Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by book blogger extraordinaire, Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favourites and read books that have already been published. Sometimes, I feel like I need a serious kick in the pants to get some of my poor book babies that have been sitting lonely on my shelf. Following the mantra of my friend Amy at Novel Gossip, I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at least one older title a week!
This week, I decided to tackle a book by Chevy Stevens, Always Watching. I read my first Chevy Stevens novel earlier this year and was instantly obsessed with her writing style and addictive storylines. I binge purchased every single one of her books….and then I got distracted. Now that I read Always Watching, I am kicking myself for not getting to this book sooner. I loved it.
The novel opens in the lockdown ward of a psychiatric hospital where Dr. Nadine Lavoie is one of the head clinicians. After a woman is brought in after a suicide attempt, Nadine’s world is rocked as this woman discusses her involvement with a religious cult like group run by the dynamic Aaron Quinn; something stirs inside Nadine. Dealing with claustrophobia and huge blank spaces in her memory, Nadine has worked hard to forget parts of her childhood and her time spent with Aaron’s group but as the parallels between the women’s lives deepen and escalates, Nadine is forced to confront her traumatic past in order to save others, including her own daughter.
Let’s start off my saying that I am a complete sucker with any plot that has a cult like reference or vibe; cults are pretty much on my list of the top five things that creep me out (other things on this list include: ketchup, centipedes, children singing happy songs in scary situations etc..) so when I read that this one would explore a cult, I was all about it.
Nadine is a completely dynamic character and told completely through her perspective, I was thrilled that Stevens took the time to fully develop her and her backstory. The plot unfolds through the present and then in flashbacks to the past as Nadine remembers. I felt like this was a great way to build tension and suspense throughout.
What sticks out the most for me about the way Stevens writes her prose is just how READABLE it is. There is no way not to enjoy her narrative style or to become completely captivated by it. Gripping, fast paced and entertaining, I was hooked.
Overall, an excellent read that combines thriller elements with suspense. I would absolutely give this one a read!!