"Still Mine" by Amy Stuart

Clare is on the run and the remote mining town of Blackmore may be the best place for her to hide. Blackmore was once a prosperous town but when the mine closed after a devastating accident, the town and its residents began to crumble. The people are already suspicious of the newcomer in their midst and when she begins to ask questions about Shayna Fowles, a local girl who is missing, they want to know what she is really doing in their town.

But Clare isn’t the only one with secrets. Jared is Shayna’s ex-husband and suspect number one according to most people in the town. There is also Charlie, the town’s dealer and the one who supplied Shayna with the drugs she was addicted to when she went missing. Shayna’s parents Louise and Wilfred are not only dealing with tragedy of their missing daughter but the deterioration of Louise’s mind.  And Louise’s doctor Derek, who tried desperately to get Shayna to go to rehab, seems to be a little to close to the family. As Clare gets to know them, she realizes that someone knows more about Shayna’s disappearance than they are letting on. But will she be able to figure it out before her past catches up with her?

Still Mine, by Amy Stuart, is a thrilling novel about secrets, lies, and how well people can really run from their pasts.

A few months ago I read a quick write-up about this book in a 2016 Canadian books preview and just from the small blurb I was hooked. Which is interesting to me now because based on that blurb I was also expecting something completely different from what the book actually was but it turns out that is not a bad thing. This book actually surpassed my expectations.

Lately I’ve been gravitating toward mysteries and thrillers and this is another great one. But this book had me guessing until the end which hasn’t happened for me with the genre lately. Usually at the halfway point I can see where the book is going and that did not happen here. I had some ideas, but it turns out I was wrong.

I loved the setting of this book as well as the backstory of the town and its people. There was a very cold feel to the book which made it all the more thrilling. The setting jumped off the page for me and as someone who desperately hopes the word “remote” never applies to her own surroundings, it made this a thrilling read.

The story is about both Clare and Shayna. At times through the book I felt as though I wanted more of Clare’s backstory. I understand that by releasing this bit by bit, the book becomes a much more suspenseful read but I really wanted more. More about Malcolm, more about what brought Clare to the place she is in. I read somewhere that there is going to be a sequel. I don’t know if this is confirmed but I will be very happy if this is true.

Overall this is a very good, very strong debut novel and is a great choice for people who love mysteries and thrillers. And it’s Canadian, so it doesn’t get any better! 


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