Cover Image: What Happened to Nina?

What Happened to Nina?

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Member Reviews

Inspired by the Gabby Petito case, "What Happened to Nina?" tells the story of a young woman who disappeared and her boyfriend who was immediately under suspicion once she went missing. The chapters are told from various POVs - the missing woman's parents, the boyfriend's parents, and the detective investigating the case. I really enjoyed this one and it was a fresh take on a very newsy situation.

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I picked this one up because of all the hype on Bookstagram. This is more of a family drama than a mystery or thriller. That said, it kept me interested, even though we find out pretty quickly what happened to Nina. I hate the cover though... Why is she even holding a balloon?

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You will find it impossible to stop reading this book. I know I did.!

Nina Fraser and her boyfriend Simon Jordan leave for a weekend of hiking at the Jordon family's second home in Vermont. It is acres of a bucolic wonderland with a lake, woods and great climbing right on the property. But Nina never returns from that weekend, Simon claims that she broke up with him and that instead of coming home then with him, she wanted to stay at the house on her own. This is highly unlikely due to the fact that she did not have a car, the house is isolated and she reached out to no one.

The story is told from multiple POVs. Nina, the Frasers, the Jordans, Nina's younger sister, Grace, the detectives., and social media. With the families now pitted against each other and Simon the last one to see Nina alive, the Jordans hire a cut throat PR team to plant seeds in social media from which lies and conspiracy theories flourish. They don't care how this destroys the Frasers, most especially Grace who cannot even attend school any longer.
This could have been just another thriller, but with the addition of the venomous social media that we all have come to know, it was much more like something straight from the headlines. We are privy to the most private of conversations within the families, hearing just how far they are will to go to for their children., What lines will they cross without hesitation? We are also given access to what the detectives are thinking and doing. What are they holding back? It is this "insider" insight that makes this story gripping, but what really sets it apart is the use of social media as a weapon. The planted lies and the viral toxic attacks that follow create a visceral reaction. A fresh twist in the genre that brings what could be a familiar story line into a whole new, extremely timely dimension. This will bring an even greater level of scrutiny to anything you see on social media or the internet again!

The only bad thing about having just finished the latest Dervla McTiernan book is knowing you now have to wait for the next one!

My thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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A quick and easy read that keeps you engaged right up too the end. This was the first book I've read by this author, but will be checking out more from McTIernan 4 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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What happened to Nina is all but a verified conclusion from the beginning of the book, so not a spoiler. What happens to everyone else (the good, the bad and the ugly) in the aftermath of a crime involving a missing person is the focus of this novel. Even though as a reader you think you know well this ripped from the headlines scenario, it’s different and more complicated when confronted with the realities of the killing of a college girl by her boyfriend in a world governed more by money and the effects of social media than by the morality of right vs. wrong.
What I liked best was how the characters are developed and my reaction to them. There are a few in the deliciously love to hate category, but most evoked a relatively neutral or unsympathetic response until fairly late in the book when I started to develop some unanticipated empathy for the victim’s family. Interestingly the victim stayed in the neutral zone.
On the negative side, the title sets up misleading expectations and the cover is so boring that it would never have attracted me to pick it up.
Fortunately I had seen the author interviewed and knew what the book is really about which piqued my interest, so there was no disappointment.
The multiple points of view are the key to the book’s success. The reader has pivotal knowledge thot characters do not. This structure kept the story moving and really promoted character development. The writing style is direct, precise and left no doubt as to perspective.
Thank you to the author, Dervla McTiernan, for another thought provoking read, to the publisher, William Morrow and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an ARC.

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The story begins with Nina telling us that we already know her story. She mentions her relationship with her boyfriend, Simon, a boy she grew up with and then fell in love with when she was 16. He becomes controlling, and sadly, that goes too far when they go on vacation together. Nina's mom is concerned when Nina doesn't respond to her texts or calls, and when she doesn't return from the vacation, her concern deepens. However, Simon's parents are very wealthy, and wage a campaign against Nina's family to protect their son. Yet, Nina's parents decide to fight back. When the law doesn't help them, they realize that they must get justice for Nina in their own way.
This is a powerful story of love, loss, and what a family will do for justice. Although I knew what happened to Nina, how her parents handled the situation was a surprise. I also liked how her younger sister, Grace, recognized Simon's faults and was able to stand up for herself. An interesting story and a warning to people in abusive situations - get out, before it is too late!

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We find out what happened to Nina fairly early on, what we read about is how far different people will go to uncover or hide the truth. I enjoyed the story being told by various people. Nina’s parents and sister, Simon’, his parents, and the police. Their emotions….the grief, the worry and the questions were so well written that my heart ached for Andy and Lee, and maybe even a little bit for Jamie. The lengths Simon’s parents would go to shift the story away from him were truly horrific, at point a character said no one believes the facts anymore, and it certainly held true in the campaign against Andy. While it’s impossible for this story to have a happy ending, it was satisfying.
Written my one of my favorite authors, I’d like to thank NetGalley and Harper Collins for an advance reader’s copy, it will definitely be on my suggestion list for our library board.

