Clare O’Dey, an abused wife fleeing her husband, ends up investigating the disappearance of Shayna in a remote mountain community. Blackmore is slowly becoming a ghost town after a tragedy shut down the local mine. Clare insinuates herself into the town and becomes acquainted with people connected to Shayna, most of whom are nasty or untrustworthy or both.
There is so much that is unbelievable about the book. There is no ongoing police investigation even though Shayna’s disappearance is fairly recent? Clare’s abusive husband hired Malcolm to find her, but, instead, Malcolm hires her to look for Shayna even though Clare has no experience as an investigator and knows of her history with drugs? And she agrees to work for this cloak-and-dagger mystery man about whom she knows nothing? Then Clare becomes strangely intimate with Charlie, the local drug dealer, even though she has a history of drug abuse and he resembles her abusive husband? Despite the fact that no one really believes her cover as a nature photographer, she seamlessly blends herself into the life of the town? And what’s with all the similarities between Clare and Shayna? They look alike and have a similar history of substance abuse and a volatile marriage. Clare’s mother was ill for a long time; Shayna’s mother is suffering with dementia.
Clare is not a likeable character and it’s impossible to relate to her. She keeps taking such stupid actions. Her mother told her, “You don’t think of the consequences . . . You just dive headfirst. Reckless.” That trait is supposed to explain everything? What is her motivation? Are her similarities to Shayna supposed to be her reasons for insisting on staying in Blackmore even when her situation becomes more dangerous? When she’s in danger, rather than stay clear-headed, she drinks and takes drugs?
Because the protagonist is unsympathetic and the other characters are equally distasteful, I found myself not caring about what happened. It was obvious that Clare would uncover what happened to Shayna. Many people have commented about the shock of the ending but that means they totally ignored the oh-so-obvious clue of the title!
There is a sequel to this book: Still Water. I had difficulty convincing myself to finish Still Mine so I certainly won’t be checking out its follow-up. Anyone looking for a psychological thriller should look elsewhere.