Monday, November 7, 2022

Book Review: The Nurse

By Becky Gulc

‘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…’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

I’m not sure how Claire Allen’s books have passed me by so far, but I need to catch up now that I’ve been introduced to her writing! The Nurse is a truly gripping read that I found hard to put down. It’s dark, disturbing, worrying; I was on edge for so much of it. 

Nell is a nurse who we learn has been missing for several days when we join the novel. The narrative works really well in building the suspense and emotion, it shifts between Nell’s mum Marian, ‘Him’ and at a well-executed point, Nell herself. 

‘Him’ is a member of online incel group (involuntary celibates), where attitudes and actions towards women are dark and disturbing. The character wants to stand out from the group and he begins following and filming women which is the start of a chain of events involving Nell.

There are twists, turns, and surprises throughout the novel, and as readers we are cleverly drip-fed information throughout to surprise us and make us question things, to wonder if we should feel any sympathy for certain characters. I loved that. Claire certainly managed to keep me as interested as I was in the first few pages until the very end; a momentum that can be hard to sustain in thrillers, but this one does it so well. 

I can wholeheartedly see this novel being turned into a film, the ending itself is epic. If you enjoy thrillers, I recommend this one and I really can’t decide which of Claire’s thrillers to read next! Let me know if you’ve read any of her other novels! 

More by Claire Allan:

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