Cover Image: What Happened to Nina?

What Happened to Nina?

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Member Reviews

I loved the The Murder Rule and couldn't wait for this new book from Derla Mctiernan.

In McTiernan's new book, as you might guess,, Nina is missing. During a college break she visits her boyfriend Simon's family's winter cabin but never returns. At first he police do not take it seriously but when they do, Simon's wealthy family shut them out. McTiernan allows us insight into multiple family members including Simon's parents. It's gripping and painful to watch each character wrestle with their feelings of helplessness

What might be more interesting is the role of social media as the families both wield it as a weapon. McTiernan does a fabulous job of layering all of the conflicting points of view and emotions while continuing a thread of the police investigation. I enjoyed this novel, but felt that too many points of view muddied the actual objectives of the author.
#NetGalley, #WilliamMorrow #DermalMcTiernan #Whathappenedtonina

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I read this book in one night because I just had to find out what happened - it’s not really a whodunnit, but it is still so taut and suspenseful. All of the characters surrounding Nina were well drawn, from her parents Leanne and Andy to her ex boyfriend and his family - I don’t know that we needed the perspective of the detective on the case to be honest, but that was well done too. I wasn’t fully sold on the ending twist, but I loved everything up to that point and would still recommend the book.

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Dervla McTiernan never ever disappoints. Never. And What Happened to Nina? is no exception. While I generally dislike multi-character narration, in McTiernan's capable hands, it worked seamlessly and believably. Similarly, while I wish the best mysteries and thrillers did not always have a missing young woman at their center, McTiernan broadens the gaze outward to the get inside the mind of the young woman's parents as well as the parents of the "under suspicion" boyfriend in this ripped from the headlines mystery. McTiernan also demonstrates the many ways the internet and social media no longer serve the search for justice when a crime has been committed and how easily the narrative can be artificially and cruelly manipulated. This is a "cannot put it down till the very last word" type of mystery. I hope McTiernan is gearing up to give readers a new series with Detective Matthew Wright and his partner Sarah Jane Reid. Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for the ARC.

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Very early on in the book, I was under the impression that this was a fictional retelling of the Gabby Petitio case. After finishing the book, my feelings haven't really changed. I thought that some of the details were coincidental, but I am fully convinced that this was inspired by the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito. I liked the book. I read it very quickly, and it keep me intrigued from page 1. However, this is not a book I will be recommending to friends, family, or groups I am in on social media seeking book recs. I feel like this is just another way for the media to profit off a real case and not caring about the impact it will have on the victim's family.

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McTiernan has outdone herself. This is her best book yet! I already can't wait for the movie to come out.

Nina and Simon are the perfect couple, or so they seem. After a vacation, Simon returns alone and Nina is never seen again. What happened to Nina? Nina's parents are desperate to find out the truth and Simon's parents will stop at nothing to protect their son from wrongful allegations. The families tear each other apart and social media comments wreak havoc as the days pass on.

Although this is a work of fiction, it portrays a view into the public's virtual obtrusion into a missing persons investigation that feels devastatingly real.

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Ripped straight from the headlines, WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA is a slow burn suspense story that explores the lengths parents will go to protect their children.

Nina and Simon are a young couple who take a hiking trip that results in Simon returning home alone and the launch of a missing person case for the disappearance of Nina. While Nina’s parents are desperate for the truth, Simon’s parents are focused on clearing their son’s name.

The story held my attention fine but I don’t feel it offered anything new or unique to the myriad of stories about missing white women with their well-off boyfriends suspected of murder. I don’t feel like I got a great sense of who Nina was before she went missing and I think a bit more character development would have added to the emotional impact of the story. I love the new trend of novels that give voice to the victims and I would have liked a bit more of that here.

I am eager to discuss the story with Dervla McTiernan through the Thoughts From A Page Early Reads program.

RATING: 3.5/5 (rounded up to 4 stars)
PUB DATE: March 5, 2023

Many thanks to William Morrow for an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Ooh this book was sooo unexpectedly good. I found myself forming a connection Nina from the very first page. I could feel the tension and the growing fear and terror of Nina’s parents as if I was right there with them. Its rare for me to get emotionally invested in thriller books but this one managed to do that too. What happened to Nina was quite evident from the prologue but even still the author managed to keep me hooked to the pages till the very end and that’s what I consider a five star read. The ending reminded me of a movie but if I mention it it will be spoilerish but oh my god I loved it soo sooo much. Dervla Mctiernan has proved once again why I count her among my top favourite thriller writers of all time . Highly highly recommended

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Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free advance copy of What Happened to Nina? by Dervla McTiernan in exchange for an honest review.

