Always Watching by Chevy Stevens

Always Watching

3 stars***
I have an interest in reading books that give us an opportunity to think about how one person can hold power over someone else in ways that are mind boggling. This is one of those stories. I was a fan of another title written by this author called "Still Missing" and so was immediately intrigued to read this one.
In this story we have Nadine who is a psychiatrist who suffers from claustrophobia and panic attacks. She has never been able to understand why until she treats a patient that triggers memories that had long since been suppressed from her childhood. She had spent a short time living in a commune lead by a mentally disturbed but charismatic man named Aaron when she was 13. Aaron had the ability to manipulate and control individuals in such a way that he had built a very large and devoted group of followers. In most of their eyes he could do no wrong. But, as the story unfolds we come to slowly realize what Aaron is truly capable of. In a sense... he is always watching and he must always maintain control even after his people leave.
The story was engaging enough that I wanted to see it to the end but I can't say that I enjoyed it. I suppose the content was a bit too disturbing and it just seemed that Nadine (who is a psychiatrist) just seemed to be awfully out of touch emotionally with just about everyone around her. Her reactions to her daughters behavior throughout the book seemed unrealistic. Not how I would have reacted. So, I was unable to connect with her on an emotional level.
Also, physical or sexual abuse against children is something that is very hard for me to read about even in fiction. Some of the events that took place at the commune involved children and I needed to skim through those bits. Just FYI for anyone who may be sensitive to this type of content.
The story was a bit slow moving until the last 25% of the book. That was when I really started turning the pages and when all of the loose ends were finally being pulled together.
This book will appeal to someone who has an interest in stories that explore the idea of suppressed memories and one who may be curious about how easily the human mind can be manipulated by fear. Not a bad read but not as good as Still Missing... In my humble opinion!

ARC provided by netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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