Sarah lives in her pristine apartment rarely venturing beyond the safety of the front door. Why? Well ten years before the story begins she was one of four girls who were kept and tortured by Jack Derber in the cellar of his house. Having escaped from three years of hell Sarah now has a problem, Jack Derber is up for parole and together with the two other survivors from the time in the cellar, Sarah needs to engage with the board to keep him in prison where he belongs. Do the letters that Jack has been sending from prison hold clues as to what his motive for keeping them really were?
This book has a fantastic opening, Sarah and her best friend Jennifer devise The Never List as children, a way to keep them safe from the vagaries of the world but by the time the two go to college it has become something of an obsession. What is shocking after all the edicts on how to keep them safe is that they are captured by the Psychology Professor at their college.
This is a book full of suspense but what I enjoyed most was the psychological effects, not only after the girls are released, but how they behaved towards each other in captivity. This is one dark book that illustrates the survivor mechanism in action. As Sarah investigates she seeks out those who knew Jack and her trail leads her into a wide variety of characters, none of whom seem to be particularly pleasant. Some of these secondary characters seemed a little clichéd and two-dimensional but all had something to add to Sarah’s determined investigation.
I found the story slowed somewhat in the middle section, but the ending gets top marks from me as Sarah is determined to find out what happened to her friend Jennifer who has not been since she was captured….
A thrilling book with loads of action which has had the honour of being on Richard & Judy Book Club spring list. I received this book from the publisher Random House UK in return for this honest review.