I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The October List by Jeffery Deaver
Published by Grand Central Publishing on October 1st 2013
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Also by this author: A Textbook Case, The Kill Room, The Skin Collector
Gabriela McKenzie's daughter has been kidnapped. In exchange for her safe return, her abductors demand two things: $400,000 in cash and a document known as the "October List." Gabriela has thirty hours to deliver both. Coming up with such a huge sum of money is difficult enough. But Gabriela has no idea what the October List is, much less where it is or how to get it. With the help of Daniel Reardon a charismatic but mysterious man with an agenda of his own Gabriela rushes headlong into a desperate search to solve the puzzle of the October List. And if she fails, she and her daughter will pay a fatal price.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
Gabriela awaits news of her daughter who was abducted two days prior. The kidnapper has demanded $400,000 and a document known as ‘The October List’ of which she has been scrambling to identify in order to save her daughter. The door to the apartment opens but it’s not the FBI and it’s not the negotiators; it’s the kidnapper and he’s holding a gun. That’s the thrilling introduction that seemingly gives everything away right off the bat but nothing is as it seems.
The October List is told in reverse chronology, where a tale is told from ending to beginning. Thinking you’re given the answers right off the bat slowly becomes an impossibility as the story progresses and you have to continue altering your opinion as more facts are introduced. It’s an impressive tale of misdirection.
It worked well in theory but I had a lot of trouble keeping track of who was who because of the lack of distinction between the characters in the apparent attempt to retain the mystery surrounding everything. The story is written at a breakneck speed and you can often find yourself left in its dust as you struggle to catch up, but it does slowly come together and begin to make sense around the halfway point (the book is only 289 pages though so it doesn’t take long). It worked but it didn’t and by the time everything is disclosed I was impressed at the false assumptions the introduction produced.