A psychiatrist must confront her own past as she tries to help a suicidal young woman. Dr. Nadine Lavoie is no stranger to loss. Her mother was killed in a car crash when she was a teenager. Her husband died of cancer in early-middle age. Her daughter, Lisa, is probably still alive, but Nadine doesn't know where; the drug-addicted girl fled home at 18 and lives somewhere on the streets of Victoria. When she isn't wandering the streets in search of Lisa, Nadine works in the adult psychiatric department of St. Adrian's Hospital. There, she finds Heather Simeon, a young woman brought in by her husband, Daniel, after a near-successful suicide attempt. Heather is despondent after a miscarriage she blames on herself. She and Daniel left the River of Life commune because they disagreed with its child-rearing practices, and Heather is convinced that if only they had stayed, she could have carried her pregnancy to term. Nadine wonders whether she's the right therapist for Heather. When she was a teenager, her bipolar mother suddenly packed Nadine and her brother into the car, and the three spent the next eight months at the River of Life until her father arrived and brought them home. But Kevin Nasser, a trusted colleague, assures her that her own experience won't taint her relationship with Heather. So Nadine proceeds, only to find that her own life--especially her relationship with Aaron Quinn, now the leader of River of Life--holds nearly as much trauma as her patient's. The third from Stevens, a specialist in high-toned psychological thrills (Never Knowing, 2011, etc.), delivers the goods once more.
“In ALWAYS WATCHING, Chevy Stevens begins with a shivery premise - a family ensnared by a religious cult led by a madman. Stevens lights that fuse and lets it burn all the way to an explosive ending. A chilling, compelling read.” William Landay, author of DEFENDING JACOB
“ALWAYS WATCHING is a riveting examination of the power of childhood secrets over our past and our present selves. I couldn't put it down.” Alafair Burke, author of IF YOU WERE HERE
“Chevy Stevens is in top form. ALWAYS WATCHING is a tense and twisty exploration of dark memories, hidden pasts, and a place that seems like heaven but might be hell. This is a deep and exciting novel, as unsettling as it is gripping.” Lisa Unger, author of HEARTBROKEN
“Haunting and harrowing, ALWAYS WATCHING is a stunner, offering not only consuming suspense but also a moving tale of mothers and daughters, the lingering echoes of the past that never stop reverberating.” Megan Abbott, author of DARE ME
“A fantastic, heart-pounding thriller that pulls you in from the first page. I loved it!” Lisa Jackson, author of YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW
“ALWAYS WATCHING grabbed me from page one. Its story of power, murder, and family secrets is seductive and sinister. Dr. Nadine Lavoie is a tenacious, compassionate heroine.” Meg Gardiner, author of RANSOM RIVER
“Taut and riveting, ALWAYS WATCHING follows the fault line between a person’s past and present and the terror and turmoil that can pull a life apart when they collide with the force of an earthquake. Chevy Stevens’ suspenseful, twisted story kept me up late into the night, frantically turning pages with white-knuckled fingers.” Hilary Davidson, author of THE NEXT ONE TO FALL
“Chevy Stevens intelligently and relentlessly pulls the reader deeper into a nightmarish world while compelling you to read just one more page…” Rosamund Lupton, author of SISTER
“A harrowing tale of manipulation that got under my skin by the end of the first chapter…” Linwood Barclay, author of TRUST YOUR EYES
Psychiatrist Nadine Lavoie (a supporting character in Still Missing and Never Knowing) takes center stage as a new patient revives painful memories. Her client, who attempted suicide, tells Nadine about the commune where she lived with her husband, and it brings to life Nadine's teenage years living in a commune under the same charismatic leader. As she works with the young woman, Nadine begins to remember sexual abuse and a possible murder. She starts to seek the truth, and the answers she discovers are not pretty. VERDICT Stevens writes amazing psychological suspense, and fans of Lisa Gardner will enjoy this enticing and simmering page-turner. The author displays a talent for immersing the reader in the mind of her protagonist, forcing deep emotional and some taboo topics to be confronted. Stevens also knows how to shock without being graphic. Another winner from a thriller author whose reputation will only continue to grow. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, 12/14/12; 100,000-copy first printing.]—Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.