Thanks to NetGalley and Park Row for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: September 7th, 2021
Synopsis: Meet Chloe Sevre. She’s a freshman honor student, a legging-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.
Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study for psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. The study, led by a renowned psychologist, requires them to wear smart watches that track their moods and movements.
When one of the students in the study is found murdered in the psychology building, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins, and Chloe goes from hunter to prey. As she races to identify the killer and put her own plan into action, she’ll be forced to decide if she can trust any of her fellow psychopaths—and everybody knows you should never trust a psychopath.
Never Saw Me Coming is a compulsive, voice-driven thriller by an exciting new voice in fiction, that will keep you pinned to the page and rooting for a would-be killer. (Goodreads)
Without a doubt, the premise for Never Saw Me Coming is decidedly different. Seven students diagnosed with psychopathy, given full rides to a Washington D.C. college with the only catch being that they have to participate in a psychological study in hopes that it will enable them to better understand their condition and be able to better function in society. Unsurprisingly, things veer off track quickly as two participants are murdered.
While Chloe is definitely the primary character, the reader also hears from Charles, a privileged, but abused student, and Andre, who is hiding a major secret. Chloe is the one who fascinated me the most as she’s part of two storylines: the mystery of who’s behind the murders, and her quest for vengeance against Will, (here’s my one spoiler) a childhood friend who raped her when she was twelve. There aren’t any graphic details about the assault, but you know it happened and certain readers might still have a problem with this. Chloe may be a psychopath and I found myself terrified, yet reluctantly liking her at the same time, despite her emotional detachment from others. Highly intelligent and self-aware, she has a snarky sense of humor that had me chuckling at times. Given how reprehensible Will is, my inner vigilante even wound up rooting for her. Charles is also interesting with his dysfunctional relationship with his abusive father, and his romantic one with his girlfriend Kristin. And Andre, well I can’t say much without revealing any spoilers, but while he starts out way over his head, he plays an integral role in the investigation.
The plot is fun and suspenseful, although the big reveal and climax was a bit chaotic. I also found it surprising that three such highly intelligent individuals so easily walked into a trap. That’s my only quibble though and I thoroughly enjoyed Never Saw Me Coming from beginning to end. Although the conclusion wraps everything up, it leaves an opening for a sequel, which I’m hoping for because I’d like to revisit these characters.