is a well written story. While there are some aspects that I wasn't fond of overall it was a good, disturbing suspenseful read. I liked the fact that Stevens also focused on the strong bond between sisters. As the oldest of three sisters, I can relate to the closeness and the 'butting of heads' that Stevens writes about.
This isn't a 'whodunnit' kind of suspense read. The reader knows the identity of the 'bad guys' all along. The suspense comes from how these women deal with their tormentors and try to take back some of the power that was wrenched from them so many years ago.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.