About the Book:
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.
I actually enjoyed this debut thriller, the characters were very original. Fantastic premise! What would happen if a group of diagnosed student psychopaths were enrolled together in a test program in a college setting? Of course none of them are supposed to know who the others are, but when two of them are killed, three of the main characters begin to uncover who the others are.
Chloe, Andre and Charles are all smart, high-functioning college students who were chosen for a study administered by a renowned forensic psychologist. Their tuition is paid for and all that is required of them is to complete certain psychological tests which almost seem like games, and to report on their moods at random times via a smart watch.
Yes, the premise is a little far-fetched but the author has a background in psychology and much of the book rang true. A suspension of disbelief is required here but it works for this dark, thrilling and often funny story.
The most fascinating of the main characters is Chloe, who is actually seeking revenge against a fellow student named Will who assaulted her when she was very young. Chloe’s point of view was by far the darkest, funniest and most sinister. I thought that this storyline could have been the main focus but it took a back seat to the murders of the other students. Charles and Chloe’s psychopathic behaviors and efforts at masking their true selves was actually very engrossing. The audiobook narrator did a terrific job at giving voice to Chloe and the other characters.
I think the length of the book was a little too long and found that some parts were a little drawn out. But the narrator and the plot kept me invested in the story and overall, I really enjoyed it. Some readers have been critical of the romance aspect of the book but I found it added depth to the characters and the story. Seeing how these characters each tried to outsmart the other was very entertaining. Vera Kurian is absolutely an author to watch and I have no doubt her next book will be fantastic!
(Thanks to the publisher for providing an audiobook listening copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)