Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Never List – Koethi Zan

Psychological Thriller 4*'s
Psychological Thriller

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.

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Stolen – Rebecca Muddiman

Crime Novel 4*'s
Crime Novel

Abby Henshaw is forcibly removed from her car by two men following a deliberate collision. Her baby daughter Beth is left alone in the car. Before Abby is able to return she disappears. DI Michael Gardner is running the investigation into Beth’s disappearance and uncovers secrets and lies that cause Abby’s life to completely unravel.

This book details the long search for Beth both by DI Gardner who is battling negative publicity from the media as he becomes frustrated at the unresolved mystery. When Abby receives an anonymous tip off on where to find Beth she struggles to make anyone listen not least because DI Gardner now has another missing child to find.

Rebecca Muddiman has written a book moves along at a fair pace with enough twists and turns to keep the reader’s interest although the first few chapters were fairly predictable the tension soon ratcheted up as Abby’s obsession with finding her daughter seemed increasingly futile. A great holiday read.