Member Reviews

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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A disturbing book that I assume is based on the Brian Lurue (sp? ) case. I see no redeeming facet if this book. I felt distressed after reading it. The author definitely has issues w/people who are successful. No one in the book has a redeeming side to them.

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Well-written thriller. Great for those who enjoy figuring out how the puzzle fits together. Multi-character perspectives handled deftly.

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Nina, a young woman who spends most of her time working at her parents' inn, doesn't return from a trip with her boyfriend, sparking a missing persons investigation. Told in alternating POV chapters from Nina and her boyfriend's family members and the police officer investigating her disappearance, this is really a book about how far parents will go to protect their children.

I found the mystery aspects gripping and found the multiple POV style very effective. The reader knows who is lying, and can put together clues from multiple sources. The prologue from Nina's perspective was critical to getting us invested in her disappearance, but Nina fades from the narrative a bit as the story turns into a struggle of family vs family. This feels a little like the real life story of Gabby Petito combined with elements of the movie In the Bedroom. The emotional story is almost hard to read at times, as Nina's family deals with their grief, anger, and desperation to find her. It's much more about Nina and Simon's family than it is about Nina and Simon, which is fine, but the summary doesn't really communicate that. What Happened to Nina is the hashtag Nina's friends use to solicit information online, but this book is much more about what happens after Nina goes missing than it is about what happened to Nina.

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Holy cow! I got this this morning sat down to read it and finished it three hours later with my heart pounding. This was such a well written book. Social criticism ant its finest! . Well done Dervla well done.

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Wow!! This book! It takes the story of a missing young woman and delves deeply into the feelings of the families and their response one another and the outside world. It also exposes how often the media and bloggers are not portraying an accurate narrative. I was unable to stop thinking of the characters and every chance I could get would return to reading. The author’s talent is reminiscent of Anna Quindlen. Yes — Anna Quindlen!! She writes the behaviors, settings and inner thoughts with such relatable and realistic details you feel as if you are there. I didn’t want the book to end but end it does and with a worthy finish!!! After I closed the book, I immediately looked up the author and ordered an earlier titles of hers, The Ruin. Can’t wait!
Read What Happened to Nina!!

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I just finished What Happened to Nina by Dervla McTiernan. I basically read the book in one sitting because it was so riveting!
Nina and Simon have known each other all of their lives. They fell in love when they were sixteen and everyone thought they were the perfect love story until the two of them go on a vacation and only Simon comes home.
What happened to Nina?
I highly recommend this title! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this digital ARC.

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Twenty year old Nina and long term boyfriend Simon have been together since high school and are making it work though they are at different colleges. They are both in their New Hampshire hometown for a school break when the two go to spend a weekend away, climbing and hiking at Simon’s family vacation home in Stowe. Simon comes home early from the weekend, claiming that he and Nina broke up. Nina does not return. Nina’s family is frantic, where is Nina? Meanwhile Simon’s family is doing whatever it takes to protect their son.

Shades of Gabby Petito in this book which may be geared toward young adults but actually mainly focuses on the parents of both Nina and Simon as they try to search for/shield their respective children and the author does a good job of making all the parents fairly relatable as they all go to incredible lengths. The only thing missing is a picture of the real Nina which is never really apparent here, but maybe isn’t really necessary, as the book isn’t so much about that. This definitely kept me interested and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject matter,

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Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced ecopy of What Happened to Nina?

I'm a fan of Dervla McTiernan's other books, so it was no surprise that this gripped me right away. The story reminded me so much of the Gabby Petito case from a couple of years ago, but it definitely brought it's own originality and twists, especially towards the second half of the book. It was a great look into true crime obsession, the speed that rumors fly and take root online, and how far one might go to protect those they love, no matter their faults. I highly recommend this for crime fiction lovers.

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A girl who we know has an abusive boyfriend disappears. Her parents want answers, the boy’s wealthy parents want it to go away, and the police are stymied. The tension goes up….and up.

This is a powerful collective character study. The question isn’t who done it, it’s how will the uncertainty be resolved. I found it an absorbing and powerful novel that leaves us with a moral quandary.

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