June 25, 2013

Always Watching by: Chevy Stevens

Always Watching by: Chevy Stevens (2013) 
352 pages
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: I received a free ARC copy from St. Martin's Press for my honest review.
Goodreads Summary: 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 Review

Always Watching was a nice change of pace from the romance and young adult books I have been reading recently. Before reading Always Watching I hadn't read any other books by this author, including the two previous books that I think Dr. Nadine Lavoie, the main character in Always Watching, plays some role in. This didn't affect my reading experience at all. This book was not hard to follow and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even want to go back and read the previous two books that she has written! 

Dr. Nadine Lavoie leads an interesting yet hard life. I never once was uninterested in her even though she is quite older than me, sometimes I don’t enjoy books featuring a much older main character, but I really did like Nadine. She is strong and full of love. She possibly has the strongest resolve of any main character that I have ever encountered.

Always Watching is very strongly/well written, with a perfect mix of scenes from the past and present. The whole story flowed well. I will warn you that there are some very tough subjects and detailed scenes that will have your skin crawling. It didn’t make me enjoy this book any less but it was at times hard to read about. I can’t say exactly what because I don’t want to give anything away, but I just wanted to give you a warning about the ick factor  There were a few times when the tears wanted to come out when reading. So although I would say this book is depressing, it also has its uplifting moments. It really makes you stop and think about how you are choosing to live your life.

Basically, Always Watching is a very well written book with a great plot line, some interesting twists, many shocking moments, and a great main character. 

I recommend this book to people who love a psychiatrist as the main character in their stories, a good mystery, and a killer ending. Always Watching may have a few slower moments but it was a really good read and I'm glad I took the time to sit back and dive deep into Dr. Lavoie's life.

**Thanks again to St. Martin's Press for giving me a free ARC copy of Always Watching. This in no way impacted my honest review.


  1. This one sounds interesting! I will have to see if my library has it :)

    1. It was a good read. I liked that it was different than the books I have been reading lately. :)

  2. This sounds really good Kay, I love this type of book and love when they also work as standalone. ooh an there is skin crawling, I love the details in mystery/thriller. Adding to my wishlist!

  3. I don't read much Adult these days but this does sound interesting. I'm glad you liked it :D


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