Book Review: The Never List

The Never ListThe Never List by Koethi Zan

The blurb: There were four of us down there for the first thirty-two months and eleven days of our captivity. And then, very suddenly and without warning, there were three. Even though the fourth person hadn’t made any noise at all in several months, the room got very quiet when she was gone. For a long time after that, we sat in silence, in the dark, each of us wondering what this meant for her and for us, and which of us would be the next in the box.


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, they failed to follow their own rules.


Sarah has spent ten years trying to forget her ordeal. But now the FBI has news that forces her to confront her worst fears.


If she is to uncover the truth about what really happened to Jennifer, Sarah needs to work with the other women who shared her nightmare. But they won’t be happy to hear from her. Because down there in the dark, Sarah wasn’t just a victim.


My Review: The Never List is one scary book. I think it’s because it plays on every woman’s fears – of being taken against your will. There’s something very primal about that scenario and it can chill you to the bone.

Four girls are captured at different times in their lives and entrapped together in a college Professor’s basement. He treats them all differently and plays on their personalities and identities – a torture of the mind. The narrator, Sarah is one of the girls and her story is chilling in its simplicity. The book also touches on what happens when your freedom is restored, there are some interesting parallels with captivity, to how they adjust to normal life.

I felt it got a little too big towards the end – the claustrophobia of the girls felt far scarier in the domestic environment of their captor’s house than the larger revealed plot at the end. I think it’s more relate-able when there are fewer elements, it’s a scenario it’s easier to place yourself in.

However I was completely absorbed with this story from beginning to end, I couldn’t put it down and it stayed with me for a long time afterwards. A great crime read – definitely pick this one up!

8 out of 10 stars! ********

BUY ME! The Never List

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