Member Reviews

Nina and Simon, young and in love, go away to his family’s vacation home in VT to go climbing. Only, when they return, Simon is alone claiming Nina broke up with him and stayed in VT. Now, Nina’s parents Leanne and Andy, Simon’s parents Jamie and Rory, and detective Matthew with his rookie Sarah’s help, are all trying to figure out What Happened to Nina?
This was definitely a page turner for me! I enjoyed that it was told from multiple perspectives, so I was able to identify with each of characters and get inside their heads. The character emotions felt real and I could sympathize with them even if I didn’t agree with their actions. I was not sure how this one was going to end, but I loved it, especially the last line which pushed my rating up from a 4 to a 4.5 ⭐️ for this one!
Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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Wow, was this one good!

Together since high school, Simon and Nina appear to be the perfect young couple. On a break from college they head to Simon’s family vacation home in the mountains of Vermont to hike for a few days. The only problem is that Simon returns home without Nina and she is never seen or heard from again. What ensues are two families at cross purposes. Nina’s family, determined to find out what happened to her, and to make sure someone is held accountable and Simon’s parents, intent on protecting their son no matter what he may have done and by any means necessary. Told from multiple perspectives, the view into each character’s psyche makes for a compelling read.

This book was clearly inspired by the Gabby Petito case and that is what initially drew me to it, and while elements feel familiar, this is very much an original story. McTiernan has crafted an emotional and suspenseful novel that leaves you with a lot to think about. From silent abuse, to the power of the internet to drive a false narrative, to the unfair advantages wealth can buy, this is a book with many layers. It’s rare to find a thriller that delivers on feelings as much as this one does. It runs the gamut from sadness, to anger and frustration, it feels completely authentic and also a bit devastating. This is one I won’t soon forget.

Thank you to @netgalley and @williammorrowbooks for an arc.

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Apparently, this book's plot was inspired by the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie case. Still, the author does an excellent job of expanding and developing the fictionalized main characters and digging into what the parents went through.

Simon and Nina, together since high school, decide to go climbing at Simon's family home outside Stowe, Vermont, during a college break. Unfortunately, only Simon returns home, and the hunt is on to find out what happened to Nina. Simon's account of the events has holes in it, and Nina's parents enlist the help of the Vermont state police to find her. Meanwhile, Simon's parents, knowing Simon will be the prime suspect, hire a firm to focus on Nina and discredit Nina's family on social media. What follows is a story of what desperate parents will do to find/protect their children.

I thoroughly enjoyed McTiernan's book, "The Murder Rule," so I eagerly anticipated this book. Both are psychological thrillers that deal with family, especially between parents and their children and while both are good, "What Happened to Nina?" didn't quite measure up. The pacing and story are good and kept me turning pages, but this book fell apart at the end. The ending felt rushed, and some storylines weren't adequately addressed to my liking. Overall, it's a good, engaging read. 3.5/5 stars.

Thank you, NetGalley and William Morrow, for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. The publication date is March 26, 2024.

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Page turner from the very beginning! One of those rare books that sucks you in right away. I quickly realized this book was going to be trouble as I started the telltale “one more chapter” that translates to sleep deprivation the following day 😂 #worthit

The story centers around a young woman, Nina, in a seemingly loving relationship. However, she is hiding the abuse and controlling behavior of her boyfriend. When she goes missing, her family, the police, and the her boyfriend’s family try to put together the pieces and find out “What Happened to Nina?”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for the ARC of What Happened to Nina by Dervla McTiernan

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Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow for an ARC of this book.

20 year old Nina goes missing after spending the week with her boyfriend, Simon, at his wealthy, well-connected parents' vacation home. The book was told from all 4 parents' point of view and included the detective's voice as well. I really enjoyed seeing the situation from everyone's eyes and the lengths one will go to protect their child. Highly recommend reading! I have read all of Dervla McTiernan's books and can't wait for the next one!

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Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Nina goes missing while on vacation with her boyfriend. With little to go on, Nina's parents don't know where to turn. A good book.

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Like other reviewers stated, definitely was a Gabby Petito inspired story. I still enjoyed it and recommend reading!

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WOW, what a ride this was!! I was hooked on this story. Very captivating with so many twists and i was floored at the final twist! Highly recommend. Thank you to NetGalley for the arc copy of this book!

