(1)The Never List by Koethi Zan

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Never List 

Pages: 320
Publication Date:  July 16, 2013

Disturbing.  Absolutely disturbing. The first book I read in the new year is a haunting tale that will stick with me for some time.

Ten years ago Sarah escaped an unimaginable hell. The kind of hell you hear about occasionally on the evening news.  Most recently out of Ohio.  Sarah was one of four women held captive in a basement torture chamber.  One of those women, her best friend,  Jennifer, did not make it out alive. In the ten years since Sarah escaped she has changed her name, moved to a city known for anonymity and rarely leaves her house.  The terror she felt ten years ago still terrorizes her today.  When rumor has it that her captor is up for parole, Sarah is willing to do anything to prevent his release. Including to going back to to the city of her prison and try to find information that will help keep him in prison. With the help of Tracy, one of the other girls held captive with her, they start piecing together a past that is so much more sinister than the FBI ever imagined.   Human trafficking, sex slaves, and torture on such a grand scale it may give you nightmares.  When the ladies start to uncover this information they realize that they may still be in grave danger.  Will they be able to escape this hell a second time?

The Never List started out a little slow, but quickly turned into a book that I could not put down.  To say the hell that Sarah and the other survived messed with their heads is a gross understatement.   They each have their "quirks" that come into play throughout the story.  The man who held them captive, Jack Derber, is right up there with Hannibal Lector. His twisted obsessions and "research" is truly the stuff nightmares are made of.  There are other players in the story that add more flavor to the story, like Sylvia.  And Noah Philbin, then there is the FBI agent that plays somewhat of a father figure role to the survivors.  All the elements together it makes a great psychological thriller.

Bottom line, psychological thrillers are one of my favorite genre to read, but The Never List  is one that is going to stick with me for a while.  The terror those women faced was so well written that it became my terror.  It takes a certain (twisted?) kind of person to enjoy psychological thrillers of this magnitude, so read with caution.

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