Pamela Dorman Books|July 16, 2013|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-670-02651-7
For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the “Never List”: a list of actions to be avoided, for safety’s sake, at all costs. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism.
Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn’t make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail.
Finally, Sarah decides to confront her phobias and the other survivors who hold their own deep grudges against her. When she goes on a cross-country chase that takes her into the perverse world of BDSM, secret cults, and the arcane study of torture, she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying than even she could have imagined.
A shocking, blazingly fast read, Koethi Zan’s debut is a must for fans of Karin Slaughter, Laura Lippman, and S.J. Watson.
I couldn’t put this book down. It is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in quite some time. Packed full of suspense, mystery, terror, thrills, and the unknowing keep you right at the edge-of-your-seat throughout the entire book.
Sarah and Jennifer had a list called “The Never List” where they recorded every possible scenario of danger that they could possibly imagine and vowed to never get caught up in any of those situations. They made a pact to always remain safe in their world as they went about their day-to-day business.
Unfortunately, for the two girls, this just didn’t pan out the way they both thought it would when they accepted a cab ride and then found themselves being held captive by a perverted, sadistic, torturer who held them chained in a cellar for three long years. There were other girls down there with them and the conditions were deplorable.
Struggling from day-to-day was difficult at best and with no sunlight coming into the cellar they were pale and sickly looking. The chains that bound them were heavy and cumbersome and difficult to drag around any time they needed or wanted to move zapping what little strength they had. The torture they endured was horrendous and I couldn’t imagine myself enduring what they had to on a daily basis.
Now ten years later, Jack, their torturer is coming up for parole and Sarah wants to make sure he doesn’t get out so sets out on a journey to rally the other people involved in the hope of garnering enough information to give to the parole board to force them to keep Jack in prison. What Sarah and the others go through will have your heart racing and pounding with each turn of the page.
Koethi Zan set out to pen a ‘thriller’ with her debut novel The Never List and she accomplished her goal very well. I’ll definitely be keeping this as part of my permanent library collection to be read again.