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The October List

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  6,176 Ratings  ·  1,258 Reviews
Gabriela waits desperately for news of her abducted daughter.
At last, the door opens.
But it's not the negotiators. It's not the FBI.
It's the kidnapper.
And he has a gun.

How did it come to this?

Two days ago, Gabriela's life was normal. Then, out of the blue, she gets word that her six-year-old daughter has been taken. She's given an ultimatum: pay half a million dollars and
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2013)
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Michael If writers never experimented, we'd never have invented the novel, let alone the thriller, the mystery, or any of the other genres that we love so…moreIf writers never experimented, we'd never have invented the novel, let alone the thriller, the mystery, or any of the other genres that we love so much these days.

Deaver chose to narrate the novel backwards because it gave him an interesting way to reveal the plot and to make the reader think about what the characters are doing, who they are, and what their motivations are. I didn't find it difficult to follow at all, but everyone has their own tastes.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Albert Riehle
Sep 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Did not finish. In fact, I didn't get past page 25. The inattention to detail by this author is a real problem for me. The book starts with a mother waiting to hear news of whether her kidnapped daughter is safe, dead, maimed, hurt, healthy, happy? How does she spend this time? Assessing how "fit" the guy waiting with her is and thinking about romantic times she had with another character who is out there trying to rescue her daughter. I know a lot of moms. Not one of them would think about sex ...more
Patrice Hoffman
I didn’t think Jeffery Deaver would be able to pull it off writing a novel in reverse but I must say, although a little gimmicky, he does it quite well. The ending, which is in fact the beginning, was nothing at all like I thought it’d be.

The October List is a document that is causing all types of hell for Gabriela McKenzie. A man approaches her with news that Sarah, her daughter, has been kidnapped and to get her back she must supply him with the October List. But what exactly is the October L
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it

Jeffery Deaver tried a different approach with this mystery, which begins with the last chapter and works backwards to the first chapter. Thus things happen that seem inexplicable in the moment.....but lead to "AHA" moments as you keep reading. It's good fun once you get used to it.

I don't want my review to be a spoiler, so I'll just give a brief description of the plot.


Gabriela McKenzie is the office manager for investment counselor Charles Prescott, whose company - Prescott Investments -
Ray Palen
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE OCTOBER LIST is a brilliant concept crime thriller and perhaps the most challenging and difficult novel Jeffery Deaver has ever written. The ‘gimmick’ per se is the fact that the novel is written backwards with the action unraveling in reverse order.

This type of story-telling has been seen on film --- the stunning ‘Memento’ --- and other movies with non-linear plot-lines like ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ’21 Grams’. Using the word gimmick reduces the accomplishment and I want to ensure readers that De
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The October List is a stand-alone novel by popular American author, Jeffery Deaver. Early on a September Sunday evening, Gabriela McKenzie waits nervously in a “safe” apartment with minder, Sam Easton, for news of the negotiation with her daughter’s kidnapper. She is hoping her new (and apparently wealthy) friend, Daniel Reardon and his expert team can save Sarah. Her kidnapper is demanding a large sum of money, and something called The October List. But when the door opens, a shock awaits: the ...more
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Based on the average of 2-1/2 stars this book has earned (as of this writing) at, I'm definitely going against the grain with five stars on this one. And if I were judging the book on the plot alone, I'd probably stick with four. But the creativity of writing a whodunit starting with the "last" chapter first - and pulling it off wonderfully - is worth the extra star and then some.

The book takes place over a three-day weekend, starting on Sunday with a frenzied investment firm office m
As far as I'm concerned, Jeffery Deaver is the master of plot twists. His short story collections Twisted and More Twisted are packed with brilliantly crafted gems, and his on-going Lincoln Rhyme series has more stings in the tale than a rattlesnake. So I was excited to see what he'd do with The October List, a thriller told quite literally backwards. We open on chapter 36, with a frantic mother awaiting news of her kidnapped daughter. The door opens, revealing not her rescuers but the kidnapper ...more
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
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.

"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 t
Alex Cantone
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
The concept of writing a novel backwards by chapter is an interesting one, requiring a wordsmith of the calibre of author Ian McEwan to pull it off successfully. Unfortunately, we are given three days of dumb characters reciting dumber lines in New York City. The only one of interest is the psychopathic kidnapper, Joseph. The other characters appear to believe they are dealing with someone rational enough to negotiate terms; which does not seem to be the case.

