This review is full of spoilers, because I can’t discuss the absurdity without saying what it is!
Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens
Source: The dollar store.
Rating: 3/5 stars
The premise of this book is interesting. There’s a woman who was adopted at birth, she decides to seek her birth parents, and then she discovers that her birth father is a serial killer. Then, she spends the rest of the book acting like an idiot. To be fair, multiple other people act like idiots too, so I think it’s just something in the water up there. Sorry Canada, this isn’t directed to all of you. Just the imaginary town up there.
The thing that stuck out the most wasn’t even the plot line. It’s how terribly behaved the main character’s daughter is. She is an ill mannered little snot. At one point she kicks the family dog. Then she throws a book at the poor creature. Obnoxious, bratty child. What gets me is that we are supposed to feel sympathize with this child. We are supposed to say, oh, it’s so sad, her mother doesn’t have time for her anymore! But throughout the course of the book, the mother spends tons of time with her daughter. And her daughter continually misbehaves. Other than just being rotten, she ignores her mother’s request for silence (On the phone!), she throws hissy fits at the drop of a hat, and she was mad that her mother wouldn’t get the exact toy desired for another child’s birthday. Not that the mother didn’t get a birthday present, she just couldn’t get the one requested due to the store being out of them. But yet the child whines and cries and the mother tells herself what a bad mother she is.
The main character (who I will call Sara, as that seems to be her name. I had to check) tells the reader over and over what a terrible temper she has. She even had to go to therapy! But this temper doesn’t manifest itself at all during the course of the book. She never gets mad at her child, even when child attacks the family dog. The extent of her rage is “You go to your bedroom!!” And even then she feels bad about it. So bad about it, she decides never to discuss this act of cruelty with her daughter again, and decides to pretend it never happened.
The discussion of “temper” is supposed to be her connection with her serial killer father. For you see, the police decide the best way to catch her serial killer father is for her to talk on the phone to him. That’s the basis for the whole book, is these calls she has with her father. He calls her whenever he feels like he’s going to commit a murder and it becomes her job to talk him out of it. The police even blame her when he commits a murder anyway. Because even though they are each their own person, she somehow is able to control him through the phone. That’s some fine police work. She also has migraines and while talking to her dad later, discovers his migraines are the reason he kills, because they make his migraines go away. As a sufferer of migraines, this is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. No one with a true migraine wants to go wandering through the woods looking for some one to murder. They want to curl up in the darkest space possible and put a pillow over their head to muffle any sound. Also I’ve never had one go away without medicine, so I’m not sure how murdering someone is somehow a cure for a migraine. But that’s why I’m not a doctor I suppose.
After an entire book of conversations with serial killer father, he finally appears in person. He steals the obnoxious child!! I knew he would the second that Sara told her daughter the safe word for trusting people was their dog’s name. I’m sure she intended for that to never come up in any conversation anywhere, with any casual stranger. Because if it’s one thing people hate knowing, it’s your dog’s name.
So he steals the daughter, tells the mother she has to come meet him, and they all end up at a campground someplace. Then the most anti-climatic showdown with the serial killer occurs. Sara sense a moment to run, grabs her daughter and goes for it. The serial killer, who has mentioned many times how running triggers his murdering rage, comes after them, but does not going into killing rage. Just kind of acts stupid. Then Sara kills him. The end.
But wait, there’s more! Once I read this, I was wondering why there were so many pages left.
Every thing is wrapped up into a neat bundle, except, the cop on her case tells her that the bullet casing from an attempt on her fiancee’s life does not match any gun the serial kill owns. Sara wants to discuss her theories with this cop, who she has become friendly with, so she invites him over to her house. She brings up all kinds of theories, and then turns to get coffee for them. When she turns back around, the cop has his gun pointed at her. For you see, he was the one who attempted to kill her fiancee!
The reason is really dumb. He wanted to give Sara more motivation to talk to her serial killer father to try to catch him. I don’t think police operate like this. Canada, what say you? This takes place in your country! Also, it did not occur to Sara at all that the cop had anything to do with shooting her fiancee. Her pea brain didn’t have the slightest idea that he could be involved. He basically revealed himself to her, probably because the author was sick of writing this book and just wanted a WHOA twist ending!
Then the more boring murder scene possible where he debates how to kill her, and then decides to make it look like suicide, makes her takes pills, write a suicide note. Then her nosy sister shows up, and through the art of seduction (not really understanding what’s going on here) somehow confuses the cop.
Then one or both of them kill the cop. And now finally, everything is wrapped up in a neat little package.
Oh, except for this other minor character, her therapist. The whole book is written like she’s talking to her therapist (most annoying way of writing possible), who is suddenly named about halfway through the book. I don’t remember what it is though, but she’s never given an active role at all. Poor woman, she’s either talked to, or about, but never gets her own voice. Then she gets attacked, but they never figure out who attacked her. She was never important enough for it to matter.
Overall, the characters were irritating and unlikable. I didn’t even get into the other obnoxious characters, but rest assured, they are there. In fact, it’s easier to say that the only non-annoying characters are her adopted mother, and her sister Lauren. But, plot twist, Lauren is the one that caused this all to happen in the first place!
It was interesting enough that I kept reading, which is why I give this book 3 stars. It would have been better if there was a bit more actual action and less self analyzing by Sara. And I’m not even a person who needs action, but when you talk it up the whole book, and then the climax is like two pages, it’s a let down.
Overall, it was worth the $1 I paid for it.