Saturday, May 10, 2014

Review: Always Watching by Chevy Stevens (audio)

Title: Always Watching   
Author: Chevy Stevens   
Narrator: Joyce Bean  
Published: June 2013, Brilliance Audio  
Length: 12 hours 22 minutes   
Source: Personal copy via audible 

She helps people put their demons to rest.

But she has a few of her own…

In the lockdown ward of a psychiatric hospital, Dr. Nadine Lavoie is in her element. She has the tools to help people, and she has the desire—healing broken families is what she lives for. But Nadine doesn’t want to look too closely at her own past because there are whole chunks of her life that are black holes. It takes all her willpower to tamp down her recurrent claustrophobia, and her daughter, Lisa, is a runaway who has been on the streets for seven years.

When a distraught woman, Heather Simeon, is brought into the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit after a suicide attempt, Nadine gently coaxes her story out of her—and learns of some troubling parallels with her own life. Digging deeper, Nadine is forced to confront her traumatic childhood, and the damage that began when she and her brother were brought by their mother to a remote commune on Vancouver Island.  What happened to Nadine?  Why was their family destroyed? And why does the name Aaron Quinn, the group’s leader, bring complex feelings of terror to Nadine even today?

And then, the unthinkable happens, and Nadine realizes that danger is closer to home than she ever imagined. She has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most…and fight back.

Sometimes you can leave the past, but you can never escape. 

Told with the  trademark powerful storytelling that has had critics praising her work as “Gripping” (Kirkus), “Jaw-dropping” (Publishers Weekly) and “Crackling with suspense” (People magazine), ALWAYS WATCHING shows why Chevy Stevens is one of the most mesmerizing new talents of our day.

My thoughts: This is the third book I've listened to by Chevy Stevens and I have to say - these books are so good!!! While not connected, they do all have a common character - psychiatrist Nadine Lavoie. In the past books, she was a minor character, but this time around, she is the main character and what a great character she is!

I loved getting to really know more about Dr. Lavoie. While she wasn't a complete stranger to me, having gotten to know her a little bit in the other two books, we get flashbacks of her childhood as the story progresses. This all comes about due to a patient that comes in - there's something about her story that hits a little too close to home for Dr. Lavoie. 

Suddenly secrets that Dr. Lavoie had buried start coming to the surface. We learn more about her daughter that is living on the streets and as time goes on, we come to find out there's more to that story as well. As much as Dr. Lavoie wants to reconnect and help her daughter, she is unable to. 

This is a tense and gripping story. The flashbacks, the mental games, cult life, the brain washing that occurred all come together to create tension and keep you on the edge of your seat, especially in the last third of the book. I had a hard time not thinking of this story when I wasn't listening to it. 

I'm eager to see what is next for Chevy Stevens...will this be the last we've seen of Dr. Nadine Lavoie?

Audio Thoughts: I really love listening to Chevy Stevens' books and Joyce Bean did a fabulous job creating unique voices for all the characters. I can still hear Dr. Lavoie's voice in my head...quite a feat considering I've listening to a few audios since this one.

*** Devourer of Books hosts Sound Bytes  - a monthly link-up to share the audio books that everyone is listening to. Stop by and you just might find your next audio book!

1 comment

  1. Sounds like a riveting book - even better that you liked the audio!


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