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The Nurse

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Someone is watching her. She just doesn’t know it yet. The unputdownable new book from the bestselling author of Her Name Was Rose. Everyone has a secret. But some are worse than you could ever imagine. 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 ta Someone is watching her. She just doesn’t know it yet. The unputdownable new book from the bestselling author of Her Name Was Rose. Everyone has a secret. But some are worse than you could ever imagine. 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 be taken… A chilling, gripping read, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Gillian McAllister.


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Someone is watching her. She just doesn’t know it yet. The unputdownable new book from the bestselling author of Her Name Was Rose. Everyone has a secret. But some are worse than you could ever imagine. 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 ta Someone is watching her. She just doesn’t know it yet. The unputdownable new book from the bestselling author of Her Name Was Rose. Everyone has a secret. But some are worse than you could ever imagine. 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 be taken… A chilling, gripping read, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Gillian McAllister.

30 review for The Nurse

  1. 5 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    In a Nutshell: The story is sinister and creepy. The writing style needed to be crisper. But it’s still a thriller worth reading. Story: Marian’s 22 year old daughter Nell (a nurse with a local hospital) hasn’t been seen in her house-share or her workplace since four days. When Nell’s roommate calls up Marian and reports this, Marian has no clue about what’s going on except that she needs to contact the police right away. Will she be able to find out what happened to her daughter? Nell has had an o In a Nutshell: The story is sinister and creepy. The writing style needed to be crisper. But it’s still a thriller worth reading. Story: Marian’s 22 year old daughter Nell (a nurse with a local hospital) hasn’t been seen in her house-share or her workplace since four days. When Nell’s roommate calls up Marian and reports this, Marian has no clue about what’s going on except that she needs to contact the police right away. Will she be able to find out what happened to her daughter? Nell has had an ordinary life until the day she was taken. Has she just been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or is there a darker reason for why she has been kidnapped? The story comes to us in the first person perspectives of Marian and Nell, and in the third person perspective of “Him”, whose identity is revealed later in the book. Where the book worked for me: ✔ The author is a former journalist and her eye for detail and research is evident in the story. ✔ The book throws light on an underground movement related to so-called ‘incels’—involuntary celibates—who believe that women have started getting too big for their boots and that they need to be taught a lesson to keep them in their original place, subservient to men. All the content related to this idea was horrendous to read. I can’t think of any other thriller that made me squirm in such discomfort because while the story is fictitious, the factual base of these “incels” is revealed in the prologue and in the author’s note at the end. At the same time, a known devil is better than an unknown one, so I appreciate the light the story threw on this unheard-of movement. ✔ The “Him” perspective is chilling and yet so well-written. To a certain extent, I identified with the character’s initial thoughts (before he digressed into mental rubbish.) Yes, I'm a woman, but I could still understand where he was coming from. There are a few women who have misused the MeToo hashtag, who have estimated men only by their net worth, who insist on women being the stronger/better gender. It must be frustrating to deal with such extreme "feminists". His ideas on “#NotAllMen” were very true, and women do need to remember that. It is sad that a part of modern-day feminism involves pushing down men at every juncture. True feminism involves asking for equal rights and opportunities, not a demand to be accepted as the superior gender by treating men like dirt. If we go that way, we are repeating the mistake of the patriarchal older generations. ✔ Though the ending was a bit abrupt and too neat, I liked it. It flowed naturally from the story and didn’t contort into a needless or unforeseen twist. Where the book could have worked better for me: ❌ The blurb seems to be taking the story in a very different direction from what it is. Nell is not the primary character for most of the story, which comes to us mainly from the pov of Marian and “Him”. ❌ The title doesn't suit the book AT ALL! Ditto for the cover. ❌ Marian’s character arc starts off well but soon her thoughts seem more like rambles as the book progresses. It became very hard to connect or sympathise with her character. ❌ The tension between Marian and her husband, along with the details on his gaslighting and abusive nature, wasn’t relevant to the main story and served as a needless distraction. ❌ Certain plot points related to some secondary characters are left dangling. While these may not have had a direct impact on the main storyline, it would have been helpful to know more about how it happened rather than only knowing that it happened. ❌ It was very easy for me to guess who the “Him” was. 😕 All in all, I think I did like the book despite the flaws I’ve mentioned. This was my first Clair Allan title and it won’t be the last. Though disturbing, it raises an important issue. While it is scary to see that such men exist, it is also reassuring to know that they aren’t in the majority. Misogyny (and misandry) are never the right solution; high time the whole of humanity realises this. 3.75 stars from me, mainly because of the light it shed on the incel movement and the writing of the “Him” perspective, which is outstanding. PS: I loved Heman in my childhood. It broke my heart to see the hashtag #Ihavethepower being inspired from his comics and misused this way by the creeps. My thanks to Avon Books UK and NetGalley for the DRC of “The Nurse”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bharath

