Member Reviews

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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Dervla McTiernan is a favorite author, and this new standalone is a winner! Shifting perspectives of people who know and suspect different things as everyone tries to find out, as the title says, what happened to Nina, who went on a trip with her boyfriend and hasn't returned. Not a hugely twisty story but one with a solidly moving plot and excellent moments of tension.

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I enjoyed this fast paced thriller about a missing girl named Nina. I love reading true crime stories whether they are fiction or nonfiction. I thought the author Dervla McTiernan did a wonderful job of writing a propulsive plot and describing feelings and thoughts for both sides of the families involved in this missing person case. This book is full of tense moments and will have you on the edge of your seat guessing what happened to Nina.
I received an advanced electronic (eARC) copy from @thoughtsfromapage Early Reads Program. Thank you to Cindy Burnett and publisher William Morrow books. I appreciated the opportunity to preview this book.

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Based on Gabbie Petito, the woman who was visibly abused by her boyfriend, disappeared, and became a national story about how we react when a seemingly innocent couple becomes a national tragedy. Social media takes its own toll and the uncovered truth becomes exactly what we presumed- he did it and committed suicide.

What Happened to Nina has similar premise, but is taken from both sets of parents and the detective tasked to solve the case.

Nina’s parents are your in of the mill Vermont parents, Simons are incredibly rich with lawyers who can “fix” perspectives to make it seem like Simon is an all around American boy who would never dare hurt a fly though by the first chapter, we know exactly what has happened.

On one hand. I wanted to know what was going to happen, as it’s an easy read. However, the writing was just so bad and bland I could barely stomach it. Seriously, Some basic writing I’ve encountered in the past six months.

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From the first chapter, I was hooked! This was gripping, emotional and so hard to read at times but I couldn’t put it down. It felt as realistic as any true crime book and reminded me so much of the Gabby Petito and Kristin Smart cases. It focused on the relationships and reactions of the families involved and especially how far a family would go to protect their own. You can completely feel the hopelessness and anguish throughout the search for answers and justice. Heartbreaking and horrific, it is a must-read far any crime fiction fan!

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4.5 Stars: All the rave reviews for this one are legit; from literally the first page, I could not put this book down.

I’m still not sure how to characterize this one, perhaps part family drama, part mystery, and definitely part “ripped from the headlines” type of story.

It is a deep dive into the disappearance of a family’s much loved daughter, and how the media invades the lives of everyone involved, in a really sick and twisted way. It made me rethink any article I ever read about Gabbi Petito’s disappearance, and made me feel revulsion for myself and our media for the coverage of stories like these.

My only reservation on this one is this…I do wish this Irish writer, whose other mysteries I have also loved, would have addressed the missing white woman syndrome. They get such disproportionate coverage in comparison to women of color, particularly missing indigenous women, and it seems like it was a prime opportunity to address that?

I finished this one in 24 hours, as did many others, not being able to look away from the train wreck I knew was coming.

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Thanks to William Morrow for an advanced copy of What Happened to Nina? by Dervla McTiernan. I loved this book and it as such a quick read!

From the first moments, I was hooked on this book and finding out what happened to Nina. The book starts with Nina and her boyfriend Simon going away for a few days to his family's cabin but when she doesn't return home her mom knows something is wrong. Her parents know Simon is hiding something and are suspicious. His parents hire fancy lawyers and a PR firm to dig up everything they can find on Nina and her family. As everyone chooses sides, how far will her parents to go to find out what happened to their daughter?

I read this book in a few hours - I couldn't put it down. It was fascinating and a little bit of a slow burn, but I loved the ending.

If you're a domestic suspense fan you'll enjoy this book!

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A compulsive thriller, driven largely by its structure - told from multiple perspectives. While the narrative is framed around a missing woman, the larger impact of the story stems from its exploration of familial relationships. I appreciated having to both think and empathize as a reader. Brava, McTiernan!

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What Happened to Nina? ~ Dervla McTiernan
Pages: 336
Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Gist: Nina and Simon head to his house in Stowe for a weekend away but when Simon returns and Nina doesn’t, her family knows that something is terribly wrong. Simon has an explanation but the detectives in charge of the investigation aren’t buying it. Nina’s parent are all consumed with finding their daughter and Simon’s parents are intent on proving his innocence. But one question still remains - what happened to Nina?

Thoughts: So a little story before I get into it, I got an email with the link to read this one and I deleted the email. First impression - I thought the cover was awful. “Judge a book by its cover” was personified here! Then I saw a fave review for it - worried that I judged too quickly, I requested it on Netgalley. Best decision let me tell you!

Hints of the Gabby Petito murder ring true here - so I loved the true crime vibe. Alternating between parents and detective, we get the full range of suspicion, defense, devastation, and fear that any parent might face knowing their child is missing OR their child harmed someone else. It’s a bit procedural, a lot dramatic, but mostly it’s a story of the lengths a parent will go for their child.

Could not put it down and it’s lingered with my since finishing. I will be telling everyone who will listen to read this one. Absolutely loved - and learned my lesson to really try not to judge a book by its cover!

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What a guilty pleasure to be able to devour a good story. It doesn’t happen often with me, but I cheated on my bedtime to read, One. More. Chapter! I couldn’t put it down and although this is not truly a whodunnit, because you know who did. It had a few twists I didn’t see coming. I can’t imagine what the parents of someone who goes missing must be like, but it was plausible that they would react like these parents do. Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Cannot wait to read the author’s other works.

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I am so thankful to William Morrow Books, Dervla McTiernan, and Netgalley for granting me advanced digital access to this riveting collection of prose before it hits shelves on March 26, 2024.

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What Happened to Nina is much like the real life story of Gabby Petito.

College students Nina and Simon take some time for themselves at a remote cabin owned by his parents. When the time comes for them to come back home Simon arrives alone. Her parents are unable to reach Nina and report her missing.

The story mainly focuses on the two families involved. Some of their actions/reactions are reasonable and some are not. Social media also plays a big roll in the book. Unfortunately, some of the things that happen as a result of that are very true to life.

I liked the story and found it interesting. I would have liked a little more backstory of Nina's parents. The amount of info we are given on Simon was the perfect amount to set up the story and keep the suspense going. Simon's parents are portrayed as the rich snobs that they are.

I would recommend to readers who like a true crime feel to their books.

Thanks to netgalley and William Morrow for the arc.

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