Linwood Barclay

Never Saw It Coming

"Let's hope Mr. Barclay is already hard at work on his next bestseller."


Keisha Ceylon is a psychic. At least, that's what she passes herself off as. The truth is, Keisha's real powers have more to do with separating troubled families from their money than actually seeing into the netherworld. Keisha watches the news for stories of missing family members. She gives it a few days, then moves in, tells these families she's had a vision, that she may have some clue to where these missing people are. 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, if she's been abducted, pleading with whoever took her to let her go. Keisha knows a payoff when she sees one. So she pays a visit to our troubled husband and tells him her vision. The trouble is, her vision just happens to be close enough to the truth that it leaves this man rattled. And it may very well leave Keisha dead.

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What were you thinking, Mr. Barclay?? Linwood Barclay is one of my favourite crime authors and when 'Never Saw it Coming' started slowly I was not concerned as I have yet to read a book by him that has disappointed me. However, as I continued I kept having a feeling of deja vu as not only did the name of the main character, Keisha Ceylon seem familiar, but also one of the threads of the plot. I was slightly thrown as there is an additional part of the story that has been added, in my opinion, to fill the pages. Even with the additions the book is only around 200 pages which is comparatively short for a book in this genre. Further reading confirmed my suspicions and indeed, 'Never Saw it Coming' is a rehash of a short story written by Barclay which was originally titled 'Clouded Vision'. I definitely 'Never Saw It Coming' and was very disappointed with the plot that I felt wasn't strong first time and even weaker the second time around. Whilst this may be acceptable as a short story, I do not feel it is written to the same high standard of this author's previous novels which I thought were outstanding. Maybe the book was better than I am giving it credit for but I do feel slightly conned. As an avid fan of Barclay I have read all that he has written so I feel that by changing a title but not the story I have been cheated. This simply feels like a 'cut and paste' job. There is no mention on the book of this being a rework so if you have already read 'Clouded Vision' I would not recommend reading this book. Let's hope Mr. Barclay is already hard at work on his next bestseller and will deliver a much better effort than this poor rehash.

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