Anne Bonny #BookReview Never Saw It Coming by @linwood_barclay 4* #Mystery #Thriller @orion_crime ‘What happens when the scammer, gets scammed?’

cover
Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
My own copy
Synopsis:

Keisha Ceylon is a psychic. So she says. The truth is, she watches the news for stories of missing family members, gives it a few days, then tells these families she’s had a vision. She may be able to help. And by the way, she charges for this service, and likes to see the money up front.

Keisha’s latest mark is a man whose wife disappeared a week ago. She’s seen him on TV, pleading for his wife to come home, or for whoever took her to let her go. So she pays him a visit.

The trouble is, her vision just happens to be close enough to the truth that it leaves the man rattled. And it may very well leave Keisha dead . . .

NEVER SAW IT COMING is based on the novella CLOUDED VISION, which was published as part of the Quick Reads programme in 2011.

My Review:

I have read several Linwood Barclay novels now and haven’t been let down once! I am a huge fan of his style of writing and my favourite so far is definitely A Noise Downstairs.

Never Saw It Coming, centres around con artist ‘psychic’ Keisha Ceylon. She lives with her dead beat boyfriend Kirk and young son Matthew (10yrs). I think it is quite clear Keisha is motivated by financial means to ‘trick’ the bereaved into hearing what they want to hear. At first I felt uncomfortable reading her scenes thinking ‘how does she sleep at night?’ but then it became evident her tricks were soon to catch up with her. . . .

Keisha has recently pulled off a big con involving a local youth named Justin. When she sees the TV appeal from father and daughter Wendall and Melissa Garfield, pleading for the safe return of Ellie Garfield who is missing. It sparks an idea in Keisha and she begins her usual approach with the family in question. But Keisha isn’t quite prepared for Wendall and his offhand approach towards her. Wendall scares Keisha and for the first time, she begins to feel she may have picked the wrong family to con. . .

What happens when the scammer, gets scammed?

The novel is an intense psychological thriller, packed with shady characters and I really enjoyed the pace and the style. 4*
Next up on my Linwood Barclay TBR pile is Parting Shot.

LB
Linwood Barclay
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Anne Bonny #BookReview A Noise Downstairs by @linwood_barclay 5* #CrimeFiction #Mystery #NewRelease @orionbooks @orion_crime ‘The novel is packed with twists and turns, it has an EPIC ending!’

cover
A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay
Review Copy
Synopsis:

EVERY STEP…
Paul Davis forgets things – he gets confused, he has sudden panic attacks. But he wasn’t always like this.

TAKES YOU CLOSER…
Eight months ago, Paul found two dead bodies in the back of a co-worker’s car. He was attacked, left for dead, and has been slowly recovering ever since. His wife tries her best but fears the worst…

TO THE TRUTH…
Therapy helps during the days, but at night he hears things – impossible things – that no one else can. That nobody else believes. Either he’s losing his mind – or someone wants him to think he is.

Just because he’s paranoid doesn’t mean it’s not happening…

My Review:

A Noise Downstairs, is the new psychological thriller from Linwood Barclay. It is a stand-alone and is insanely gripping! I started reading this alone, late at night by lamp light and it really added to the eerie feeling that is constantly bubbling away under the surface of the novel.

‘There were a lot of sides to Kenneth, and Paul still wasn’t sure he knew all of them’

The novel opens with Paul Davis pulling over to assist work colleague and fellow college professor Kenneth Hoffman, late one night. What Paul isn’t aware of until he steps out of the car, is that there are two bodies in the boot of Kenneth’s car.
Once he discovers the bodies of the two females, Kenneth attacks, leaving Paul for dead. .

‘Then everything went black’

The novel then jumps forward eight months. With Kenneth arrested and in jail. Paul is still making process with his recovery. He begins with therapy with Dr Anna White, we learn he suffers both physical and mental symptoms from the attack. Paul is plagued by headaches and bizarre dreams which cause insomnia. The victim’s Jill Foster and Catherine Lamb; were known to Paul and in some way, he feels responsible.

‘Monsters can be very good at disguising themselves’ –
Dr White

Paul develops an obsession with the crimes Kenneth committed and a deep desire to research and understand the psychology behind his behaviour.
What Paul doesn’t realise at the time, is the dangerous journey this will take him on.

“Was Kenneth evil? Is Kenneth Evil?” – Paul

Through the novel we come to know all the characters personally. Kenneth left behind a devastated wife Gabriella and young son Len. Paul’s girlfriend Charlotte becomes a big part of his journey to getting healthier and taking back control of his life. For their relationship and Paul’s relationship with his young son Josh. Dr Anna White lives with her father, who has dementia and often accidentally interrupts her counselling sessions. She also has a sinister new client named Gavin Hitchins. Gavin enjoys stalking and tormenting his victims, he is in court ordered therapy.
Nothing and no one is what they seem! Everyone feels on edge and I felt on edge as I am introduced to the new characters.

Paul is an English Literature professor, he is on a long-term sick leave from work when he begins his research into Kenneth and his crimes. The media named Kenneth the ‘apology killer’ due to the nature of his crimes. He plead guilty and has been sentenced to life in prison. Yet despite this Paul needs more answers. . .

‘I’m not so sure Kenneth’s head is a place you want to be’ – Charlotte

Charlotte buys Paul a gift, in the form of an old typewriter. Which late at night Paul can hear tap, tap, tap, tapping away!!!!
At first, he assumes he must be hearing things, but then the typewriter begins producing notes. Notes that appear to be from the victims. . .

Is Paul losing his mind? Why would the victims haunt Paul?
What answers do they seek?

I was completely and utterly taken in by this plot. The fear of an inanimate object might sound irrational, in the daytime. But reading alone, late at night I felt scared!
The novel is packed with twists and turns, it has an EPIC ending! Which left me shocked!
Outstanding 5*

*This is the first novel I have read by Linwood Barclay. So, I will be adding his entire back catalogue of novels to my TBR pile.*

LB
Linwood Barclay
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