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'What Happened to Nina?' by Dervla McTiernan is an absolute yes! Fast-paced intriguing - everything you want in a modern crime novel.

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In the book What Happened To Nina by Dervla McTiernan, Simon and Nina have been dating for four years and although things have been harder since they went away to different colleges they’re still together or at least they were. It was spring break and the couple went up to his families new vacation home while they were there Nina thought it was just the same old same old with Simon always wanting her to coddle him and his emotions she knows he’s been abusive in the past but after allowing her to fall on a duel climb she knows what she hast to do. Simon returns with a story to tell saying that she broke up with him for another guy he left the home and she was to get a ride with a friend but only him and his mom believe that or maybe just his mom because no one that knows Nina does. In the book we follow Jamie Simons mom and Leanne and Andy Nina‘s parents as they grapple with what happened one set of parents are devastated and the other are busy doing damage control. Unfortunately that involves ruining public opinion about the missing girls parents. I found this to be a pretty good book and I like that even some of those related to the accused were still written as like a book people caught in a terrible situation there were really good characters in this book and I found the momentum moved swiftly to make it an all-around great book. I want to thank William Morrow for my free arc copy via NetGalley please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate most of my review.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA? That's the big question here. Nina goes away for the weekend with her boyfriend...and never comes back.

I thought this was a fun, fast read and really enjoyed the dual perspectives. However, I wish we had been kept in the dark a little longer about Nina's ultimate fate. And a small thing that bugged me - I didn't think the cover art of "Nina" looked anything like how I pictured her in my head reading this book - the small, yet strong and scrappy, outdoorsy, athletic climber who charmed everyone she met.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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The story of a young woman who goes missing, her family, her boyfriend, and his family, this was very well-written and compelling, but ultimately felt quite bleak. The book moves quickly and the characters are well-drawn; it just perhaps mirrored reality better than was comfortable. Nevertheless, I'm glad I read it and will continue to look forward to books by this author.

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I loved this domestic thriller that had Gabby Petitio feels to it from the get go. Nina and her rich boyfriend go away to his family’s place in Vermont. He comes back, but Nina never returns. His story is that Nina broke up with him because she was seeing another guy and went off to Boston with some friends. Nina’s parents know something is wrong. The characters steal the show in this book. They are so well done and real. I could feel the struggles that Nina’s mom was dealing with even when she was very close to/ over the edge. Nothing cheesy or overdone about this thriller! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. 25 stars.

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Another expertly paced mystery/thriller from McTiernan. And again, some morally ambiguous characters (which make the story more interesting). Nina is missing. Did her boyfriend Simon do something to her? More a story of the aftermath than a whodunit, this novel is told from the perspective of multiple viewpoints, including Nina's parents, Simon's parents, and the lead detective.

"Nina and Simon are the perfect couple. Young, fun and deeply in love. Until they leave for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Vermont, and only Simon comes home.


Nobody knows. Simon’s explanation about what happened in their last hours together doesn’t add up. Nina’s parents push the police for answers, and Simon’s parents rush to protect him. They hire expensive lawyers and a PR firm that quickly ramps up a vicious, nothing-is-off-limits media campaign.


Soon, facts are lost in a swirl of accusation and counter-accusation. Everyone chooses a side, and the story goes viral, fueled by armchair investigators and wild conspiracy theories and illustrated with pretty pictures taken from Nina’s social media accounts. Journalists descend on their small Vermont town, followed by a few obsessive "fans."


Nina’s family is under siege, but they never lose sight of the only thing that really matters—finding their daughter. Out-gunned by Simon’s wealthy, powerful family, Nina’s parents recognize that if playing by the rules won’t get them anywhere, it’s time to break them."

Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for the free ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.

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What Happened to Nina was a disturbing read for me as a parent. There was a lot of focus on how the news and social media scrutiny made everything worse for Nina's family, and I kept thinking about how the real people this book was inspired by would feel reading it. The story is told from multiple POVs, giving the reader the perspective of both sets of parents and the police. There isn't a ton of suspense because the reader knows things most of the characters don't from pretty early on in the book. There were a few things that felt unresolved, but overall the ending was as satisfying as a story like this can have.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA is a completely addictive story centering around one missing girl and all those affected by her disappearance. McTiernan’s taps into a mother’s worry to push this narrative forward. Her writing is fast-paced while still honoring the emotions surrounding these events.

