The Never List by Koethi Zan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked this book from the advance reading copies on Netgalley as it sounded a bit unusual, rather dark and scary, and it certainly was.
Its the story of the kidnap of 4 young girls told in the voices of 3 of them years after the event when they are trying and almost failing to get their lives back together as survivors of a deeply traumatic event.
Sarah and her friend Jennifer survive a dreadful accident, defying massive odds then devote their teenage years to trying to narrow the odds against anything else terrible happening - you could say they become obsessed with creating their never list of all manner of things which might be dangerous and if avoided will lessen their chances of "bad things" happening.
But you can't outwit fate and the unthinkable does happen and they end up incarcerated in a dark cellar at the hands of a madman. As the story is told from the survivors perspective 10 years later the events are drip fed to us in small bites, leaving an awful lot to the imagination. I think I'd have possibly preferred a slightly more direct approach as I need things spelling out to me! It brushes on sado masochism, torture and hints at unimaginable depravities, but I was a bit frustrated at times and would actually have liked to know a bit more about what was actually supposed to have been done. Its very tense but it didn't quite horrify me as much as I was expecting given the subject matter.
However the drip drip effect works in keeping you on the edge of your seat, a real page turner and there are quite a few twists and turns which build up to not one but two climaxes.
The writing style reminded me very much of the style of Dark Places and I think it would also appeal to anyone who liked Still Missing