“The Never List” was a psychological thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. Reminiscent of both “Sister” and “Still Missing”, this was sick and twisted in a completely new way. The premise of the book is that Sarah and her best friend write a “never list” of things not to do in order to ensure their safety. It only takes one small mistake for both girls to be held captive by a man who mentally and physically tortures them. Held captive for several years in a dark basement with three other women, Sarah did everything necessary to survive. But, the deep emotional and mental scars haunt Sarah even after she escapes. Her captor, Jack, is in prison but writes long letters to her that seem to contain clues to the location of the body of her best friend, who died shortly after being kidnapped. Determined to have closure regarding her friend’s death, Sarah reunites with the other two victims in a daring sleuthing expedition.
I generally don’t like sleuthing books where the character discovers information too easily. I will admit that Sarah did seem to come upon some of the information rather quickly, but I continued reading because the premise was really interesting and original. Throughout the novel, the author kept changing the landscape of where the story was going, which I liked. The unexpected storyline was very clever mainly because the author had a good understanding of both psychology and the emotional trauma of a hostage. Sarah was a great character because there were several points in the story where she was forced to face her fears, and this added legitimacy to the story. The ending was totally unexpected, and to me this is a mark of a good author. Zan tied up all the story lines nicely and delivered a big finish.
This book was fantastic because of the solid writing and plot! I actually started recommending it to people before I finished reading it.