    If you like thrillers, you are very likely to find this book captivating. A very fast-moving story, with good character development and a scenario which is researched. Stephen & Marian are like many married couples, leading a fairly routine life, though with some level of incompatibility & stress between them. Nell is their daughter, who wants to live an independent life, and works as a nurse. One day Marian receives a call from Nell’s room-mate that she has not been seen for the last 2-3 days. If you like thrillers, you are very likely to find this book captivating. A very fast-moving story, with good character development and a scenario which is researched. Stephen & Marian are like many married couples, leading a fairly routine life, though with some level of incompatibility & stress between them. Nell is their daughter, who wants to live an independent life, and works as a nurse. One day Marian receives a call from Nell’s room-mate that she has not been seen for the last 2-3 days. At first, since Nell has made some new friends, including a new boyfriend, they just expect she has stayed over with someone. As the cops get involved, they advise not to panic initially, but everyone fears the worst as more time elapses. There is another track which alternates with this one – there is a man (referred to as only ‘Him’, ‘He’ for over half the book) who harbours resentment against what feminism is doing to the freedom men have enjoyed in the past. He, along with other Incels (Involuntary celibates) discuss such things on forums on the dark web. He has an idea to get power back for men, and with a camera follows women walking alone, filming the fear they feel, finally making a lame excuse for being behind them. As he posts this on the forums to adulation from others, his sense of self-worth grows. This triggers many others to think of more things they can do. It seems that one of this crowd could be involved with Nell’s disappearance. The writing is very good, and the book is a page turner. ‘His’ philosophy to life and women is expressed very well, however disturbing it is to read. The author covers her research in the afterword and it is troubling, indicating that it is very easy today for many to harbour, discuss and amplify regressive views, and the true scenario is as bad or worse than what this book covers. A couple of things could have been better: - There is another victim besides Nell, whose story is brushed past too quickly (even she is not a primary character in the story). - The ending is somewhat plain and simple, and could have been better. However, I much prefer this instead of a far-fetched twist. My rating: 4.5 / 5. Thanks to NetGalley, Avon Books and the author for a free electronic review copy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    3.5 stars rounded down. While I applaud the author for writing about this issue, and I must say the author’s note at the end was very heartfelt, the story just didn’t fully grab me. This book is about the sad and lame incel movement. Incels are involuntary celibates - men who can’t get a girlfriend, who feel slighted by women who they feel should respect them as superior beings. They blame women for everything that is wrong in their lives. This is not fiction. It is real and it is out there and t 3.5 stars rounded down. While I applaud the author for writing about this issue, and I must say the author’s note at the end was very heartfelt, the story just didn’t fully grab me. This book is about the sad and lame incel movement. Incels are involuntary celibates - men who can’t get a girlfriend, who feel slighted by women who they feel should respect them as superior beings. They blame women for everything that is wrong in their lives. This is not fiction. It is real and it is out there and there are sad little men acting on their impulses to punish women right now. Of course ‘not all men’ are sad, creepy perverts. In fact I don’t know anyone like that at all (thankfully). There are many many kind, respectful, wonderful men out there and they are just as disgusted by this movement as women. So this story is about a man who feels disrespected by women and he has the idea to follow lone women at night and scare them and film their fear. This makes him feel powerful (yes, it’s pretty pathetic I know). Anyway he posts his exploits on line but it soon snowballs and he realises that it has gone too far. He is not comfortable with the direction that some of his followers are taking. He never actually meant to hurt anyone but unintended consequences have a habit of tripping you up. The nurse is a young woman who has been taken by a different man who is upping the stakes. He has already killed one woman and is holding ‘the nurse’ captive while planning a live streamed grand finale. This should have been a story crackling with tension and to some extent it was. But I always felt I knew where it was going. The thing that really spoiled it for me was the mother. I get it, I have two adult daughters myself. But this mother was depicted as a raving nutcase who just wanted to scream and dissolve into tears. I would want to do that too. But she almost derailed the whole thing by giving information away to the press and her anguish, while wholly understandable, was very repetitive and slowed the story down. It’s a fine line I suppose but, in this case, it detracted from what could have been a more dramatic story. The story was told from the POV of the mother, the nurse and the incel. Being in the incel’s head was very unpleasant. I would hope that fathers are teaching their sons to be better than that. Many thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    Well that was a dark and disturbingly realistic read! Claire Allen really knows how to relay the fear felt by these women and this family. Her books are always excellent and The Nurse was no exception. We hear this story from the points of view of all the character. Nell Sweeney, the nurse who is taken on her way home from work. Nell's parents, who are scared and worried about their daughter while their marriage crumbles around them. Also from the man - the man on the Incel forums who learns that Well that was a dark and disturbingly realistic read! Claire Allen really knows how to relay the fear felt by these women and this family. Her books are always excellent and The Nurse was no exception. We hear this story from the points of view of all the character. Nell Sweeney, the nurse who is taken on her way home from work. Nell's parents, who are scared and worried about their daughter while their marriage crumbles around them. Also from the man - the man on the Incel forums who learns that his prank of just scaring women on their own walking home at night, has been taken to the next level. It is a dark look into the dark web and the men that inhabit it., The men that are supposedly fighting for men's rights, and feel that they can't do anything right in the world of #metoo. Thanks to Avon Books UK and Netgalley for my advanced copy of this book.. The Nurse is published March 17th

