March 25, 2017

Never Let You Go - Chevy Stevens

St. Martin’s Press, March 14, 2017.


Four Stars


Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped from a violent, abusive marriage with her young daughter Sophie. Under cover of night, they snuck away from their family home while the abusive husband Andrew was passed out drunk. At least, Lindsey thought he was passed out – until she found out later that Andrew got behind the wheel of his car and killed a young woman in a horrible accident while he attempted to hunt down Lindsey and Sophie.


Andrew went to jail, and Lindsey moved her daughter to Dogwood Bay, an isolated – and fictitious – town on the west coast of British Columbia. While it is only a short ferry ride from Vancouver, Lindsey feels that they are far enough away from Andrew that he won’t be able to find them upon his release from prison. However, she hasn’t counted on Sophie’s curiosity about her absent father, and the lengths she will go to meet him. Lindsey tried to protect her daughter by hiding many of the details of Andrew’s abuse, but instead she put Sophie in danger by sugar-coating the relationship.


Suddenly, mysterious things begin happening in Dogwood Bay. Lindsey’s home is invaded, but nothing is taken – instead, her privacy is severely violated in ways that only Andrew would know to do. Meanwhile, her new boyfriend Greg is almost run off the road, and vaguely threatening gifts are left on her car. Andrew swears to Sophie that he is a different man and he would do nothing to hurt his new relationship with his daughter, but Lindsey is not convinced – she knows the depths of Andrew’s obsession and how far he will go to control her. However, she also has her own suspicions about Sophie’s new boyfriend Jared.


The novel moves between two time frames: the abuse and fear of Lindsey’s marriage in the past, and the more immediate threat of the present day. It also alternates between Lindsey and Sophie’s perspectives, but it never becomes muddled – in fact, the short, sharp chapters add tension to an already exciting plot. The first person present tense amps up the suspense, although the perspective can seem unpolished at times. This is a quick read with a slow build-up to the danger surrounding Lindsey and Sophie, and it leaves you wondering how you could ever trust anyone, no matter how long you have known them.


Never Let You Go is clever and unexpected – like me, you might guess who did it, but you will likely not guess why. It is a testament to the author’s talent that the “whodunit” is not the most important part of the book – there is so much more depth and meaning underneath. If you are a fan of Chevy Stevens, there is no doubt you will enjoy her latest book – not because it is formulaic, but because she has a definite style that is sure to please fans of her work once again.


I received this book from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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