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The Never List | [Koethi Zan]

The Never List

For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the "Never List" - a list of actions to be avoided. But one night, against their instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism. 10 years later, at 31, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, 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.
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Publisher's Summary

The most relentless, deeply disturbing thriller writer since Jeffery Deaver and Gillian Flynn.

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.

10 years later, at 31, 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.

©2013 Koethi Zan (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (102 )
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3.9 (93 )
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4.2 (95 )
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  •  
    W. Perry Hall 02-04-14 Member Since 2012

    S. Quire

    HELPFUL VOTES
    273
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    "Excellent Shorter Suspense Novel"

    This relatively short debut novel keeps up a steady suspenseful pace with a well-considered plot, dramatizing wickedly the psyche of female survivors of long-term degrading captivity by a psychopathic rapist. I thought the ramifications of the abuse on the friendship between 2 of the captives was played out well with an unexpected twist.

    The novel shows the great promise of bigger and better stories from a new whiz kid on the crime novel block, Koethi Zan. I will definitely look forward to the publication of her next book.

    The narrator superbly portrayed the anxiety of long-term rape survivors and enhanced the experience of the novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kali Walnut Creek, CA 10-31-13
    Kali Walnut Creek, CA 10-31-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eerie similarities to Cleveland kidnappings..."

    The Never List chronicles the aftermath of heroine Sarah’s traumatic kidnapping, in which she and her best friend were chained in a basement and tortured with two other girls. It is a quick read and it is hard not to fall for Sarah’s frank and wry narrative voice.

    Clearly, this is a book only for the bravest of readers. I was a bit hesitant about the subject matter, as I enjoy a great twisted tale of suspense but dislike the sort of gruesome and gory torture porn that horror films like Hostel have made popular. The Never List is tastefully done for such dark subject matter, in the way that I think the best tales of suspense often are. Although we get flashbacks of what Sarah and the other girls suffered through, the focus of the book is not on human suffering.

    Zan has done a great job of creating a gang of likable female sleuths who have overcome an awful trauma together. When the three kidnapping victims who escaped the basement are told their captor will be eligible for parole, they reunite to investigate loose ends of their case. The male FBI agent assigned to their case is comically absent, a benevolent force always a phone call away but a bit too slow. The Never List is the girl-power thriller that The Shining Girls wanted to be; these women are honest, flawed, strong, taking control of their past and their future.

    I heard about this book because of its odd timing – right around the time of its release (July 2013) we all watched in horror as women were rescued from Ariel Castro’s home in Cleveland. The similarities between the real life news story and the events in the work of fiction are bizarrely similar–three women kept chained in a house by a sadistic man. There is an interview on mybookishways.com about Zan’s almost surreal reaction to watching the news in Cleveland unfold. As she says, “I’d written a book based on my worst nightmare, and there it was on the screen—real.” It was such an eerie coincidence.

    You will find yourself cheering for Sarah as she overcomes fears, deals with her past, and becomes a stronger person. This is the best sort of audiobook to listen to, as it kept me looking for chores around the house I could do while I kept listening. My house is swept, my laundry is done, and I'm all finished with The Never List.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taira CHANDLER, AZ, United States 10-17-13
    Taira CHANDLER, AZ, United States 10-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved the Narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes-as long as they share my taste in books. I need gripping, thrilling stories that frighten me in real life. For the most part-this was very realistic. This book reminds me of Kiss the Girls or Copy Cat, movie with Sigourney Weaver. Mind Games!


    What other book might you compare The Never List to and why?

    Not sure of a book-but definitely the movie kiss the girls. A victim needing to relive her past to find justice for her unlikely captor.


    What does Kristen Sieh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great narration-I pictured Jodie Foster the whole time-similar voices-good voices.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither-but shocking and sad at times.


    Any additional comments?

    Never figured it out until the end-normally I do. Keeps you guessing and when you think you've figured it out-you haven't. I wish the ending was a little bit better but still showed promise in imagining what happens when it ends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaley MARION, OHIO, United States 10-03-13
    Kaley MARION, OHIO, United States 10-03-13
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    "Spine chilling and hoping for a sequel."
    What did you love best about The Never List?

    The twists and turns the plot took during the story as well as the characters.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, very much so. Just when you think you know what's what in the book, perspectives change and make you doubt your initial analysis.


    Which character – as performed by Kristen Sieh – was your favorite?

    The main character Sarah. She gave the character life and I enjoyed the developing relationship the narrator builds with you through the character.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! Definitely! Could not put it down. I usually only listen at work but I made an exception for the last two books I listened to. I just had to know what was going to play out.


    Any additional comments?

    Wonderful story line and I loved what the element of a narrator brought to the table.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Baxter, MN, United States 08-16-13
    Kathryn Baxter, MN, United States 08-16-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Decent"

    I did not find this book thrilling or fast paced or a thrill ride. As one reviewer said, it surprises that anyone would. It was OK. Not suspensful. There wasn't a whole lot of detail that went into the back ground of the story and did not find the characters to be that interesting. There wasn't enough explaination as to the 'why's' happening in the story. I found the narrator a little boring. She sounded as if she was actually reading the book as you would to a class, not enough acting it out, gripping you into it. Just boring. The premise of the book could have been a hit, but it's lack of details and relationship between the actors was a miss for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie Pine Bush, NY, United States 08-07-13
    Maggie Pine Bush, NY, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Not that gripping"
    Any additional comments?

    I was surprised that a lot of people said this was highly suspenseful and gripping. I didn't think so at all. I thought the story was a bit boring. The subject matter was dark and disturbing, but there was a lack of detail that sort of diluted all of that. Not that I really need a lot of detail to understand what's happening, but the lack of detail made the whole thing hard to believe and get into.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Council, ID, United States 07-18-13
    Heather Council, ID, United States 07-18-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Fast, thrilling read/listen..."

    I loved everything about this audible listen and can't wait for this author's next one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim FRONT ROYAL, VA, United States 02-07-14
    Kim FRONT ROYAL, VA, United States 02-07-14
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    "This book gets my stamp of approval"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Never List to be better than the print version?

    I did not get the print version


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Never List?

    mmmmm not really sure that any one thing left a memorable stamp in my mind but I know I was not so disappointed in the book that I returned it.


    What about Kristen Sieh’s performance did you like?

    Yes


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    .......


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toni HOLLY HILL, FL, United States 12-18-13
    Toni HOLLY HILL, FL, United States 12-18-13 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely loved this book!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Never List the most enjoyable?

    Fast paced, well written with an awesome narrator!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Never List?

    The telling of everyone's story. Very moving.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Addicted to Books Marietta, GA United States 11-05-13
    Addicted to Books Marietta, GA United States 11-05-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Disappointing"

    This story started out very good. It was a good idea. But the story led up to a disappointing unbelievable ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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