  5. 5 out of 5

    Srivalli Rekha

    *Not-so-Popular Opinion* 3.5 Stars One Liner: Great premise, but rambles a little too much. Nell Sweeney leads an ordinary life until she gets kidnapped. No one knows where she is or who took her. Who would want to harm a nurse? Or maybe she’s the unlucky one. Whatever the reason, they need to find her before it is too late. Everyone has secrets, and some are too dangerous to hide in the dark. The world of the dark web can be a safe place to vent frustrations, but only until things don’t go out o *Not-so-Popular Opinion* 3.5 Stars One Liner: Great premise, but rambles a little too much. Nell Sweeney leads an ordinary life until she gets kidnapped. No one knows where she is or who took her. Who would want to harm a nurse? Or maybe she’s the unlucky one. Whatever the reason, they need to find her before it is too late. Everyone has secrets, and some are too dangerous to hide in the dark. The world of the dark web can be a safe place to vent frustrations, but only until things don’t go out of hand. What happens when a single post spirals things out of control? What I Like: • The story is based on the incel (involuntary celibates) movement, where men blame women for just about everything, including their lack of girlfriends. It’s not easy reading about sick minds, but the reality is far worse. • The story is narrated in three POVs (Marian, Nell’s mother, Nell, and Him, a key player whose identity is revealed later). The man’s POVs were very well done. • The book deals with narcissism in different forms. • There are no unexpected twists or far-fetched scenarios. What Didn’t Work for Me: • The book is 400 pages long, and a lot of it is filled with Marian’s ramblings. As much as I understand that Marian is distraught about her missing daughter, reading her POV was tiresome. • The middle part drags, and nothing much happens except more rambling. I began fast reading from here. • I’m not sure why the book is titled The Nurse. It has nothing vital to do with the plot. Nell is a nurse, but I don’t think the story would change if she was in any other profession. • The story could’ve easily been completed in 280+ pages. A tighter narration would have been more effective (at least for me). • Relating to any of the characters was pretty much impossible. It felt like watching a slow thriller on the screen. That should’ve been a plus, but since it was too slow, the effect got diluted. To sum up, The Nurse deals with a crucial premise but rambles a little too much. Thank you, NetGalley and Avon Books UK, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. #NetGalley

