Thursday, April 3, 2014

The October List

by Jeffery Deaver

The October List is Jeffery Deaver's attempt to write a reverse. His idea was to start at the end of the story and have each successive chapter take place an hour or two earlier. An interesting idea, but a challenging one to pull off successfully, especially for an author known for misdirection and surprising twists in his books. How can you have an unexpected ending to a book that begins at the end and ends at the beginning?

At the beginning of the book (chapter 36) Gabriela McKenzie, the office manager for an investment company is waiting in her New York apartment to learn the fate of Sarah, her six-year-old daughter. Sarah was kidnapped a couple of days ago (or a few chapters later) and was being held for a ransom of $400K and an enigmatic list of her company's highest profile clients known as "The October List."

As each successive chapter unfolds, Deaver slowly reveals that things are not as straight forward as they first appear. Unfortunately his story gets bogged down by the method in which he tries to tell it. It's clever at times, but for me, the effort it took to read it in reverse chronological order, wasn't rewarded at the end...the beginning.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

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