The Never List by Koethi Zan

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Zan delivers harrowing, if often far-fetched, and not for the faint-hearted, action.
-Publishers Weekly


An international bestseller from 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.

Ten years later, at thirty-one, 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.

About Koethi Zan

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Koethi Zan was born and raised in rural Alabama, then moved to New York City after earning a J.D. from Yale Law School. She practiced entertainment law for more than fifteen years, working in film, television, and theater, most recently at MTV. She now lives in upstate New York with her husband and children.
Published July 16, 2013 by Penguin Books. 321 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Never List
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1


Above average
Reviewed by Alison Flood on Aug 17 2013

There are issues with this novel. After painting Sarah as a recluse unable to leave her flat, it's hard to quite believe her conversion to dauntless investigator, and Zan's story spirals a little out of control...

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Publishers Weekly

on May 13 2013

Zan delivers harrowing, if often far-fetched, and not for the faint-hearted, action.

Read Full Review of The Never List | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly


on May 18 2013

Zan's first novel is a haunting depiction of the emotional scars left on women held in captivity.

Read Full Review of The Never List | See more reviews from Kirkus

Crime Fiction Lover

Reviewed by DEATHBECOMESHER on Jul 29 2013

This is an astonishingly assured debut, and a thoroughly absorbing book which will keep you gripped to the very end. Set aside a whole block of time to read it, because you won’t want to put it down.

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Karen Russo 8 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

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Lectus cn 28 Nov 2013

The story started out very good, but then it took a predictable turn. After page 200 everything became a typical cliche.

For instance, Sarah became the typical character that knows she shouldn'...

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