  6. 4 out of 5

    Helen Fields

    The Nurse is an utterly compelling read. It's timely, tackling up-to-the minute issues in a realistic, relatable way as it ticks all the boxes for what you want in a great thriller. Top grade suspense, and lip-biting drama. Read it. The Nurse is an utterly compelling read. It's timely, tackling up-to-the minute issues in a realistic, relatable way as it ticks all the boxes for what you want in a great thriller. Top grade suspense, and lip-biting drama. Read it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Everyone has a secret. But some are worse than you could ever imagine. Nell Sweeney has ked an ordinary life. Every day she walks to and from hospital where she works as a nurse, believing that no harm will befall her. Until one day she is taken. Because someone out there has a secret. Someone has been watching Nell - and they've been watching others too. The story centres round Nell, a nurse that is missing. Nell's flatmate and best friend tells Nell's mother that she hasn't seen Nell in four da Everyone has a secret. But some are worse than you could ever imagine. Nell Sweeney has ked an ordinary life. Every day she walks to and from hospital where she works as a nurse, believing that no harm will befall her. Until one day she is taken. Because someone out there has a secret. Someone has been watching Nell - and they've been watching others too. The story centres round Nell, a nurse that is missing. Nell's flatmate and best friend tells Nell's mother that she hasn't seen Nell in four days or turned up for work. As the police investigates Nell's disappearance, there's a group of men who call themselves incels, (involuntary celibate) on the dark web. The story is told from multiple points of view and each chapter is told from a different character. After reading this book, I don't think I will be walking the streets at night on my own. I would like to thank #NetGalley #AvonBooksUK and the author #ClaireAllan for my ARC of #TheNurse in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Okay, wow! This was a lot. I have so many thoughts. So first of all, the cover is lovely but the book needed a better name and summary. I think people will skip it thinking it’s about nursing or a medical drama. That’s actually what I had in mind when I requested it but I liked this much more. This book is about missing girls and incels. We start off with a prologue of a date that is going awry. We are then introduced to a mother who has just been informed that her adult daughter is missing. We a Okay, wow! This was a lot. I have so many thoughts. So first of all, the cover is lovely but the book needed a better name and summary. I think people will skip it thinking it’s about nursing or a medical drama. That’s actually what I had in mind when I requested it but I liked this much more. This book is about missing girls and incels. We start off with a prologue of a date that is going awry. We are then introduced to a mother who has just been informed that her adult daughter is missing. We alternate between her and AN INCEL! We know of no connection. So there’s a lot going on with Mr. Incel. We don’t know his name but we meet him as things are going downhill in his life. He doesn’t like his living arrangement, his roommates blow him off, and he just feels like people are out to get GOOD GUYS like him in general. Yeah good guy, like Chucky maybe. He decides to blow off some steam by scaring girls walking alone at night. Making them think he’s going to hurt them. Victimless crime, he thinks! He posts this to a 4chan type of site I’m guessing, and he’s immediately idolized by the other misogynistic nerds so he really gets an ego boost and has his bad opinions confirmed as he slips further into darkness. You do look at surroundings and how people treat him, which isn’t always great, but the truth is that women can’t win. If you’re too nice to them, they stalk you or say you led them on. If you say no up front, you’re mean. This entitlement to women, sex and attention doesn’t form out of the blue. As the search for Nell continues, we alternate between Marian, her mother, and Mr. Incel. The suspense grows more and more at the end of each chapter, waiting to see where this will intersect and how it will pan out for the missing girl and her grief-stricken parents. The author really has a way of making you feel such pain for the parents. Meanwhile, things are getting a little out of control for Mr. Incel. It’s going off the rails when the other dudes are so bad he starts to look decent. Yikes. I wish I could read this book aloud to men I know, especially chapter 3, just to let them know what we have to deal with. What it’s like to be afraid to walk alone and feel helpless. This is written in the UK, we have more access to protection here in the US. This book is able to take a matter like Chads and Staceys and keep the suspense and not make it some comedic cringe festival. I was at the edge of my seat. Especially about halfway through when we start to find out a lot more of what’s going on. I would recommend this for the suspense and also just as a warning to what kind of weirdos are out there. Stay safe, ladies! Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I liked this book, but didn’t love it. While the story centers around the disappearance of 22-year-old nurse Nell, it’s primarily told from the POV of Nell’s mom, Marian, and an unidentified villain who may or may not be the kidnapper. The story itself is disturbing, uncovering a whole group of men on the dark web who believe that they are being persecuted by women and need to put all women back into their own place. Horrifyingly, this is a real thing, I found out later. I was both appalled and f I liked this book, but didn’t love it. While the story centers around the disappearance of 22-year-old nurse Nell, it’s primarily told from the POV of Nell’s mom, Marian, and an unidentified villain who may or may not be the kidnapper. The story itself is disturbing, uncovering a whole group of men on the dark web who believe that they are being persecuted by women and need to put all women back into their own place. Horrifyingly, this is a real thing, I found out later. I was both appalled and fascinated by the chapters that give the reader a glimpse into how these men are thinking. I also liked the end of the book and felt that it was fast paced and exciting. What I didn’t love was the often slow-moving and repetitive narrative from Marian, where she is clearly devastated by her missing daughter while also ruminating about her marriage. This part of the book could have been cut back in order for the pacing of the book to be faster. Also, small nit, but Nell was described early in the book as Marian’s “eldest” daughter and I was confused as to why they weren’t bringing in their other kids, only to find out later that Nell is actually their only child. Overall, unique storyline and definitely disturbing but was a just a little slow for me until close to the end. I’d give it 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    RK_reads

