In Still Missing, the debut novel by Chevy Stevens, Realtor Annie O’Sullivan had only a few things on her mind the afternoon she finished her latest open house. She was late to meet her boyfriend, she was still reeling from a fight with her mother and she really wanted to sell a house. Annie was thrilled when a last minute, prospective buyer pulls up asking to see the house and introduced himself as David.
Hope for a house buyer turns to horror when, after climbing the home’s stairs, David forces a knife in Annie’s back. He coerces her into his van and into a nightmare of epic proportions. Before driving away from the house he drugs her and then takes her to a remote wilderness cabin intending on holding her captive for the rest of her life. Annie’s kidnapper, who she refers to as “The Freak” has a twisted scheme to make her the perfect submissive wife - or else. Eventually, Annie reaches her breaking point with her captor and the outcome is deadly.
Told in alternating chapters between past and present, Still Missing is a suspenseful journey that holds unbelievable twists and turns culminating at its shocking end. Chevy Stevens is definitely an author to watch – her second novel will be released this July.
Though the recent cold and snowy weather makes us all dream of warmer places, I still can’t stop reading more Scandinavian mysteries, where the cold climate plays a major role. The Preacher is the second mystery novel by Swedish author Camilla Lackberg – if you have recently enjoyed other Scandinavian crime fiction you may want to add her to your list. I blogged about her first novel, The Ice Princess, a few months ago and after I finished reading this book I couldn’t wait for the next book in the series to be translated into English.
In The Preacher, again we meet Erica and Patrik who are now expecting their first child. As a detective in Fjallbacka, a tiny fishing village in southwest Sweden, Patrik has been thrown in to a new investigation – the murder of a young tourist from Germany. With this new case, the 30 year old unsolved disappearance of two young women is also thrust into the spotlight – the young tourist’s body is found with the remains of these two young women.
The case takes an unexpected turn when a young girl, Jenny Moeller whose appearance is nearly identical to the murdered tourist, is kidnapped and Patrik and his fellow detectives know that time is running out to try and save her. With Jenny’s disappearance, clues come to light that focus the investigation on a local and radical family, the Hult’s, whose public feud only complicates the case further. The ending is completely unexpected and shocking – definitely well worth it!