Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Review - Never Knowing: A Novel by Chevy Stevens

Title: Never Knowing: A Novel
Author: Chevy Stevens 
Year: 2011
Page: 416
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense 

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
From the acclaimed author of STILL MISSING comes a psychological thriller about one woman’s search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers.

All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara’s home life was not ideal. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and find closure.

But some questions are better left unanswered.

After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother—only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her.

What if murder is in your blood?

Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive…

First Sentence:
I thought I could handle it, Nadine.

My Thoughts:

  • I read Still Missing last year, and quite enjoyed it (see my review here). When this book came up, I was curious to see what the author would do, since the psychologist was the common character between the 2 books (both protagonists told their story to the same psychologist). 
  • It was a fast read, and the premise was very interesting - what would you do, if you find out your real father (whom you don't know anything about) was a serial killer? Would you want to meet him? Would you rather not? It definitely made me think "what if".
  • At over 400 pages though, the story was a little long, especially since not a lot happened. There were some twists in the end, but I was able to guess some of them (not every single one, but could see where the story was going)
  • I also didn't like the characters as much in this book and they seemed a bit stereotypical. So overall, not a bad read but I preferred Still Missing, which had a stronger voice. 
  • The title of the book is fitting, and I quite like the cover. I wonder if the author would continue would this format of her future books (another protagonist consulting the same psychologist, Nadine, who actually do not play a big part of the story. Maybe we'd hear from Nadine some day?)

You said my obsessions were passions, that my intensity were a powerful gift, that my determination was admirable. That what I considered my weaknesses could also be my greatest strengths. If John is a mirror that reflects back my worst distortions of myself, then you're a mirror that reflects that good. (p302-303)

Overall Rating:

3 Stars. Not bad. Liked Still Missing better.

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  1. I read a few pages of Still Missing and wasn't drawn in--the writing style didn't seem to be what I would generally like, but I do want to give it a real chance before writing it off all together. I think I'll save this one until after I decide about Still Missing.

  2. @reviewsbylola - I think there are mixed reviews on this one - some really like it, some don't. It's been a while since I read other reviews on this one (which usually compared it to Still Missing). I wouldn't say either one is a must-read though.

  3. You might remember I wasn't a fan of Still Missing. I think the author has some out there thinking, a bit far fetched for my thinking.

    I doubt I'll read this one.

  4. @Marce - I think if you didn't like Still Missing, you probably won't like this one much. Maybe not quite as far fetched but the twists seemed a bit contrived.

  5. @Marce - I found a good review of this book, maybe it'd give you a different perspective:

  6. I thought Still Missing was more intriguing too, though this one felt to me much better held together.

  7. @Aths - I guess since this is the 2nd book, the author had improved on "holding it together"?