Friday, March 31, 2017

#Friday Review - Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens #Contemporary, #Mystery

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher
Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Chevy Steven's Never Let You Go is a story that not only spans Eleven years, but also alternates between two characters: Lindsey Nash, and her daughter Sophie. The story weaves its way through Lindsey's life both while in the past while being married to her ex-husband Andrew Nash, to being a single parent who operates a cleaning business trying to provide for her daughter who is a brilliant artist. It is a story of abuse, of sad circumstances, of choices made on the spur of the moment, and of course, twists that will leave you guessing.

Never Let You Go is set wholly in and around the Canadian Northwest. Lindsey is an interesting character who is realistic in many ways. She truly believed in happiness except when that happiness is shattered by jealously, anger, and feelings of inadequacy thanks to her husband who claims to love her unconditionally. Lindsey is a woman who puts all the blame on herself, never her husband until the realization finally dawns on her that this wasn't normal. Lindsey is a character study in why abusive women remain in a relationship
because they feel that if they leave, they will not survive. Women in abusive relationships often feel little, or worthless. Lindsey eventually gets to the point where she has had enough and runs with her daughter only to discover that she may have played a huge role in an unfortunate series of events. 

Never Let You Go is a story that doesn't break any new ground when it comes to attempting to stimulate the reader into staying focused on what the author is trying to weave. It is a story that weaves between Lindsey's past life with Andrew, one that had some warm moments that turned into a nightmare, to the present where she gets the news her husband has been released from prison. What the present shows us is that Lindsey is still terrified of Andrew and will do almost anything to keep him away from her, and Sophie. Then, when strange things start happening where Lindsey works and lives, Lindsey's life once again gets sent into upheaval.

Sophie is a character you have to make up your own mind about whether or not you would have done the same thing in her situation. Would you have tried to reconnect with your father? Would you have met with your father who treated your mother like crap? Imagine growing up not understanding what really happened between your parents. Imagine that you lost your father for years to a bad, no dumb move on his part, and that father returns to hope for a reconnection to his only daughter who he loves unequivocally. A daughter who was told of all the horrible stuff her father did, but still, he's her father. Can one actually forgive Sophie for wanting to connect with her father, and find out if he truly is the monster her mother told her about? 

I've said before, and I'll say it again, I read way too many of these books not to correctly guess who the villain of the story is. In this case, I knew who the villain was at an early stage, and noted that I was going to skip over the rest of the book from Chapter 24 forward. It doesn't mean that this story is bad. It just means that I put the pieces together, saw the evidence before it was actually brought to light. My complaint lies also in the ending. I've also watched too many Lifetime movies, and I've seen this happen over and over and over again. I want unpredictably in my diet. I want to turn the last page of the story and say, well, wasn't that freaking awesome!

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