Never Saw Me Coming, Vera Kurian: A Review
I've been really into psychological thrillers lately, and I was intrigued by the premise of Never Saw Me Coming. A well-executed unreliable narrator is my jam, and I was thrilled to be approved for this title.
Seven psychopaths on a college campus. What could possibly go wrong?
Chloe enters college participating in a program that studies diagnosed psychopaths. She's willing to complete the assignments and meet with the professor, but she has another motive: killing the person who hurt her. As she gets closer to Will, students in the program start dying. There's a killer in their midst, and Chloe must work with the other psychopaths to figure out who is targeting them and why.
I really enjoyed this book.
While I wouldn't call this a straight slasher, it had definite slasher vibes and reminded me a lot of the best of late 90s horror: college campus, rules of survival laid out, high-stakes odds and a legendary serial killer. I loved the subtle nods to the genre and was invested in the plot.
Although this is told in alternating POVs, I loved Chloe's voice. Witty, sardonic, and wrapped in a layer of foam that keeps her from feeling fear, it was interesting to see how she reacted to the people around her. The way she shifted from one socially accepted behavior to another in order to manipulate the people around her was both fascinating and terrifying. You never could fully trust her--but then again, you couldn't trust any of the narrators. Everyone had a motive, and even with the underlying psychological study of psychopathy, we already have these external associations with the word. It was impossible to come into this unbiased, and the distrust added to the suspense in a great way.
There is a lot happening here, several strands weaving together to keep readers on their toes, but the majority of the plot happens in internal monologues. There are conversations, interactions with other characters, but we stay firmly in our narrator's heads for most of the book. So, if you're someone who needs the constant movement of dialogue to action sequence, this might take a minute to adjust to, but I thought the internal structure worked well in heightening the factors that made Chloe and her peers different than the other college students.
Overall, Never Saw Me Coming is a twisty, suspenseful psychological thriller with endearing unreliable narrators and a classic slasher vibe many readers will love. Out in September, add this to your TBR now.
Thank you to Park Row and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.