Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel
Named a New York Times Best Thriller of 2021
"I devoured this riveting book through a day of travel...My desire to rush to the end clashed with my desire to savor every word. Who would be the last psychopath standing?” — New York Times Book Review
"Fresh, fast-paced and fiendishly clever! If you love watching true crime and wonder about the psychopaths among us, this is the book for you!" — Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author
You should never trust a psychopath. But what if you had no choice?
It would be easy to underestimate Chloe Sevre… She’s a freshman honor student, a legging-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. She spends her time on 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 of 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 for revenge 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Seven diagnosed psychopaths are all starting college together—what could possibly go wrong? Chloe and six other freshmen are attending a respected DC university on a free ride as part of a secret research study about helping people with psychopathic tendencies have good, productive lives. But when kids from the program start turning up dead, Chloe and two of her new acquaintances are forced to go into detective mode to save themselves. Author Vera Kurian has a PhD in social psychology, and she really puts her expertise to work in this entertaining mystery. We were fascinated (and chilled to the bone) by Chloe’s first-person accounts of how she mimics “normal” emotions to gain the trust of others. Ultimately, Kurian brings us over to her unusual heroine’s side thanks to Chloe’s biting sarcasm and admirable drive. With its grimly hilarious black humor and ever-increasing suspense, Never Saw Me Coming puts a fun spin on the college novel.
Eighteen-year-old Chloe Sevre, the narrator of Kurian's splendid debut, is a freshman at John Adams University in Washington, D.C. She's delighted to be in "a busy city with a relatively high murder rate," because she has a plan that she has been nurturing for six years: to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who cruelly hurt her and lives in D.C. Chloe is one of seven students diagnosed as psychopaths receiving free tuition in exchange for participating in the university's Multimethod Psychopathy Panel Study. It's overseen by an earnest psychology professor who believes that, with the right direction, psychopaths can lead productive lives. Then one of the subjects of the study is fatally stabbed, and shortly thereafter another participant dies horribly. Chloe and two other surviving students, including the son of the Virginia state chairman for the Republican National Committee, realize they could be the next victims and do their best to band together to find the killer. Excellent pacing, sprightly narrative voices, and judicious dabs of wry humor make this a highly entertaining tale. Kurian's refreshingly different slant on psychopathy marks her as a writer to watch. Agent: Rebecca Scherer, Jane Rotrosen Agency.
Worth a read. Ending wasn’t great but instill enjoyed it.
Odd premise, good page turner
The premise of this books is truly strange; a professor recruits psychopaths to college in order for them to participate in a study he is conducting. The book moves among the perspectives of three main characters, Andre, Charles and Chloe; they are well-developed and it’s interesting how they describe each other. The other characters in the book aren’t as fully fleshed out and I had a hard time differentiating between Emma and Elena; couldn’t the author have chosen names that weren’t so similar?!
The book kept my attention very well and I am impressed this is the author’s first book; I look forward to reading what she writes next.
The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) should never be allowed in the hands of a fiction writer. This drivel is the unfortunate result. Save your time. Take a hard pass on this fantasy.