“The October List” by Jeffery Deaver. Grand Central Publishing,2013. $26.00, 320 pages.
Gabriela McKenzie sits, waiting desperately for news of her kidnapped daughter, praying for a positive outcome in the attempt to
recover her. But when the door opens and the kidnapper appears, gun in hand, it seems that everything has gone terribly wrong.
That’s how the story ends, but how did it begin?
In “The October List,” Jeffery Deaver presents us an unusual tale, beginning at the ending and ending at the beginning. As we jump backwards from Gabriela’s heartbreak, we discover that her six year old daughter has been taken to force her to recover a mysterious document known as the October List from her recently vanished boss along with a half million dollar ransom.
Further complicating matters are the police officers searching for Gabriela, mysterious men following her, and the threats of
unspeakable violence to her daughter from an unsympathetic kidnapper, not to mention the mobsters and FBI agents that are
somehow involved with the October List.
But the further back we go and more particulars are revealed, it becomes
clear that there’s much more to this story than just a kidnapped child and a mysterious list. There’s deception and greed at every turn of the tale, and the more we learn the less we find that we actually know.
“The October List” is an interesting book. By starting at the end, Deaver has given us a finished story, but it’s not until you get to the beginning (or is it the end?) that you see just how brilliantly everything comes together. As always, Deaver misdirects and distracts the reader like a skillful magician, keeping your attention on one thing so he can pull off a fantastic trick while you’re not looking.
“The October List” is a definite page-turner. By utilizing this unusual format, Deaver has delivered an engaging narrative that’s kind of like watching someone unravel a sweater. It’s not until all the pieces are in front of you that you can see just how m
uch it took to put it together. The only downside to “The October List” is that as soon as you finish the final page, you’re going to want to pick it right back up to see just what it was you missed the first time through.
Rebekah Scott is a reference librarian at May Memorial Public Library. Visit us on the web at www.alamancelibraries.org.