There have been a lot of big releases that fall in the category of psychological thriller over the past few years, from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the rest of that series to the recent best seller Gone Girl. Often psychological thrillers can be very violent like the books that come from Scandinavian writers, but sometimes they can be even more disturbing in the lack of blood and guts. Sometimes these books can play with your head.
This book is far from anything that I would usually pick up on my own. I am not a big thriller reader, in fact I think the only other book I've read in this genre is called the Truth Tellers Lie by Sophie Hannah. I am already a very anxious person in real life and I this book played upon my anxieties very vividly. I found myself falling into my old habits of haunting the the main floor my house to make sure the locks were all set at various points in the night and would stand on the top of the landing to make sure the noises I heard as the house settled were not people stealthily creeping through my home. The moment when I realized the book was causing this was when I was sitting in the auto repair shop waiting for my oil change to be done. When they called my name I stood up and had to immediately sit back down. I had just reached a critical moment in the story and there was so much adrenaline coursing through my body my heart started to race and my legs turned to rubber.
As good as the author is at evoking the emotions of her main character, I still find the character of Annie very offputting. She's supposed to be dealing with several traumatic experiences, so shes bitter, rude, and angry, and rightly so, but its really hard to like a character that does her best to make you not like her. I was also disappointed that the book turned out to be very predictable. I love watching shows like Cold Case Files (the real nonfiction one, not the tv drama) and City Confidential, and maybe that helped me guess who was behind Annie's kidnapping. Whatever the case, Chevy Stevens gives you a lot of hints, and as the old saying goes: you don't introduce a shotgun in act one without having it go off in act two.
For not particularly liking this genre, I did actually enjoy this book. It was a pageturner. I read at red lights and even waiting for dinner with several of my coworkers. I just had to find out what happened next. Its not exceptional fiction, but it achieves its goals and doesn't leave you with a neat, happy ending. I appreciated that last part because in cases of rape and kidnapping, things are just hunky dory after the trial or the escape. Experiences cling to you and affect your everyday actions; Annie certainly knows this and its good that she doesn't have a complete breakthrough over the course of a couple hundred pages. She's still broken, still missing, but shes working on it.