As the reader is sent down the path to finding out what happened to Nina, there is a variety of perspectives and voices explored. Because of this, sometimes the plot can get muddled. However, it is not the case here. With every new chapter, there is another viewpoint and layer peeled back to the mystery. There are unlikeable characters and there are those your heart wants to reach out for, but at the end of the day, they are all pushed to the limits because of one girl. The author brings us into this world where all the family wants is answers, but there are so many twists and turns to get there which makes it a compelling and compulsive read. An added bonus, at least for this reader, is that we get to know a little more than those within the book because of these narrators.

This is now the second book by McTiernan I have read and they keep getting better. I cannot wait to read what the author brings us next. All I know is it is going to be another must-read for me.

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When Nina goes missing last seen with her boyrfriend the normal thoughts start racing through your head. But the places this will take you are varied and surprising. The story is told from multiple points of view, mainly from the four parents, but also from one of the detectives and at one point Nina's sister, Grace, also chimes in. I hope that she writes more stand alone like this because it was one of my favorite of the year.

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Nina is a young girl who doesn’t return after being away with her boyfriend Simon. Simon returns to his parents home but sans Nina. The question on everyone’s mind is what happened to Nina?

This reads like a true crime thriller but it’s fiction. You get the perspectives of multiple characters which makes for an entertaining read. Also, good news…you don’t even have to wait until to the end to find out What Happened to Nina. This one goes deeper than just that and explores both families’ reactions and emotions in response to a missing Nina and what they will do to protect their own.

Dateline fans, true crime junkies and domestic thriller readers should pick this one up.

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(Thanks to @williammorrowbooks #gifted.)𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗛𝗔𝗣𝗣𝗘𝗡𝗘𝗗 𝗧𝗢 𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗔? by Dervla McTiernan is a difficult book to describe, so let’s start with the easy part. I really, really liked it! This is the story of everything that happens in the days after a 20-year old girl goes missing. I wouldn’t call it a thriller because there isn’t much of that intense anticipation thrillers are known for. I wouldn’t call it a mystery because for most of the book the reader knows what happened to Nina. But, I would call it a fantastic suspense novel because the “how” of the pieces coming together is what kept this reader furiously flipping through the pages.⁣

The story is told in a linear fashion by multiple characters including Nina, both her parents, her younger sister, the parents of her boyfriend, and the detective investigating the case. Nina kicks things off with a haunting prologue. That’s followed by thirty-six quick chapters in which McTiernan uses the others to reveal what happened to Nina’s as well as the impact her disappearance has on everyone near her. Of the two moms Nina’s mom, Leanne, was the firecracker willing to do almost anything to find her daughter. Jamie, the boyfriend’s mom, came off haughty and privileged, but she also wanted the truth, though perhaps not the same truth as Leanne. I loved how the many perspectives put this story together piece by piece resulting in an ending I never saw coming.⁣

I don’t often say that I love a novel in the suspense arena, but I loved 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘏𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘕𝘪𝘯𝘢? Put this one on your TBR and I can promise you two things. First, you’ll fly through the book and second, you’ll be very glad you read it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Thanks to @thoughtsfromapage, @williammorrowbooks, and @netgalley for my early copy! This one is out March 26th!

I had a hard time writing down my thoughts on What Happened to Nina? As someone who reads a lot of thrillers, I found the story to be predictable. I was left scratching my head a little when a major reveal was made halfway through the book. I kept saying, "where does it go from here?" However, there were definitely a few more surprises in store. These twists and turns kept me reading and engaged.

I wanted a little more depth to the story and would've liked if the author explored more of the societal issues - wealthy vs. working class, true crime and how it's incentivized and how we forget there's a real person in danger. I did empathize with each character at some point, which was surprising to me because they all made poor decisions. However, it left me asking the far would you go to protect your child?

I felt the ending was well done and very fitting for the story. In fact, I still think about it from time to time. This was a tough one for me to rate and review because I truly cannot decide how I feel about the book as a whole.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA? That’s what Detective Matthew Wright and Officer Sarah Jane Reid are trying to find out in Dervla McTiernan’s thriller that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.

Simon Jordan and Nina Fraser appear to be the perfect couple. They’ve been together for quite some time and are deeply and madly in love. When Simon schedules a romantic getaway on his family’s estate in Vermont, all seems well. When the trip is over, Simon returns home alone. His story as to where Nina is just doesn’t add up. He says they had an argument, and he left and returned home and she was fine when he departed. But what happened to her after that?

While Simon’s wealthy family gathers round to insulate and protect him, Nina’s family gathers round to try to find out where she is. Everyone seems to have secrets and only part of the story. Wright and Reid investigate, they are blocked at every turn by the Jordan’s PR team and lawyers. They continue look into Nina’s whereabouts and slowly begin to peel back the layers of lies, deceit, and misdirection.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. I could hear the music blasting through Simon’s headphones and could feel the money changing hands from Simon‘s family. If the story was not so reminiscent of recent events, I may have given it five stars, however, it just seemed to be too soon and too close to real life events.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for this ARC opportunity. All opinions are my own and given voluntarily.

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