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The October List    by Jeffery Deaver order for
October List
by Jeffery Deaver
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's something different from Jeffrey Deaver, best known for his brilliant Lincoln Rhyme thrillers. He's written The October List backwards, and it works remarkably well. A faster read than his usual fare, it's just as twisty and convoluted as we've come to expect from this author.

The story opens at its conclusion (though the ending remains ambiguous) on a Sunday morning with Gabriela McKenzie (mother of a kidnapped six-year-old daughter) in a Manhattan apartment with a minder named Sam Easton. Seems that the kidnappers are after The October List, a mysterious document that was in her formee boss's possession. Gabriela has been injured and is coughing up blood, but refuses to seek medical attention. Her only concern is her daughter. Then someone arrives at the apartment, gun in hand.

Other players include Daniel Reardon, Gabriela's romantic interest though they met just two days earlier; Sam's boss Andrew Faraday (both brought in by Daniel to negotiate young Sarah's release); Joseph Astor, who appears to be a hit man; Gabby's geeky friend Frank Walsh; her co-worker Elena; NYPD Detectives Naresh Surani and Brad Kepler who are tracking Gabriela, though it's not clear why; Hal Dixon who follows Daniel and Gabby 'with the eyes of a hunting dog'; and Russian mobster Peter Karpankov.

The short chapters of The October List go back briefly in time, almost a reverse 24. At each step, your current story model unravels into something just a little different, until it's turned upside down and inside out at the very end. Don't miss the author's Foreword (at the very back of the book of course) that explains how it all came about. Unusual, totally fascinating and highly recommended!

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