Published: July 6, 2010
On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.
Still Missing interweaves the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfold through sessions with her psychiatrist, with a second narrative following the events after her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.
Still Missing is a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted novel.
Once I started listening to this book I found it almost impossible to stop because after reading the blurb I knew what was coming and felt edgy waiting for it to happen.
It starts out so innocently, a young realtor doing her job showing a house on a slow day, packing up her things when a van pulls up and a man with a very friendly smile asks if he can see the house. Annie, tired and ready to get home, almost says “no”, but gives in and that one decision would change her life FOREVER.
She’s kidnapped and taken to a remote cabin, hours away from her home town. There she is raped repeatedly and put on strict schedules, when and what she can eat, when she can pee, when she can bathe,what to wear etc. There is no way out of the cabin and every cabinet and door is locked. She gets pregnant, gives birth (basically all on her own) to a daughter, who the “freak”(that’s what Annie calls her kidnapper) names after his mother. In her mind and heart, Annie gives her another name, which we find out at the end.
It goes without saying that the “freak” is seriously unstable and we find out he was sexually abused as a child and that he has killed before and gotten away with it. He’s not happy that the baby is a girl and gets very upset when she cries and won’t quiet down. In his mind she is showing him disrespect. The baby catches and severe cold and he refuses to admit she’s sick and the baby dies while in his care. He takes her away and Annie never finds out what he did with her. The baby had lived one month.
There is a turning point and a surprise twist in the story and I won’t say what they are (you’ll have to read the book) but they are doozies and change the direction of the whole story.
Although the story does not end with a HEA, in my mind I added one last chapter and gave Annie at least the HOPE of a future with happiness made possible for her. She deserved it.