It’s great when publishers put a little extra attention to detail into the covers and presentation of the books they release. A good case in point is the early copy of The Never List, by Koethi Zan, which we’ve just received from Harvill Secker. The matt black cardboard slipcase has a die-cut keyhole punched out of it, through which you can read some courier script, telling you what the book’s about. Cryptically, the letters E-S-C-A-P and E are printed in red. Blood red. And instead of gold leaf down the side of the pages, they’re jet-black.
This debut novel comes out on 18 July and tells the tale of four college students who go through an ordeal and a half. Jennifer and Sarah are cautious by nature, and as they start university they write a set of rules for themselves – never get in the car, never go out alone after dark, never take risks, never trust anyone. “We believed our paranoia would protect us,” one of them says on page two.
Their paranoia is well founded. After failing to follow their rules, four of them end up being held captive for 32 months and 11 days. Even worse, something nasty goes on during their captivity and one of them doesn’t come out alive. A decade later, Sarah is trying to forget the ordeal, but the FBI has been in touch with news that dredges up the horrible memories. Working with the other two women who survived, she has to revisit the nightmare in order to keep the perpetrator behind bars. The question, in this dark psychological thriller, is how exactly did one of them die?
Have a look at the wonderfully produced advance copy we’ve received. Hopefully HS will do something equally enticing with the on-sale version in July…