“As gripping as last summer’s Gone Girl—but darker, and with an eerie timeliness—Koethi Zan’s debut novel . . . is this year’s edge-of-your-towel beach reach.”
“This fast-paced, disturbing thriller boasts a chilling premise as well as a layered first-person narrative full of shocking twists and turns.”
“Zan’s first novel is a haunting depiction of the emotional scars left on women held in captivity.”
“It will have you turning pages late into the night.”
—BookTrib Review Crew, Mary H. Ward
When Sarah and Jennifer were young, Jennifer’s mother is killed in a car accident. She grows up with a father that ends up in prison and moves in with Sarah and her family. Sarah and Jennifer create The Never List. It’s a list of statistics and facts about things and places they should avoid to be “safe”. They live by this list and when they are off to college, they tend to feel a little freer and even though they stick to the list, one night after a party, they call a car service. Once inside the car, they realize that they are locked in and when they see the line leading into the backseat with some sort of gas, they know they are in trouble. Thus begins years and years of captivity and torture.
We come into the present day and Sarah is now living her life as Caroline Morrow. The FBI agent assigned to her case has come to tell her that Jack Derber, her kidnapper, is up for parole. He wants her to speak at the hearing so he doesn’t get out. Caroline has been receiving letters from Jack for years. He’s teasing her about finding the body of her friend Jennifer. It’s the one thing that Caroline wishes she could do. After escaping from Jack, Caroline has only wanted to know where Jennifer was buried. The newest letter gets her thinking and actually gets her out of her apartment which she never leaves. She finds the other two women who were held captive with them and sets out to find out what is really going on with Jack. Tracy and Christine have both gone on to different kinds of lives than Sarah since their shared trauma. And they too harbor their own secrets and feelings about Sarah.
Wow! Besides the creepy factor, this story takes you on such a wild ride through the world of bondage and sadism to secret societies in college to human trafficking. You think you know where the book is heading and then it veers off course into a small town and a church with their own secrets. It will have you turning pages late into the night to find out if Sarah is successful, what other secrets will be discovered, and just where is Jennifer?! I picked this up yesterday afternoon and finished it in the wee hours of the morning. Great read!
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