Member Reviews

Nina is a young college woman dating Simon Jordan. The book opens with us meeting Nina as she recounts a hiking weekend with Simon where she falls and later, she is packing her stuff to leave. When Nina doesn’t respond to phone calls, her parents call the cops and start a search party for Nina. Simon claims Nina broke up with him and went off to be with friends.
Detective Matthew Wright is called in to investigate with junior detective Sarah Jane (SJ). As they work to unravel the knots of this mystery, we see two different families pitted against each other. One is wealthy and has all sorts of resources while the other is a blue-collar, working-class kind of family.
I really enjoyed the author’s first book, The Murder Rule, and this was just as good. It is fast paced and emotional – both families are trying to deal with how they are perceived by the public. There are lies being spread about them and rumors about Nina and Simon.
The cover is not relevant to the story

Was this review helpful?

Dervla McTiernan is one of my auto-buy authors so I was thrilled with the upcoming release of WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA? Wow! What an ending. This domestic thriller took me for a ride. I binge read this book in two days. I was glued. When I had to put it down, I found myself wondering about what was to come. I felt like I was an outsider watching all of this unfold. This book is about a couple who went on a romantic getaway to a remote cabin in Vermont, only one of them returns. As a New Englander, I enjoyed the Vermont setting. I also enjoyed the multiple POVs from the main character, family members and police officers. The pacing, the length of each chapters were just perfect!

Thank you to William Morrow and Netgalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

The story is a fictional true crime story about a young woman, Nina, who goes missing after a weekend away with her boyfriend, Simon, at his family cottage in Vermont. Simon comes back home, but Nina doesn’t.

The tension heightens as Nina’s family tries to get to the bottom of her disappearance, and Simon’s wealthy family does their best to shield him from scrutiny and any wrongdoing.

The story is told from multiple POV’s which keeps the story moving along, and adds to the fascination of events as the reader has the inside view of what the characters are experiencing, thinking, and feeling. This story is propulsive and has that wow factor. The effects of wealth, social media, and the dynamics of two very opposite families in a small community made this book so riveting. So very well done!

Thank you to Cindy from @thoughtsfromapage podcast for arranging the advance reader copy and author event through her Patreon Early Reads program. Thank you to William Morrow and Netgalley for the electronic ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

I had the hardest time putting this book down! It was completely bingeable in such a good way!

The prologue begins from Nina’s POV and then the reader is rotated through multiple pov’s of those close to Nina surrounding her disappearance. I loved that each POV took a chapter forward in the story as it slowly built. We understood behind the scenes and what different individuals were feeling about the circumstances.

Fan of true crime? Then this is for you. Not gory, not disturbing, but completely engrossing and this is not based on a true story. So not really true crime.

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow for the complimentary e-copy of this book!

Was this review helpful?

I would give this book 4.5 stars if I could. It was not quite 5-star-worthy, but it was close.

Dervla McTiernan’s What Happened to Nina? perfectly ratchets up the tension until it is almost unbearable. It is clear fairly early on what happened to Nina. The real story lies in what happens to everyone else.

Telling this story from a variety of viewpoints is a master stroke. You are able to get inside of the characters’ heads and see how some of their subjectively reasonable actions look different to others. It really makes you realize how often we misinterpret the motives of others. Not only that, but it was a very effective way to move the story along.

I received an ARC from William Morrow through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinions about this book.

Was this review helpful?

4.5
Nina and Simon have been dating for four years since they were sixteen, but have been friends all their lives. They decide to take a vacation to Simon's parent's new home in Vermont to go rock climbing. However, Simon returns early and tells his parents that Nina broke up with him and she stayed there another day so a friend could pick her up. However, no one seems to know where Nina is now.

The story is told with the POV's of each of the four parents and the detective; and each character moved the story along, peeling back the layers. This book leaves a lot to discuss on how social media plays into how people feel, the ways media is used to mold a story how someone wants it to look to those who hear about it, and what it can eventually do those harmed by a manipulative telling of the story a certain way.

I could not put this book down and really liked how the author told this story. The characters are so realistic and like all people, some you like and some you don't but all are very real. This was a great mystery that breaks the mold of so many popcorn thrillers and I highly recommend reading and discussing this with a friend. Hearing from the author's thoughts was especially interesting and enhanced this book.

My thanks to William Morrow Publishers and Cindy Burnett at Thoughts From a Page for an advanced copy of this e-book. Pubishes March 5, 2024.

Was this review helpful?

This book captures your attention right away. You meet Nina at the beginning and then the book switches points of view with each chapter. The plot keeps moving forward with each POV as well.

