Title: Never Knowing
Author: Chevy Stevens
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Thriller/Suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5
Sara Gallagher has always wondered about her birth parents. While her adoptive mother was devoted to her, her father was distant and never made her feel like part of the family. Now, as an adult, Sara has finally located her birth mother and decides to move forward with an introduction. But what she doesn’t realize is that this innocent step will unleash a chain of events that will lead to Sara being hunted by a serial killer.
Chevy Stevens’ debut novel, Still Missing, had me at the edge of my seat. I couldn’t put it down, and hung in there through all the crazy twists and turns (except the one at the end – couldn’t buy that one), anxious to know how everything would turn out. Therefore, when I found out Stevens had a new book coming out, I immediately knew I wanted to read it – I had to see where the author would take me next.
Once again, I was breathless while reading Never Knowing. The tension ramps up more slowly in this book than in Stevens’ debut; everything is normal at the beginning (except for Sara). She is simply contemplating her birth parents and where she came from. While this is a momentous decision, it is very personal. It’s only after Sara starts walking down this path that she begins to understand the truth of her origins, which leads to unimaginable consequences.
I really felt for Sara. She was in an impossible situation, wanting to help but, at the same time, trying to protect herself and her daughter. It seemed like everything she did was wrong, and I can only imagine the horror of feeling hunted, of never feeling safe. It would really mess up a person psychologically, and Stevens did an excellent job creating a taut and suspenseful net weaved around Sara’s psychological state.
However, I said before that, at the beginning of the book, everything was normal except for Sara, and therein lay my biggest issue with it. I didn’t like Sara. She is completely obsessive and angry and seems to have no self-control. And while I would understand these qualities developing as a result of feeling trapped, she’s like this before the craziness of the book really takes hold. Her attitude was just difficult and, while I was definitely hooked on the novel, I never warmed to Sara.
Still, Never Knowing was a bite-your-nails thriller that I couldn’t put down. Despite my issues with Sara, I read this book in one sitting, needing to know how it would turn out. Stevens does an amazing job writing suspense, and this book proves that her first wasn’t a fluke – she’s become an author to watch.