Just when you think this author can't get any better, she somehow does. What Happened to Nina? is a tightly plotted and propulsive novel that begins with high school sweethearts Nina and Simon vacationing at Simon's family's mountain home in Stowe, Vermont and ends with Simon back home and Nina missing. Simon says they broke up and Nina has run away to cool off, but is he telling the truth? Part mystery, part family drama and part police procedural, McTiernan explores themes including class difference (Simon's parents are wealthy and powerful, and Nina's are neither), the weaponization of the Internet and the media to portray a stories for consumption and entertainment rather than news, and more.

I literally could not put this down (I finished the final 20% when I had been planning to do other work, but could not tear myself away). Five enthusiastic stars for this terrific novel.

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What Happened to Nina? is a mystery thriller that seems to be based off of the case of missing person Gabby Petito. Nina has been on vacation with her longtime boyfriend but doesn't return on the date when she's expected. Her concerned parents contact the police and truth slowly starts to come out, but not without some twists and turns.

I really enjoyed this book. I do not like reading about violence toward women, but this book was written tastefully and there was nothing graphic that I could not handle. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I really appreciated that each chapter was told from the perspective of a different character in the story, slowly shedding light on what had really happened. The actions of the characters will have you guessing what happened. Even when you get the reveal of what happened to Nina, there is still a lot to unpack and the story just keeps picking up.

I read this book in one day. Yes, I could not go to sleep at night without finding out what happened. I felt like reading this was watching a really good movie.

I highly recommend this book.

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This was definitely inspired by the Gabby Petito case and the media's obsession with it.

This story pulled me in with how fast paced and intriguing it was. It truly laid out the foundation of a great story but we very much know from the beginning what happens to Nina so the big mystery and suspense just wasn't there.
We still got to follow the families grieving process and ultimately the conclusion of a very heartbreaking and sad crime.

Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy!

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A tightly written, intense thriller! The plot line and characters in What Happened to Nina? are extremely well developed and lead to such a dramatic ending. We know from the beginning what did happen to her so the tension comes from breathlessly watching the desperation, despicable behavior and daring actions.

Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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When a young couple in college are together for many years and then separated while attending two different colleges tensions rise between them. While on break he becomes very controlling and angry with her.

I'll avoid any further plot giveaways. Two family's drawn together is a desperate attempt to avoid the obvious. What stands out here is the suspense, knife splitting and and the visceral pain written. Clear your calendar ,it is a propulsive read. Great, but very sad novel. Be prepared.

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“What Happened to Nina?” By Dervla McTiernan is the way too familiar suspenseful story of a young couple on vacation and only one of them returns home. But, this super gripping story is more about how far parents would go to protect their children and who hold them accountable for their decisions. It also delves into the issue of how social media and public opinion can pit people against each other even within their own families. This was a totally engrossing novel to the point of not sleeping to finish one more chapter and then one more after that……I loved this book!

Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Even though I've enjoyed Dervla McTiernan's other books, I was not expecting to devour this in one sitting. Yet from the moment I picked it up, I raced through this completely rapt.

The tension here doesn't come from answering the title question--we know early on what likely happened to Nina, and have our suspicions confirmed not too long thereafter--but from what asking the question does to the families involved and the broader community. Leeanne and Andy move from mildly concerned to downright panicked as it becomes clear that their daughter hasn't returned from her week-long trip with her boyfriend, Simon. Simon claims Nina broke up with him and that he left her at his parent's expensive cabin, but soon cracks begin to form in his story. Meanwhile, his wealthy parents, Rory and Jamie, will do whatever they can to protect him.

Chapters alternate between characters' perspectives, which not only humanizes many of the potential "villains" of the piece but also provides alternate ways to interpret certain scenes. And kudos to McTiernan for realizing that the only person's perspective we neither wanted nor needed was Simon's. Everyone else gets a turn, and it gives us a chance to experience how this kind of crime can inflict pain on so many involved.

Really gripping story, one I highly recommend.

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Pulsating with emotion, intensity, and exasperating events, What Happened to Nina? delivers a powerful impact. Dervla McTiernan has skillfully woven every parent's nightmare into a thrilling narrative that captivates while delving into the ease with which the rich can manipulate the public to sculpt a narrative of their preference, making it an uphill struggle for those less well-off to secure the justice they deserve. The result is both fascinating and infuriating.

Nina and Simon, a couple since age 16, attempt a long-distance relationship during college. Upon returning to Vermont for a school break, they visit Simon's family cabin. However, only Simon returns. Nina is missing, prompting law enforcement involvement and casting suspicion on Simon. He blames Nina for breaking up with him and suggests that’s behind her reluctance to return home, but inconsistencies emerge in his story. Simon's affluent family supports him with high-priced lawyers and a PR offensive, painting Nina's family negatively. Despite fewer resources or connections, Nina's family fights back, determined to uncover the truth and ensure justice for their daughter.

