Someone is watching her. She just doesn’t know it yet.
Nell Sweeney has led an ordinary life. Every day she walks to and from the hospital where she works as a nurse, believing that no harm can befall her.
Until one day she is taken.
Because someone out there has a secret. Someone out there has been watching Nell – and they’ve been watching others like her too.
Nell is the unlucky one – she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if she isn’t found soon, someone will make sure that she isn’t the last woman to disappear…
Dark. That is the first word which instantly pops up after I have read ‘The Nurse.’ It had started well when I began reading this one a few months ago, courtesy Netgalley UK. But I had to take a break in reading just while I was warming up to Nelle’s disappearance in the story. It was an unintended break, more like a reading slump or block. I can assure you that a reader’s block is as real as a writer’s block. The best of books cannot, at times, pull the reader back into the orbit of good reading. Rather, it takes a good hour or two or three of unadulterated and undisturbed dousing into the story.
‘The Nurse’ is Nelle’s story – of her disappearance and the mystery behind it – but it is also Marian’s story.
Marian Sweeney is Nelle’s mother and her perspectives in the book make another story, another novel in another time. Marian’s life goes through a major upheaval in a week of dealing with not having her daughter anywhere near, not knowing her whereabouts and not even knowing if she’s alive. The what’s and why’s of her behaviour in the when’s of the events and with the who’s around her make a very interesting plot in itself. I particularly enjoyed reading Marian’s accounts more than anyone else’s. Claire Allan definitely held the pulse of a reader through her writing here.
The main plot, however, is much more complicated. Nelle is abducted and held captive by someone due to a specific motive and that is pretty spine-chilling. As a reader, I was treating this as another mystery set in Northern Ireland and was interested to live as I have lived in Belfast and been to Derry as well. That bit of nostalgia gets me closer to NI and its locales, people, language and food. I did not have any idea though till the end of the novel, actually in the ‘Acknowledgements’, about the Incels, their motives and thought processes. It is shocking, to say the least and Claire’s research left me astound. As an author, she has been successfully able to educate a reader, living just on the other side of the sea and yet unaware of this so-called ‘movement’ on men’s rights. I tried to check a little online but it is hugely a trigger to any woman who travels/commutes alone. I, for one, would definitely be more careful and aware while I am out of the safer confines of my home.
Recommended for reader of psychological thrillers and women’s fiction. I would love to read mmore books by the author.
My rating : 4/5
About the author:
Claire Allan is a bestselling author of pyschological thrillers and, in the past, women’s fiction.
A former reporter with the Derry Journal, she published eight contemporary women’s fiction novels with Poolberg Press in Ireland before becoming a full time author, and switching genre to ‘unleash her darker side’
Language: English, Genre: Fiction / Thriller
Author(s): Claire Allan
Publisher: Avon UK, Year Published: March 2022
Binding: Kindle, Edition: First, Pages: 323
ISBN : 000838357X, ASIN : B097LZPPSV
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*I received an advance review copy from Netgalley UK