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The Never List


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ESCAPE IS JUST THE BEGINNING... A shocking, edge-of-your seat thriller from a stunning new voice in crime fiction.

About the Author

Koethi Zan was born and raised in rural Alabama. She attended Yale Law School and currently lives in an old farmhouse in upstate New York. The Never List is her first novel.


"Throat-clutching from the outset! The Never List stands as a sterling example of psychological thriller writing at its best. Cancel appointments and give up on sleep. It's that kind of book" -- Jeffery Deaver "Sent icicles down my spine. One of the scariest thrillers I've ever read. This should be on every mystery reader's must-read list" -- Tess Gerritsen "Instantly enthralling and relentlessly addictive, The Never List will have your eyes boggling and your jaw dangling from the very start - not least because of an absolutely genius humdinger of a twist... A thrilling, frightening, fast-paced and thought-provoking triumph of a debut. Turn off your phone and disable the doorbell, because you will not want to be disturbed" Heat "A read-in-one-go sort of book, and if you're after a genuinely disturbing thriller to take on holiday this summer, it'll be hard to beat" -- Alison Flood Observer "From the first page of The Never List you have to know how this terrifying book will possibly end...it's impossible to put down. Even a casual glance will tell you this is no ordinary thriller: you will lose sleep over it. A book to devour in one sitting" -- Elizabeth Haynes

Less could have been more in Zan's riveting but flawed debut, a psychological thriller. A decade after Sarah Farber helped convict Jack Derber, a University of Oregon psychology professor, for keeping her, along with her best friend Jennifer and two other college-age girls, shackled and naked in the cellar of a remote cabin for almost three years, in between bouts of torture, Sarah leads a hermetic existence as an accountant with a new identity in New York City. Meanwhile, Derber manages to send creepy letters to Sarah and his other former captives via the FBI while imprisoned. With Derber's first parole hearing looming, Sarah resolves to fly cross-country and attempt to follow the clues in these missives to find evidence that might put the sadist away for good. As Sarah and the other three victims probe Derber's ties to a cultlike church that his wife attends, Zan delivers harrowing, if often far-fetched, and not for the faint-hearted, action. 5-city author tour. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Although best friends Sarah and Jennifer spent their entire childhood compiling the "Never List"- a set of detailed instructions designed to keep them safe from harm-it wasn't enough to protect them from the sadist who abducted the girls from their college campus and kept them chained in a dark basement for three years while subjecting them to physical and psychological torture. A decade after Sarah's escape from captivity, she continues to struggle with the knowledge that Jennifer did not survive. But when Sarah learns that her kidnapper is coming up for parole, she decides that it's time to confront, once and for all, the terrible events of her past. VERDICT This fast-paced, disturbing thriller boasts a chilling premise as well as a layered first-person narrative full of shocking twists and turns. [See Prepub Alert, 2/1/13.] (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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