    A harrowing tale of misogyny and toxic masculinity, this suspense thriller describes every woman's worst nightmare. 22-year old nurse, Nell Sweeney has been missing for four days and her parents, Marian and Stephen are beside themselves with worry. While the cops are doing everything they can to locate her, unbeknownst to them, Nell is caught in a psycopath's macabre power game, where she is merely an expendable pawn. It takes amazing skill to turn such an agonising subject matter into an unputd A harrowing tale of misogyny and toxic masculinity, this suspense thriller describes every woman's worst nightmare. 22-year old nurse, Nell Sweeney has been missing for four days and her parents, Marian and Stephen are beside themselves with worry. While the cops are doing everything they can to locate her, unbeknownst to them, Nell is caught in a psycopath's macabre power game, where she is merely an expendable pawn. It takes amazing skill to turn such an agonising subject matter into an unputdownable plot, the way Claire Allan has done with 'The Nurse.' Her story-telling technique is unfaltering, be it in the tangible portrayal of Nell's sheer terror, Stephen's helplessness, Marian's alternating feelings of grief, dread and numbness, or in the characterization of the antagonist whose twisted POV invokes revulsion and outrage in the reader. The events in the book do bring up unpleasant memories of situations of fear and harassment that women all over have endured because of the perverted view of certain men who try to find their own worth, in the pain of the women around them. The author's note at the end of the book provides a condensed insight into the 'incel' community, ensuring that it isn't simply fiction, but an existing and escalating movement of 'women-haters.' Overall, an intensely dark read that is as compelling as it is uncomfortable. Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books for providing a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Symonds