If you enjoy true crime shows or podcasts this book is for you. While it is a thriller/mystery, it takes on a slightly different structure. The reader learns about what happened to Nina before the rest of the characters.

The author brought in the social media influence that often is a part of these true crime stories. There are no social media posts included but we see how sensational comments influence the main characters.

What would you do as a parent when your child goes missing?

I read this book as part of Cindy from @thoughtsfromapage Early Reads Patreon group. We had a nice discussion with the author as well. Thanks to @netgalley and @williammorrowbooks for providing the ARC.

#whathappenedtonina #dervlamctiernan #crimefiction

Was this review helpful?

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.

WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA?

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.

HOW FAR WILL HIS FAMILY GO TO KEEP HIM SAFE?

This was a fast paced thriller that sucked me in right from the beginning! I loved how you got several points of view, starting with Nina, then Simon and all of the parents. It was crazy to watch just what they would do to protect a child, it really makes you stop and think how far you would be willing to go. I could not put this one down and was really scared of how it might end. But no fear, the ending was perfect! I look forward to whatever this author writes next!

Thank you to @netgalley, @williammorrow and Cindy from @thoughtsfromapage podcast for this advanced readers copy. Looking forward to the author chat with @dervlamctiernan

Was this review helpful?

What Happened to Nina? by Dervla McTiernan is a very strong thriller/mystery read. The book opens with 20 year old Nina narrating her current precarious personal situation with her boyfriend, Simon, and then we are left with a soul-crushing missing person mystery. Each chapter thereafter is narrated by a different character: Nina's father, Simon's mother, Nina's mother, a detective, etc. The author's depictions of each of them is believable and interesting. While the reader may not like one or more players, they are fleshed out and real. The author also spins the story out in enticing segments that poke at and support central themes. Which characters can be trusted? Who has a motive to hurt Nina? How strong is the parent/child relationship? One of the most frightening and honest parts of the novel is the role of technology and social media on the developing mystery. I highly recommend the book to those who love thrillers and mysteries. Thanks to Cindy Burnett with Thoughts from a Page, William Morrow Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to enjoy this ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Inspired by the Gabby Petito story, Dervla McTiernan's standalone novel "What Happened to Nina?" is less a mystery and more a fictional story of how two different families handle the disappearance and aftermath of Nina Fraser, a twentysomething climber and outdoor enthusiast who goes missing after spending the week with her boyfriend in a Vermont cabin. The down-to-earth, middle class Fraser family scrambles to look for their daughter and deal with the onslaught of reporters and social media backlash, while the rich Jordan family hires lawyers and hides behind "no comment" responses. Secrets and revenge factor heavily into the plot.

This could have been an interesting take on the Petito/Laundrie case, but I found the writing style to be very distracting. It is very choppy and simple - not a lot of complex sentences in this book - and it is very narrative and overly descriptive with a lot of "tell" instead of "show."

Was this review helpful?

I read this book in one sitting. No, I devoured it. Loved it.
It's a fictionalized adaptation of the Gaby Petito story. Nina is in a tumultuous relationship with her high school boyfriend Simon. They take off for a vacation to Stowe, Vermont to do some mountain climbing. When Nina falls in a freak rappelling accident with her boyfriend, she starts to consider it's not so much of an accident.

The rest of the story is told from the parents' point of views. Nina's parents as they frantically search for her and Simon's parents as they realize Simon's story might not be so true.

I had so much empathy for Nina's parents. I highly appreciated the story.

Was this review helpful?

This book hooked me from the very beginning. Just when you think you know what is happening the ground shifts underneath you, and there is a new layer. I really wanted to like Nina's Mom and Dad, but they were not the most redeemable characters, so if you need the characters you root for to super people this might not be the book for you. However, why I didn't really like them as people I understood their actions and why they did what they did. It was a good lesson on how everyone reacts differently to trauma and we shouldn't judge each other because they do not react how we think they should react. This book is also a great commentary on being sure what you read online is accurate and not to believe everything. It was a look at what could happen to people with just a few clicks of the mouse. Overall this was great book, unlike any other I have read, and I will be recommending it to my thriller/mystery loving friends.

Was this review helpful?

hard to put down and overall great read! i cant wait to reread this! from the moment i heard of this, i couldn't wait to read it and am very thankful for the opportunity to read the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

A quick multi-POV novel that reminds me of the Gabby Petito case. When Nina goes missing her parents are desperate to find her. The last person to see her was her boyfriend, Simon. Armed behind money and headstrong father, Simon maintains his innocence while the days of Nina's missing go on. With points of view from Nina and Simon's parents along with the investigating officer, What Happened to Nina? is a quick paced mystery. With a prologue from Nina the reader is quick to guess what happened, but that didn't stop the pacing of the novel. I found it hard to put down.

