How do you reclaim your sense of security after it has been brutally ripped away from you? How do you begin to live again when life as you previously knew it has been shattered? Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two year old Realtor, must answer these questions after she was abducted and held captive in an isolated cabin in the woods. Still Missing is told through a series of sessions with Annie’s therapist in which she recounts the year she spent locked up with The Freak. As Annie struggles to relive her horrific experience, it becomes clear that the woman she was and the woman she has become are very different; that the woman she was may, in fact, be gone forever.
Still Missing had a slow start. It was difficult to connect with Annie’s character, as she seemed so detached from the horrendous details she was describing. As I read, though, I began to realize that this detachment was a survival mechanism. Annie has to distance herself from her time on the mountain in order to put one foot in front of the other and attempt to regain some semblance of a life. It’s clear from the book jacket that Annie is rescued, but it happened earlier in the novel than I expected. I wasn’t sure where Stevens was going after that, but it’s what happens after Annie comes home that really picks up the pace. It’s here that the real story unfolds, as betrayals are revealed, suspicions are aroused and it becomes more and more difficult to know who to trust.
The writing in this debut novel was a bit amateurish but there was something about the story (even the parts that were a little unbelievable) that made you want to keep reading.