    I have always enjoyed reading a book by Claire Allan, I think they keep getting better and better her books, this one was brilliant. I was hooked from the first chapter, it has just the right level of tension that builds up with a good pace. It sent shivers down my arms and a level of unease reading it, I wanted to devour the whole thing right away but then wanted to saviour the story. Claire has a way with her words that keep you guessing and she leaves the reader with a hint of intrigue as you I have always enjoyed reading a book by Claire Allan, I think they keep getting better and better her books, this one was brilliant. I was hooked from the first chapter, it has just the right level of tension that builds up with a good pace. It sent shivers down my arms and a level of unease reading it, I wanted to devour the whole thing right away but then wanted to saviour the story. Claire has a way with her words that keep you guessing and she leaves the reader with a hint of intrigue as you never really know what will happen next. I loved the story line and it had some fantastic twists, I look forward to reading Claire's next book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Faichney

    As soon as I heard the premise for this book, I knew I had to read it. "The Nurse" is a captivating psychological thriller which thoroughly engaged me. I couldn't put it down! Claire Allan has really pulled out all the stops with this one. She cleverly, subtly, challenges our perceptions around who is a victim worthy of public sympathy. She also shows us how easily people can become radicalised online. "The Nurse" explores the very real, very dangerous, culture of Incels. If you don't know what As soon as I heard the premise for this book, I knew I had to read it. "The Nurse" is a captivating psychological thriller which thoroughly engaged me. I couldn't put it down! Claire Allan has really pulled out all the stops with this one. She cleverly, subtly, challenges our perceptions around who is a victim worthy of public sympathy. She also shows us how easily people can become radicalised online. "The Nurse" explores the very real, very dangerous, culture of Incels. If you don't know what that means, you're in for the shock of your life. I urge you to read the Author's Note at the end for context, and I also highly recommend Laura Bates's work of non-fiction on the subject, entitled "Men Who Hate Women". Allan has used fiction to explore a hugely important (and little understood) issue in a way that is engaging and gripping. I hope this book is a massive bestseller. It deserves to be.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    I enjoyed both Forget Me Not and Ask No Questions by Claire Allan and she continues to impress me with The Nurse. Claire Allan writes what I call intelligent thrillers and doesn't use formulas or banal plots. Yes, this is yet another missing child book BUT this time the child is a twenty-two year old adult and she has been missing for four days before her parents find out...I like that it was unique in that way. Told from three points of view we get chapters from Him. Marion the mot I enjoyed both Forget Me Not and Ask No Questions by Claire Allan and she continues to impress me with The Nurse. Claire Allan writes what I call intelligent thrillers and doesn't use formulas or banal plots. Yes, this is yet another missing child book BUT this time the child is a twenty-two year old adult and she has been missing for four days before her parents find out...I like that it was unique in that way. Told from three points of view we get chapters from Him. Marion the mother and Nell herself. I love books that have that format. I find when it is done this way you get inside each characters head. I also loved being surprised halfway through the book. This was such a treat to read because of the fresh take on kidnapping stories and what we do for those we love the most. I have The Liar’s Daughter on my TBR pile and I will have to bump it up as Claire Allan never disappoints. With many thanks to NetGalley, Claire Allan and Avon Books UK for the giving of the ARC. #NetGalley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    I LOVED this book!! The story was quite intriguing and quite the psychological thriller. Claire Allan does an excellent job of weaving a good, page-turning story that keeps you guessing until the shocking reveal. I had to go back to make sure I read it right on who was involved. I learned what an incel was and how radicalized people can get with online forums and the dark web. I have to find more books by this author!