What Happened to Nina? is a suspenseful and stirring tale of two families with different socio-economic statuses, connected through a dreadful scenario, showing to what lengths parents will go for their children. A story of how the wealthy have all the advantages against those of lesser means in relation to the law and shaping the court of public opinion, yet how they can still be held to account for their actions by those with dogged determination and nothing left to lose.

It's gripping, emotional, and occasionally maddening as you observe the experiences of the two sets of parents, each taking distinct approaches while being on opposite sides of the same crisis. The novel compels you to step into their shoes, prompting honest reflection on how far you would go for your children—whether to protect them or to allow them to rest in peace.

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A young girl’s suspicious disappearance tangles two families in a web of grief, passion and deceit. When Nina doesn’t return home after a weekend away with her longtime boyfriend Simon, his reason is simple. They broke up because she was cheating and a girlfriend came to pick her up. However, her parents Leeane and Andy don’t believe this, neither do her sister and her close friends. They know Nina was loyal and loving. Of course, Jamie and Rory, Simon’s wealthy parents, do believe him. He’s their only child. Why follows is a suspenseful thriller that pits the couples against each other and, at times, wives against their husbands. What Happened to Nina is no less compelling because of a prologue that gives a broad hint of the tragedy to follow.

Dervla McTiernan is a master of character development and multilayered plots. Family drama is interspersed with a slow, deliberate police procedural, frustrating to both sets of parents. The questions asked by What Happened to Nina? are disturbingly familiar. How far would you go to protect your child? What would cause a parent to break the law? To hinder an investigation? Sadly, domestic violence is all too common. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, William Morrow and Dermal McTiernan for this ARC.

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To start this review, we have to talk about the elephant in the room (or book, as it may be): Gabby Petito. When Nina and her boyfriend Simon went on a little trip to do some hiking and rock climbing, they had an argument. Simon returned home, but Nina didn’t. #WhatHappenedToNina? This book will tell you, and it’s an explosive page-turner!

The similarities between this fictional story and Gabby Petito’s are eerily close, and I can’t help but wonder if that true case inspired the book. We have a lot of the same elements: a gorgeous and seemingly very in love young couple, parents who are now at odds when Simon becomes the likely suspect in her disappearance, and overdone news coverage and social media attention. Hashtags are created, groups are formed, conspiracy theories run rampant…sound familiar?

That being said, this was a fantastic suspense/mystery/thriller. The characters were written very well, the plot was engrossing and then, the ending. Oh my gosh, the ending. I was transfixed by the last 50-odd pages, as everything ramped up to the perfect conclusion. This was a very fun read, despite seemingly being ripped from headlines. I loved every second of it - five stars!

(Thank you to William Morrow, Dervla McTiernan and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review. This book is slated to be released on March 5, 2024.)

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A powerful disturbing book about a missing young women. Told in multiple perspectives, her parents, her sister and the parents of her boyfriend, who is the main suspect. A disturbing look at how social media can be bought and used to destroy the family of the missing girl, in an effort to protect the boyfriend. will be thinking about this one for awhile. There is some healing and growth with some of the characters

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Yikes! You thought your marriage had issues?
When posh Nina goes away with her husband and doesn’t come back, his story doesn’t add up.!
A host of unreliable characters adding twists and turns adds to the drama.
Good for a night in – 4.5 rounded up

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"What Happened to Nina?" by Dervla McTiernan is an emotional and suspenseful novel that explores the intertwined lives of two families entangled in a devastating disappearance. Nina and Simon, a seemingly perfect couple, embark on a weekend trip to Simon's family cabin in Vermont. However, when only Simon returns, the mystery surrounding Nina's disappearance deepens.

The novel delves into the aftermath of Nina's vanishing as both families are thrust into a whirlwind of uncertainty and despair. Simon's explanations for what occurred during their final hours together fail to satisfy Nina's grieving parents, who are determined to uncover the truth and seek justice. On the other hand, Simon's parents spare no expense in protecting their son, enlisting the aid of high-priced lawyers and a PR firm to launch a ruthless media campaign.

As the search for answers intensifies, accusations clash and competing narratives emerge. The story gains momentum as armchair detectives and conspiracy theorists dissect every detail, fueled by social media posts from Nina's accounts. Journalists descend upon the small Vermont town, followed by a group of obsessive followers.

Amidst the chaos and mounting pressure, Nina's family remains resolute in their quest to find their daughter. Faced with the wealth and influence of Simon's family, they understand that adhering to conventional tactics may not yield the desired outcome. Determined to uncover the truth, they are willing to go to any lengths, even if it means breaking the rules.

"What Happened to Nina?" paints a vivid picture of a family navigating through heartbreak, manipulation, and the relentless pursuit of justice. Dervla McTiernan's skillful storytelling and ability to create compelling characters will keep readers engrossed until the final page. This emotionally charged suspense novel offers an immersive reading experience that explores themes of love, loyalty, and the lengths one will go to uncover the truth.

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