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Phenomenal…I finished this book in a day!! I’m definitely going to check out this Author’s other books! Thanks to NetGalley!

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5 every parent’s nightmare stars

This is my second read from Dervla McTiernan, and now I’m more eager to read her backlist!

I was on the edge of my seat with this one. It truly is a parent’s nightmare when your child doesn’t come home.

They seemed like a great couple – Nina and Simon. High school sweethearts, and somehow, they made a long-distance relationship work in college. Simon invites Nina to his parents’ vacation home, and they plan to spend a week together hiking and climbing before heading back to school. But only Simon comes home, he says that they broke up and he left Nina there.

Nina’s parents are suspicious right away because Nina is good about keeping in touch. What happened to her?

We also get the perspective of Simon’s parents and their fierce desire to protect their son. The two families are in attack mode. We also see the detective’s point of view. Overall, the different viewpoints really added to the story for me.

Nina’s family and friends started a campaign for her called “What Happened to Nina” to conduct searches and try to find her. Along the way, there was the horrible impact of social media trolls, and I really disliked how that worked for Nina’s family.

I can’t tell you much more, but let me say that this one did NOT turn out how I expected. I really liked it and read it quickly because I had to know how everything would end up.

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I received a free copy of, What Happened to Nina?, by Dervla McTiernan, from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Nina and Simon went away but only Simon came home. Did Simon kill Nina? What a story! Not sure if I liked it though. It definitely kept me guessing til the end.

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Dervla McTiernan preys on every parents greatest fear…their child is missing. Nina and Simon, age ,twenty,have been in love since they were sixteen. They go to Simon’s wealthy parents remote cabin for the weekend. Only Simon returns. No one knows what happened to Nina. The police are searching for answers but must do so within the law., and they are thwarted by Simon’s parents high price attorney. Nina’s parents’ lives are encompassed by their relentless determination to find her. How far would you, as a parent, go, morally or illegally to find your missing child?
The characters tell their stories in the first person, which helps us to understand their motives and justifications. I was emotionally involved from the very beginning, and read nonstop until the story reached its stunning conclusion.

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I think this was more a 4 1/2. It was so hard to put down. The story was told from a different POV in each chapter. It was not hard to follow along. The characters were well developed.
A couple go away for the weekend and only one returns. You know who did it early in the book and you have to keep reading to see what is going to happen next. It was very suspenseful. I just loved all the characters. Even though you know Nina is dead you can’t help but feel for both sets of parents. The story is all over the internet and many lies are told. How can Nina’s family survive this?
This is the fifth book that I have read by Dervla McTiernan and I will keep reading her books. I think this is her best one yet. Well done!
Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for my early ebook copy of this book.

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Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of this book.

Fantastic! I love this author. Her writing style pulls you into the story from page one and doesn't let you go. No exception here. You'll want to read this is one sitting. I loved that this was told from multiple POVs - sometimes a book can get bogged down with that, but not so here. And if I didn't already have a reason not to be on social media, this story would make the case for me. Between that and the paparazzi....yikes. A very satisfying ending! Highly recommend.

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4.5
I found this book to be really absorbing and the characters were very well drawn. Even though you know the answer to the title question from early on, the way events unfold and how various characters react maintains the suspense. Although what happened to Nina is unfortunately all too common, I did not feel that this was close enough to the facts of any specific case to be exploitative.

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Nina and Simon have been dating since they were 16 and now in college have gone to his families Vermont cabin to go climbing for the weekend. He comes back and she doesn't, so What happened to Nina? We actually find out the answer to that earlier than I expected in this novel, so along with being a mystery, this is a novel about how a tragedy as well as social media can effect families and their response to those events.

I found this novel very propulsive and a quick read. Its short chapters, alternating between various points of view, are told in first person, with the exception of the chapters told from the police detectives point of view. I was also happy to read a novel where the police actually did their job well and treated people with respect ! If you are looking for a mystery that is more than just a who done it, give this one a try.

Thank you to net galley for the e galley in exchange for an honest review

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4.25 stars

I had a really enjoyable reading experience with Dervla McTiernan's latest WHAT HAPPENED TO NINA? It was extremely propulsive, and my "just 5 more minutes" would become an hour as I kept reading.