  15. 5 out of 5

    The Book Review Café

    OMG The Nurse is one seriously twisted book! Claire Allan has created a book that plays on most woman’s biggest fear where a sense of malice is palatable from the start. The first chapter chills you and by the second chapter, you will find yourself well and truly hooked. The Nurse incorporates a subject that’s relevant and very current in today's news, which makes the read far more credible and terrifying. Nell Sweeney is a nurse, who disappears after completing her shift. The narrative moves eff OMG The Nurse is one seriously twisted book! Claire Allan has created a book that plays on most woman’s biggest fear where a sense of malice is palatable from the start. The first chapter chills you and by the second chapter, you will find yourself well and truly hooked. The Nurse incorporates a subject that’s relevant and very current in today's news, which makes the read far more credible and terrifying. Nell Sweeney is a nurse, who disappears after completing her shift. The narrative moves effortlessly between Marian, Nell’s mum, and an unknown male who appears to hate women. He has gotten involved with involuntarily celibate dark websites (Incel) where women are depicted in an extremely negative way and dehumanised and abused. The subject is a difficult one, but the author deals with it sympathetically. But never less I feel I should mention that the storyline is gritty, and makes for an upsetting and disturbing read at times. The Nurse generates a genuine sense of fear as the unknown male’s behaviour escalates. The emotions the young women feel are so credible you imagine yourself in their shoes, vulnerable and terrified. Marian’s character is one every mother will relate to. The pain and grief that she had to deal with whilst the police are searching for her daughter was heart-breaking to read. The unknown male chapters sent shivers down my spine, as he becomes an active member of Incel. It made for an uncomfortable read. There’s an intense feeling of something dark and dangerous lurking as his twisted game gains momentum within the Incel community. A sense of foreboding grows at every flick of the page. I have a feeling this book is going to be a big hit on its release in 2022. Highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mehva

    This is a tense and disturbing book. We follow parents as they discover their grown daughter is missing. As the book goes on, secrets from their marriage emerge. We also get to read the thoughts of a man, who might be the kidnapper, a man who justifies his actions against women as he sees himself as the victim. And eventually we get to the daughter's story. There is growth for most of the characters. This is a tense and disturbing book. We follow parents as they discover their grown daughter is missing. As the book goes on, secrets from their marriage emerge. We also get to read the thoughts of a man, who might be the kidnapper, a man who justifies his actions against women as he sees himself as the victim. And eventually we get to the daughter's story. There is growth for most of the characters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danielle B

    Nell Sweeney is a nurse leading a very ordinary life, until one day she is taken while walking to the hospital where she works. Nell never expected something like this to happen, but soon learns that she was likely being watched by her abductor. And that he is likely watching others too. She is praying to be found before its too late! This was a very intense thriller novel from Claire Allen. The author kept the intensity very high throughout this fascinating story. I appreciated the multiple poin Nell Sweeney is a nurse leading a very ordinary life, until one day she is taken while walking to the hospital where she works. Nell never expected something like this to happen, but soon learns that she was likely being watched by her abductor. And that he is likely watching others too. She is praying to be found before its too late! This was a very intense thriller novel from Claire Allen. The author kept the intensity very high throughout this fascinating story. I appreciated the multiple points of view and that the story felt completely believable, as it could easily be a news story in real life. I really enjoyed THE NURSE and I hope you will too! Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. This review will be posted to my Instagram Blog (@coffee.break.book.reviews) in the near future.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Courtney (caffeinereadrepeat)