Thank you to Harper Collins and Netgalley for a copy in exchange for review consideration.

Was this review helpful?

Quick pick reluctant reader recommendation! Read it March 26th!

What Happened to Nina?
by Dervla McTiernan
336 pages
@williammorrowbooks
will be released March 26, 2024

Content warnings: partner abuse, domestic violence, violence against women, murder

This book seemed to be inspired by the Gabby Petito case, and revealed how both the victim and perpetrator’s families reacted when Nina went “missing”. The story kept my attention even though I knew what had happened early on- though somewhat predictable in that regard, the families’ actions were not as predictable and this did have some insight into how the police follow procedures to find out the truth.
Even though I knew how this would end, it was interesting and kept me engaged. There were enough mini twists to keep me captivated.

Read this if
you follow true crime and court cases
are intrigued by investigations and police procedures
need a fast read on a rainy day or short flight
a quick pick for reluctant readers- this has appeal for the nonfiction reader who dabbles in realistic fiction

#crimethriller #truecrimereads #newbooks #arc #currentlyreading #quickpickforreluctantreaders

Was this review helpful?

As desperate as I was to know what happened, I never wanted this one to end! The characters are SO enjoyable and the pace was absolute perfection! An absolute must-read no matter your favorite genre!

Was this review helpful?

I received a complimentary copy of WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA? by Dervla McTiernan from the publisher. Thank you to William Morrow Books!

Publication Date: 3/26/2024

WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA? follows the aftermath of the relationship between the titular Nina and her boyfriend Simon. Childhood sweethearts, their relationship seems perfect until the distance of college separates them. Nina agrees to take time off from her family's business and use her holiday to spend time with Simon at his family's cabin. Simon comes home early, Nina does not.

Simon says that Nina broke up with him and planned to make her own way home. Her family is frantic for answers while Simon's family works desperately to protect him. The story rapid fire switches POV between both children's parents, Nina's sister, and the police officer tasked for getting the answers everyone needs.

I went into this book with the wrong expectations, so I didn't wind up enjoying this as much as I would have liked. It was a very easy read and the writing makes it very approachable, but I went into it expecting more mystery and intrigue. I would classify this book as more of a family drama with the disappearance of Nina at the center.

The book opens with Nina's POV and we quickly learn that things between Nina and Simon are less than ideal. No one in her immediate circle suspects... or at least they aren't willing to admit they think there's anything wrong. While we don't initially know what happened to keep Nina from coming home, the reader is quickly pointed in the right direction of what to expect and I felt like throughout the book the things that might have been reveals or twists were very heavily foreshadowed such that nothing especially surprised me. The characters are also not lovable (nor do I think they necessarily were meant to be), but I was left wanting someone to root for and didn't entirely find that.

Overall this did have some interesting discussions about the lengths parents will go to for their children and there was good representation for trauma and mental health, but it wasn't entirely a win for me. WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA? is out on March 26!

Was this review helpful?

Many thanks to the publisher, William Morrow Books and Cindy Burnett, Thoughts From a Page, for the advance electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! What a ride. This book gripped me from the start! It reminded me of a ripped from the headlines kind of story. It is very tense and atmospheric.

Nina and Simon have been a couple for over 4 years. They seem to be so in love. They leave on a trip to his family’s cabin in nearby Vermont. But only Simon returns and what he has to say doesn’t add up. It is a parent’s worst nightmare. A missing child.

This book examines many issues. The way social media, and the media in general can skew and even falsify situations. What would a parent do for their child? Would it be at any cost? This is a book I’ll be thinking about for some time! If you’re a fan of true crime, you’ve likely seen cases similar to this one. Gabby Petito, for example.

I raced through this one, wanting to know what would happen. It comes together a little more quickly in the end than I would have preferred, but it’s a solid suspense novel that I’d recommend.

4.25-4.5/5 stars

CW | Contains some strong profanity here and there throughout.

Was this review helpful?

Chilling page-turner with echoes of a true story. Is Nina missing or just in hiding? Money and political power work to hide the truth. Can they defeat Nina’s loved ones? Well written with unexpected twists and turns.

Was this review helpful?

A compelling and fast-paced thriller. I really enjoyed this and couldn’t put it down. I liked how the author focused on how the parents are affected in a missing young adult situation. Often these tales are told from the perpetrator or victim’s perspective, so it was an interesting difference to hear from the parents involved.

Thanks to the Thoughts from a Page podcast for the ARC as a Patreon perk! Thanks also to NetGalley and the publisher for my review copy.

Was this review helpful?