This book received mixed reviews bu
Terri Lynn
Sep 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is the second time in 13 months I have given a Jeffery Deaver novel one star. I hope this isn't going to become a habit. If he keeps writing crummy books, I will have to drop him off my "must read" list and I have enjoyed his prior books so much I hate to have to do that. Last year's "XO" was a goofy piece of crap with no real mystery other than why he wrote a junk novel to push some silly poorly written and performed country songs he wrote (including videos and recordings).

And now we have
Maureen Casey
Dec 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm actually surprised by how scathing most of the reviews I'm reading are. I went in to this book knowing the premise- a backwards book- and knowing it would be a challenging read. Challenging it most certainly was! I really didn't enjoy reading it, at all, until I was about halfway through. I didn't understand who the characters were and so I felt very little attachment to what was going on. However, I forced myself to stick with it, and found myself invested in the story as I started piecing ...more
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I’m not quite sure where to start with this review, do I begin at the beginning or do I jump straight to the end and work my way back, just like Jeffery Deaver? I’m still confused!

Reading a book that defies all logic, beginning with a final scene that makes absolutely no sense at all, is without doubt a huge challenge for both reader and writer. It goes against the grain and everything you learn as a reader. Everyone starts at the start, chapter one. These are the rules; there have been – up unt
Jerry B
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
It seems Deaver is hardly content to write a straight novel anymore, what with his recent country-music storybook (with music CD for sale!) and now this novel written backwards. We remember being clueless about a movie we saw done that way once, and this book wasn’t much better. We actually hated the constant receding in time, and were it not for the incredible twist at the end (or the beginning!), we would have barely recommended “List” at all. Supposedly the leading character Gabriela’s daught ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller fans looking for some fresh ideas
Shelves: thriller
I am a great fan of Jeffery Deaver, loved all his books. His twisted plots are amazing. But this one is definitely not my favourite.

I totally love the whole idea of the book. Starting with the end and going back to the beginning? What a great idea! So innovative and totally unexpected! I haven't met with this in any other book.

But the problem with this story is that it is not really interesting. It's just boring for most of the time. The story just didn't grab my attention, I wasn't really into
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
I love movies that have a fractured timeline, where the past is revealed as the story is told - I find them more interesting, and I find that they don't insult the intelligence of the audience. I didn't feel that the book format worked, though. I think that it's a function more of authors not understanding how their audience reads than how they're written. It's not that they're overestimating the intelligence of their readers, it's that they're overestimating their own knowledge of their readers ...more
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WOW!! What a great audio book! Jeffery Deaver has done it again. When I first started listening to this book I kept thinking that I should start from chapter 1, but the audio book started from chapter 36. I know it’s strange, but that’s where it started. So I went with it. Can you imagine listening/reading a book from the end to the beginning? You get all of the action from the beginning (ending) as it builds to the ending (beginning). If you like JD and a twist of suspense, then you will like t ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't like a great tale with a messed up chronology? Why, some of the best movies have employed that storytelling technique with some degree of genius. October List, alas, shows no genius and uses the reverse chronology as a mere trick to elevate otherwise utterly pedestrian supermarket rack quality thriller. And I'm usually very lenient and forgiving when it comes to audio books, but this one had some strikingly embarrassing writing along the lines of...sensual boat steering. The sort of ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

NetGalley ARC - thank you, NetGalley : )

3.5 Stars

Gabriela is your average woman – a single mother who works as an office manager. Two days ago she found her life turned upside down. Her boss apparently had been working on some not so legitimate projects which left the company raided by the police, her employer vanished and a document called “The October List” (that a very bad man wants) missing. Now Gabriela’s daughter has been kidnapp
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I have read most of Jeffery Deavers books and have always felt that if I want a good strong reliable novel to read then he is a place to start. However I found this book a real torture and only my stubbornness made me complete it.
I kept checking the cover to check it really was a Deaver book and not someone with a similar name. The book is an experiment to see if he could write a good novel in reverse, well for me the answer is he can't. Not only was the concept flawed but this book lacked all t
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I had no idea what to expect when I got this book. Of course I expected nothing less than classic Deaver twists and turns. I got all that and way more. Since I first heard about this book I had read a few descriptions, and it never registered that it was described as a novel in reverse. I was thrown off when I opened the book and instead of a title page or copyright page I just saw Chapter 36. The book nerd in me was really excited when I flipped to the back of the book and there was all the co ...more
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
First, the required part: Thanks to Netgalley for letting me have a copy for a fair and honest review!

