Still Mine by Amy Stuart

IMG_1639“Sometimes I dream of my escape.  In my sleep I conjure a way out, another life waiting for me beyond this one.”

Still Mine follows the story of Clare who is on the run from her former life. She ends up in Blackmore, a dreary town where a woman named Shayna has disappeared and Clare is attempting to find the answers.  Although there are parallels to Clare and Shayna’s stories, Clare’s motives and connection to the case are unclear.  As she slowly uncovers the truth behind Shayna’s disappearance, the mystery of Clare’s own past and current situation is slowly revealed.

With a mystery within a mystery type layout, there is an intrigue to Still Mine that is the perfect setup for a thriller.  The author does an excellent job of portraying the eerie feel of a dying town and the resignation of those within it.  There are so many questions surrounding Clare, her motivations, and her relationship with a mysterious man named Malcolm who appears to be the one sending her directives.  I was very much interested in Clare’s story and wanting to understand her actions, which on many occasions are highly questionable.  For me, the mystery of Shayna’s disappearance was very secondary and I was not as drawn into that aspect of the book as I would have liked.  There is a lot of lead-up and allusion to secrets and lies that surround the town and the question of what the various characters are hiding.  However, I found the lead-ups did not really lead anywhere and that the story was fairly straightforward with a predictable outcome.  So while it does provide a good mystery, for me it lacked the suspense (and thrill) of a thriller. There is the potential for a follow-up novel and I am curious as to what direction the story will possibly go.

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