I discovered Chevy Stevens about two years ago, and have absolutely devoured each of her books. My mom is also a huge fan, and I literally spend most of the year listening to, "when is the next Chevy book coming out?"
Her newest book, Those Girls, came out July 7th and did not disappoint!
From the publisher: Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father's temper. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. As events spiral out of control they find themselves in a horrifying situation and are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives.
Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer. But when one of the sisters goes missing, followed closely by her niece, they are pulled back into the past. And this time there's nowhere left to run.
Stevens knows how to write a book that will leave you tense with anticipation. Within a few pages, you are sucked into the story and it won't let you go. I found myself all tensed up during a lot of the story, but I could not stop reading. The setting is fantastic because it's set during the hot summer days, but what happens is so dark and horrible. The contrast between the two really adds to the feeling of the book. I should mention that there are some scenes of violence that may be triggering or difficult to read.
I really liked all the characters and just wanted to protect them, especially Skylar (the niece). She was a bit naïve, but that is no surprise considering how protective her mother was. Though naïve, she was also stubborn and strong. Courtney absolutely broke my heart, and watching her struggle to rid herself of the past was difficult. I wish I'd gotten more of Dani's story because I felt like I barely got to know her.
I can barely write this review because I loved the book so much, and I don't want to give away any spoilers. It was visceral and suspenseful and Stevens is a master at writing thrillers that will leave you breathless. I could not turn the pages fast enough, and I actually had to stop myself from reading so quickly because I was missing things.
While this is incredibly intense, the bond between the sisters and the niece is actually heartwarming. I was so emotionally spent by the end, but also so moved and almost happy. Sounds weird for a thriller, right? But it totally worked.
Stevens' books are terrifying because they are situations that can happen to anyone. They aren't hugely fabricated tales, but simple things we all do everyday that lead to terror. These books mess with my head because I find myself wondering what I would do in the same situation and they always make me a little edgy for a few days. I kind of love that, though. Maybe I'm just weird.
Not sure it's for you? There's an excerpt on St. Martin's Press page here that you should check out if you're unsure. If that doesn't hook you, then well, I don't know what else will.
I can't say enough about how great this book was. If you want a good thriller, pick this up. Still searching for that elusive book after reading Gone Girl? Pick up ANY of Steven's books. I dislike book/author comparisons, but I am willing to make one in this case.
5 out of 5 incredible stars for sure and my favourite thriller this year! I can't wait to pass this onto my mom and go back to listening to "when is the next Chevy book coming out?" I want to know, too, mom.