Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens
Published by St. Martin’s Press, an imprint of Macmillan
Review copy provided by the publicist
Sara Gallagher, who was adopted shortly after her birth, has always wondered about her birth parents. As the only adopted member of her family, her two sisters’ bonds with their parents have always made her feel like an outcast in her own home. Finally, she locates her birth mother, only to have the woman reject her completely. When she discovers the truth about her conception – her mother was the only person ever to escape a serial murderer and rapist, and the killer is most likely her birth father – she begins to understand why her birth mother might not want Sara in her life. But Sara is determined to know the truth about her parentage, and so she begins a quest to meet the man who may have fathered her – the same man who has killed dozens of women over the years.
I had high expectations for Chevy Stevens’ second novel since her first book, Still Missing, had a profound effect on my emotional state. I must admit that Never Knowing was not quite as bone-chillingly creepy as Stevens’ first novel, but I still raced through the book and enjoyed it quite thoroughly.
From the first page of this novel, it’s extremely easy for the reader to empathize with Sara. She’s pretty much a tortured soul – she feels alone in her own family, as her two sisters are clearly closer to her parents than she is, and she desperately wants to understand her true origins. Plus, she has a young daughter of her own, so her hunger to learn the truth about her biological parents is magnified even more now that she has passed her unknown genes onto another person. Even though I knew that what she would learn about her father was not good news, I still felt compassion for her and empathized with her need to know the truth. If I were in her position, I would want to know as well.
As soon as Sara actually speaks to her biological father, the book takes off running and doesn’t quit until the end. This is the point at which the action really starts, and when I say action, I mean this book gave me serious heart palpitations and caused quite a bit of stress! I was terrified right along with Sara but also morbidly curious about who this man really was right along with her. Part of me wanted the whole thing to be just a sick joke, that her father would turn out to be a regular guy and there would be some kind of mistake to make people believe he was a killer, I cared for Sara that much. I wanted things to work out for her.
The pace of this novel kept me turning pages frantically, to the point that I read almost the entire thing in one sitting. It truly held my attention, through all the twists and turns, and I loved every second of this ride. It was thrilling and scary and sad and exciting all at once. I highly recommend Never Knowing. Chevy Stevens is one talented lady.