Thursday, August 5, 2010
On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two year old Realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever- patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor of the day pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.
Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive of a sadistic psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered spirit back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.
Still Missing first caught my attention when Trish featured it in a Peeing My Pants in Book Anticipation post. I started seeing it mentioned more and more, and I broke down and read a little about the book, which I don't usually do. And then I was hooked too. The format of the book, the story of Annie's abduction as she tells it to her therapist, was perfect right from the start. Obviously, she got away, but the slow unfolding of the story, right from Annie herself, was fresh and original.
While I loved the way the story was set up, I didn't really love Annie. Yes, she had been through a terrible ordeal, but I found her unlikable. I tried to connect with her, but she'd constructed such a wall around herself, that all I really felt was pity. As the story went on, I felt more sympathy toward her, but I couldn't get over my initial feelings toward her.
The one downfall of the book for me was the ending. It wasn't terrible, but I found it a little flat. I was completely caught up in the story until the last quarter or so of the book. Then, it seemed as if Stevens just didn't know how to end the book, and it lost momentum. While I didn't connect with Annie, Still Missing was a solid debut, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a gripping mystery. 3.5 stars