Never Knowing

Never Knowing

3.86 (21,489 ratings by Goodreads)
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From the acclaimed author of "Still Missing" comes a psychological thriller about one woman's search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers. All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have an ideal home life. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and to find closure. But some questions are better left unanswered. After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother---only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: Her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her. What if murder is in your blood? "Never Knowing" is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman's quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive. . . .
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Product details

  • Hardback | 410 pages
  • 162.56 x 241.3 x 38.1mm | 521.63g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0312595689
  • 9780312595685
  • 652,913

Review quote

"Block off the weekend, grab a comfy seat and prepare for the rocket ride of your life! Never Knowing will consume you with the desire to read every page, gasp at every twist and know every last secret between one woman and her serial killer father."--Lisa Gardener, #1 New York Times bestselling author of "Love You More""NEVER KNOWING is a chilling thriller with enough twists and turns so every time I thought I knew where it was going I was taken somewhere else. I have a feeling that Chevy Stevens is an author who is going to keep getting better and better with each book! I hope I'm still around for the next six -- at which point she'll probably give me a heart attack. But what a great way to go out!"--Lois Duncan, author of "I Know What You Did Last Summer.""A terrifying, chilling scenario that unfolds into a nightmare and had me keeping the light on at night."--Rosamund Lupton, bestselling author of "Sister"" Stevens takes us on a wild ride in this action-packed book." --"The Globe and Mail""Stevens's unnerving stand-alone thriller about a woman's search for her birth parents matches the intensity of her impressive debut.... the skillful storytelling never flags." --"Publishers Weekly""As finely calculated in its escalating suspense as Stevens' grueling debut." --"Kirkus Reviews""Stevens' second novel is a knockout, starting strong and finishing even stronger." --"RT Book Reviews""If you love racing through a psychological thriller, or if you're interested in writing within this genre, read both of these novels back to back and witness the development of a talented new storyteller." --"National Post""The action is non-stop and the story flows without a bump." --"Seattle Post Intelligencer""This is an excellent beach read because you'll find you can't put the book down for more than a moment once you pick it up, so have an open day planned." --"The Surrey Now""Never Knowing is a thrilling read.... Stevens is establishing herself as a w
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About Chevy Stevens

Chevy Stevens is the author of "Still Missing." Before becoming a writer, she worked as a realtor. When she held open houses, she had a lot of time waiting by herself between potential buyers, and Stevens would spend this time scaring herself with all the things that could happen to her. The most terrifying scenario she thought up became the story behind "Still Missing." Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island, and she still calls the island home. When she's not writing, she's hiking with her husband and her dog in the local mountains.
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Rating details

21,489 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 29% (6,163)
4 39% (8,376)
3 24% (5,178)
2 6% (1,325)
1 2% (447)

Our customer reviews

Sara, a successful antiques finisher in Vancouver Island, lives with her young daughter, Ally and easy going fiance, Evan, the owner and guide at a wilderness lodge on the coast. She has always know she was adopted but since the birth of her daughter and with her impending marriage plans, Sara decides to seek out her birth mother. What she discovers of her biological parentage is a nightmare that threatens everything she loves. Told in the first person using a series of sessions with her psychiatrist as chapter delineations, Sara Gallagher is the protagonist of Never Knowing. Prone to anxiety and anger management issues, Sara is not the most likeable of characters. Her impulsive and obsessive behaviour manifests in disordered and self centered thinking as evidenced by her continual pursuit of her biological mother. She is a sympathetic character though, scapegoated by her adoptive father in favour of her two sisters, the father of her child killed in a car accident before her daughter is born, a history of poor relationships and rejected by her biological mother have had implications for her mental health. Discovering the horror of the circumstances of her birth would have been overwhelming for anyone and while Sara's responses to the events she faces are not entirely rational, they are suited to her complex and unpredictable character. Easily manipulated, Sara is the ideal victim for the police desperate to stop a serial killer, an envious sister and a sociopathic father. While I didn't particularly like Sara, it is actually the frantic, breathless anxiety that she feels that had me turning pages compulsively. My skin fairly crawled with a sense of urgency and stupidly I began reading this at 1am, reluctantly having to put it down at 3am before finishing the last hundred pages the moment I awakened. Never Knowing is a psychological thriller with surprising twists, intriguing characterisations and a relentless pace. The heroine might be a sticking point for some readers but it's worth taking the chance. *While this book was released mid 2011 in the US it has just been releases here and I read an uncorrected proof of the Australian publications and though I doubt there would be any significant differences between the two copies, it is possible.*show more
by Shelley Cusbert
Sara Gallagher is a 33-year-old furniture restorer living in Victoria, BC. An adoptive child, Sara's adoptive father has always shown a preference for his two natural daughters, treating Sara at best as an afterthought or a simple annoyance. Her adoptive mother has Crohn's disease, and even though she shows much love for Sara, her illness often leaves her weak and incapacitated. Evan, her soon-to-be-husband, owns a fishing lodge, and is often away from home. In this narrative, Sara discusses her life and events with Nadine, a psychiatrist that is helping her deal with her anger issues (she pushed an ex-boyfriend named Derek down the stairs for cheating on her). Sara also has a 6-year-old daughter named Ally from a previous relationship. Sara left Jason (Ally's rather) when she was five months pregnant, and he died in a car crash before Ally was born. In Sara's quest to find out more about her birth mother, her birth mother rejects her out of hand. As Sara researches some more, she discovers that her actual father might be a serial killer dubbed The Campsite Killer. He has never been caught, and Sara's birth mother (Julia Laroche, formerly Karen Christianson) is his only surviving victim, although she has started over with a new life and a new name. An Internet article outs Julia's secret, and Sara finds herself a target of The Campsite Killer, who never knew she existed. Now ... I'm ready to duck the slings and arrows, as I can tell that I'm in the minority here, but I didn't get too much of a sense of suspense in this novel. For me, it read like a bad Lifetime movie, and Sara is an annoying, whiny woman who puts herself in untenable positions by her own actions and then wonders why she's in the position in the first place. Much of the "action" I could see coming from a mile away, and, as I read, I kept hoping it would become better and draw me in, but it didn't. It did not feel realistic, in spite of a couple of gasp-inducing moments. It was an OK read, but not a stunner. I do have Still Missing on my bookshelf, and I will give the author another try with that one. To be fair, I will stress again that I am in the minority of the reviewers, as most seemed to like this one very much. QUOTES She'd spoken to me like I was something she'd stepped in, something she wanted to scrape off her shoe. My face burned and tears stung my eyes when I thought what I always thought after an ex-boyfriend dumped me or stood me up, or when Dad didn't hold my hand when I reached for his: What's wrong with me? I remembered how Dad would watch Lauren and Melanie on Christmas morning, how he'd smile when they opened their presents, but he'd leave the room to refill his coffee when it was my turn. You'll hear about this tonight on the news, but I wanted to tell you myself. If I can, that is. All the way here I practiced saying the words out loud, but . . . it's just so hard. I haven't even told Evan yet - he's out on the boat. But I have to tell someone. I have to get this feeling out of me. I feel like Lady Macbeth trying to wash the blood off her hands. Writing: 4 out of 5 stars Plot: 3 out of 5 stars Characters: 2 out of 5 stars Reading Immersion: 3 out 5 stars BOOK RATING: 3 out of 5 starsshow more
by Julie Smith
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