If you love a good mystery and are intrigued by the idea of psychopaths suspecting each other of a killing spree, then boy is this the book for you!
Most mysteries you read, there are no real suspects, merely a list of people to rule out. But not in this book!
The setting of the story is in a college in America where a handful of students who have been diagnosed as psychopaths have had their tuition paid for in return for taking part in the study by the college. In my view this is kinda “off” in itself.
Anyway, the story is told from multiple POVs including several of the psychopath students, and also the professor and one of his research assistants.
Shortly into the academic year one of the students on the psychopath program is shot, and a short time later another one is poisoned with metal before being thrust into an MRI scanner which immediately kills him because of the huge magnets in the scanner.
The psychopathic students are smart and they begin to simultaneously suspect each other and also work together to piece together who the murderer is. There is much scheming, spying, stakeouts, and stalking.
The plot twists and turns like no tomorrow, and while one student looks like the most likely culprit, another one does the next. And towards the end of nearly every chapter, new info is illuminated to throw the going on in a whole new light.
But what really makes this a great novel is the characters. Even though most of the characters are fully fledged psychopaths, you still become invested in their story.
The first character the reader is introduced to is a straight A student and psychopath who is plotting revenge against someone who violated her when she was young. Another character is a rich white guy and psychopath running for student president. Another student is only pretending to be a psychopath to get free tuition. And there’s also the professor and one of his research assistants.
The complications of the story soon set in. The professor once protested against the incarceration of a particularly heinous sexually violent criminal psychopath and serial killer; all copies dissertations of one psychopath student are somehow missing; the professor is seen meeting up with a mysterious person; and some of characters start flirting with each other and their attraction is palpable.
The only thing I didn’t like about the version of the book that I read was that the chapters weren’t headed with which POV was being narrated from, and the punctuation around the text messages wasn’t very good.
I also felt that the book could have done with an epilogue, because when the serial killer is finally “identified” there’s none of the usual explanation about their true motives and how they did it all.
So, this book is well worth a read in my opinion, five stars out of 5.
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