In the prologue, we are introduced to Nina, and we find out she disappears on a weekend getaway with her boyfriend Simon. The book has a rotating cast of narrators: Nina's mother, Nina's father, Simon's mother, Simon's father, and detective Matthew Wright.

The author poses interesting questions throughout the novel that relate to class/socioeconomic status and social media, among others. I found this book extremely discussable.

We do find out what happened to Nina before the halfway point, so I wouldn't say this is comparable to most mysteries and thrillers in that respect because, while it IS propulsive, it's not an overly suspenseful book. And there's not many - maybe one - twist. I did find THAT part very suspenseful. But, overall, I'd say this should be classified as crime fiction instead of a thriller or a mystery.

I found Jamie's character particularly interesting.

This is propulsive, interesting, and worth the read to me - just don't go in expecting a complete mystery or thriller.

I did read an Advance Reader Copy of this novel, and I did notice three problems that I'm going to attribute to it not being the final version. 1) McTiernan is Australian, and she's writing a book set in the United States, and the prologue has several things in it that don't resonate as being in the United States. 2) The voice of Andy in Chapter 17 isn't cohesive with Andy's voice in his other chapters. 3) The novel talks about phone data being able to be recovered via the cloud (not needing the physical device), and then they proceed to go through a lot of work to find the physical device without saying the cloud data couldn't be retrieved.

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▪️missing person
▪️young love
▪️social media rumors
▪️investigative

this true crime drama follows a story similar to the Gabby Petito case. the plot was strong, but the pacing felt off to me at times. the investigation (told from POV of detective) kept me intrigued. told from the parent’s POV mostly, I would have preferred the POV of some of the other characters involved.

Thank you to Netgalley & publisher for the eARC in exchange of review.

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Nina and her long term boyfriend, Simon, go on a trip, but only Simon comes back. What happened to Nina?

In this slow-burn mystery, we see the after-effects of Nina’s disappearance for Nina’s and Simon’s families. Just how much does the 24-hour news cycle, America’s obsession with true crime theories, and class dynamics come in to play when trying to find out the facts?

This book switches between multiple POVs slowly unfolding the investigation into Nina’s case and the effects on each family. The writing is atmospheric and the story feels realistic. I found the commentary on trial by media to be interesting. I did, however, find it to be a bit too slow and I didn’t find myself reaching to pick up the book.

The ending definitely provides a bit of a payoff, but I think it took too long to get there.

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#What Happened To Nina sucked me in from the first page-it was “unputdownable”!

Dervla McTiernan originally made her name as a bestselling author in Australia and New Zealand, but you can’t help but wonder if this book was inspired by the 2021 Gabby Petito/Brian Laundrie case in the U.S..

Nina Fraser and her long time boyfriend, Simon Jordan depart for a romantic weekend away at his parent’s lakefront second property in Vermont which is surrounded by gorgeous trails which the young couple planned to hike-

BUT ONLY ONE WILL RETURN

Simon will claim that Nina broke up with him, and he left her there, per her request but we know from the opening prologue from NINA- that what happened is probably not the tale he is telling…

WE WON’T HEAR FROM HER AGAIN (not a spoiler)

The two families will be pitted against each other—one seeking justice in the disappearance of their daughter, and the other desperate enough to clear their son’s name that they hire the best lawyers and a PR firm that doesn’t care if Nina’s parents are suffering as they start a media campaign that slanders the Frasers by planting wild accusations and conspiracies online to divert attention from Simon.

You will be a fly on the wall…and privy to all the SCANDALOUS conversations and it feels very REAL.

This FAST PACED story unfolds from the alternating first person POV’s of Nina’s parents-LeeAnne and Andy, and from Simon’s parents, Jamie and Rory, but not from Simon.

An additional POV is that of Detective Matthew Wright as he tries to solve the case.

How far would you go for your child?

This is my second read from the author after being introduced to her work when I read another of her standalone books-“The Murder Rule”, and it definitely DOES NOT disappoint !

Highly recommended!

I need to make time for her popular Cormac Reilly series soon.

Expected publication date: March 26, 2024

Thank You to William Morrow for the gifted copy provided through NetGalley. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review!

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