Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Always Watching by Chevy Stevens Review

Title: Always Watching
Author: Chevy Stevens
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: N/A, standalone
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

Chevy Stevens first came to my attention with a mutual friend's recommendation. I loved the first novel I ever read by her, Those Girls--I was completely blown away by it. It awoke my love for thrillers again, and when that same friend told me she was reading Always Watching, I reserved it in my library system right away. Since then, it's been sitting in my library stack, beckoning me every time I glance at it. I had really high hopes for this book, but the result is honest one of mixed feelings. I loved the story, and the characters, as well as the breakneck pacing and the chilling twists and turns, as per Stevens's signature. But as much as I enjoyed the story, it also brought back some pretty nasty memories.

Always Watching begins with Dr. Nadine Lavoie, a compassionate and dedicated psychiatrist. The book really drew me in because of Nadine--I loved her. She was such a caring, gentle person, and that made it easy for me to relate to her. But despite Nadine's talent for helping her troubled patients, her own tumultous past has its own demons. When one of her patients begins to speak of a cult that Nadine herself was involved in as a child, she discovers that dark secrets hide in the most unexpected and frightening places.

I loved this book, for the most part. It was a solid, hefty mystery that grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go. From the moment I began, I couldn't put it down--though there were times I had to walk away because the book was so intense. My family and I were in a cult several years ago, and we are still dealing with the damage, so it was painful to see that, even though the book was a work of fiction. The cult reminded me of some scary times in our lives that left serious scars on our psyches.  The bottom line: Personal feelings aside, this book was absolutely fantastic. I really enjoyed it, though not as much as Those Girls. Next on deck: The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer by Skip Hollandsworth!

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