Okay, on to the nitty gritty.

I liked this book. I really did. I'm shocked that I did, actually. I mean, what kind of an author does it take to pull of such a gimmicky idea and actually do it well? It's damn near impossible, really. Well, Jeffery Deaver did it.

The beginning was a little slow -- which is expected. You immediately see the endgame, but you know nothing about the players. Each chapte
Darlene Quinn
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Darlene Quinn We have all heard the expression "Think Outside the Box" . Well I can't think of a better example of an author thinking outside the box than Jeffery Deaver in his October List. When Debra Gaynor. CEO of Reader's Favorites, recently recommended the book, telling me it was written backwards (begins on Chapter 36 and ends on chapter 1) I was curious. It actually works and is not at all confusing. If there were a rating of 4.5 stars I would give it that for compelling intrigue. The onl ...more
Jeffrey Deaver set himself a challenge. To write a crime novel that begins at the last chapter and reads backwards in time. This means that the book literally begins at chapter 36 and ends at chapter 1. Intrigued? I certainly was. But I couldn't for the life of me work out how it could be successfully done.

My verdict... This has got to be one of the cleverest crime books I have ever read. Starting at the last chapter and working backwards in time, by the time I had finished Chapter 1 and the au
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc
This was a very different sort of book due to being written backwards. The ending is first and then we read back through what happened to the beginning of the story. This made the book very interesting, but confusing at times. The story had sone twists and turns that I sure wasn't expecting. It was very suspenseful, partly due to the way in which it was written. I thought Deaver did a really good job with this style of storytelling.

This book is about the abduction of Gabriela's daughter. The abd
Maggie James
My reaction to this book is very mixed - the first part didn't grab me, but I persevered. I'm glad I did, because suddenly the novel caught fire and roared to a terrific end. I'm fascinated by its structure - the story is told in reverse, with the last chapter at the beginning and working backwards through time to the first chapter. I wasn't sure how well this would work, but it does - eventually! I'll be blogging a review for The October List later this week.
Zendevil Williams
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of THE best "mainstream" thrillers I have read in quite some time. It's a thriller written in reverse. Nicely plotted and it all holds together. I can guarantee that once you finish the book, you WILL read the first chapter again.

So much better than the watered-down books that pass for thrillers.
Arun Divakar
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
After having read two of his short story collections, Jeffery Deaver is an author I have been very wary of. His stories trend to run along happily like warm and cuddly cartoon characters when all of a sudden a hidden trap door opens and they all fall into a bottomless abyss with hideous screams that wither away in seconds. If you ever read a Deaver short story, you would know that this cannot be counted as exaggeration for he actually delights in doing this. In the beginning this counts as his b ...more
Amanda Bolderston
Dec 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
One of the reviews said this book was for all the people who wished they could take the movie "Memento" to the beach - so it must be an enjoyable read for those 11 or 12 individuals. The fact that the story is told backwards sadly showcases the truly terrible writing - because you have no idea what's going on and there is no narrative momentum built up to pull you to the next chapter. I give you the classic lines "eyes red, demeanour anxious, Gabriela sat once again..." and "his long, matte-dry ...more
Pamela  Tickner
DNF This just didn't do it for me. I am normally a fan of Deaver's but after one CD I had no interest in listening to the remainder. I don't mind the backward novel, but I cringed when in the most intense moment of her life wondering if her daughter is alive, the protagonist is sizing up her protector romantically. Really??????
Luanne Ollivier
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jeffery Deaver has been on my must read author's list from the very beginning. But with The October List, he's challenged both himself as an author and the reader.

For you see, The October List is written backwards. Yes, a novel in reverse. The last chapter is the first one in the book So we know the outcome - or do we? - from the very beginning.

Gabriela is waiting in an apartment with a man, hoping that the other two men who have set out to rescue her kidnapped daughter are successful. The doo
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Can't remember the title! 1 11 Jan 17, 2016 10:50AM  
General Discussion 1 7 Aug 21, 2015 09:17AM  
Jeffery Deaver Fans: The October List - The new stand alone novel 4 37 Apr 08, 2013 11:31AM  
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#1 international bestselling author of over thirty novels and three collections of short stories. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He's received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world.
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