    Blubbering Bunny Butts! 😯😳🤯 Shhhhhittake! 😳 The somewhat slow burn of this novel was tedious and then just past half way, BAM! First reveal that dropped my jaw. And a few others after. This book had me hooked & reeled in from the beginning. It was an excellent pace and I enjoyed the back & forth from "Him", the mother & Nell herself. Nell has led a very ordinary, unexciting life. She's currently a nurse at a hospital & lives with her life long friend, Clodagh. Nell's mother, Marian, gets a call f Blubbering Bunny Butts! 😯😳🤯 Shhhhhittake! 😳 The somewhat slow burn of this novel was tedious and then just past half way, BAM! First reveal that dropped my jaw. And a few others after. This book had me hooked & reeled in from the beginning. It was an excellent pace and I enjoyed the back & forth from "Him", the mother & Nell herself. Nell has led a very ordinary, unexciting life. She's currently a nurse at a hospital & lives with her life long friend, Clodagh. Nell's mother, Marian, gets a call from Clodagh to alert her that her daughter is missing & hasn't been seen or heard from for four days. While all this is happening, a man has taken her. A man who feels he's been underestimated, unseen, always last pick to women. Nell was in the wrong place at the wrong time for when he watches, follows and capture her. But they both have deep, dark secrets. He sees this as a vigil anti to "mens rights". She may be the first, but will she be the last? Although the ending fell a bit flat for me, I still enjoyed the lead up and journey along. Although some of it may be tough subject matter for some, especially the "dark web" angle, the author dealt with it sensitively. 🔴 Trigger Warning: Kidnapping I give this 3.5 / 5 bouquets! 💐

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Omg does this one make you suspicious of anyone and everyone! Stephen and Marian are a normal couple with normal routines and problems. They have a daughter named Nell, who like most young adults wants to live independently and have their own life. Well, one day Nell’s roommate contacts the parents to touch bases with them to see if they knew where Nell was because she has not been seen for 2-3 days. At first, the parents are like most parents they don’t panic they assume that maybe she is stayi Omg does this one make you suspicious of anyone and everyone! Stephen and Marian are a normal couple with normal routines and problems. They have a daughter named Nell, who like most young adults wants to live independently and have their own life. Well, one day Nell’s roommate contacts the parents to touch bases with them to see if they knew where Nell was because she has not been seen for 2-3 days. At first, the parents are like most parents they don’t panic they assume that maybe she is staying somewhere else with new friends or something. However, once the cops start to get involved as time goes on the fear and panic sets into play. Then you have the alternate POV of an HIM character. Now, this HIM character is really disturbing and his philosophy is just as disturbing if not more sinister. He likes to follow women with a camera while they are walking home. He tries to capture everything about following them home the fear the women feel and how uncomfortable he can make the women feel. “He” feels like he is taking power back for men by doing this. This is definitely a page-turner, and you will feel all the emotions of the characters I think that the regressive thinking is easy for “old fashioned” people to think and harbor resentment about. The author does an amazing job of turning this whole regressive view into a plot that is not easily put down! If you like dark twisted thrillers then this should definitely be your next read! Thank you Avon Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this one! It was definitely a treat!

  20. 4 out of 5

    marnie | once upon a time book reviews

    “She is there to watch over you…But someone is watching her…” A dark and compelling read, The Nurse is my first book by Claire Allan. An interesting and disturbing look into Incels*, this is a riveting and very twisted story that had me well and truly hooked right from the outset. It is just so unfathomable that this is actually a very real thing and does go on. It certainly open my eyes to it that’s for sure! The characters in this book are a mixed bag with one so terrifying they scared the *blee “She is there to watch over you…But someone is watching her…” A dark and compelling read, The Nurse is my first book by Claire Allan. An interesting and disturbing look into Incels*, this is a riveting and very twisted story that had me well and truly hooked right from the outset. It is just so unfathomable that this is actually a very real thing and does go on. It certainly open my eyes to it that’s for sure! The characters in this book are a mixed bag with one so terrifying they scared the *bleep* out of me! Allen takes you deep into their sick and twisted mind and I had to set my Kindle aside at times and reset as they creeped me out so much! The Nurse is a very well written, plotted and executed story that is a highly addictive read. I really enjoyed Allan’s style of storytelling and I look forward to reading more from her. (*An incel is a member of an online subculture of people who define themselves as unable to get a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one) Thank you to Claire Allan, Avon Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Nurse, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. Where you can find me 😊 💻 Blog: bit.ly/3gR3io8 👩‍🏫 Facebook: bit.ly/3gVeC2B 🐤Twitter: bit.ly/3BQk2Dl 📷 Instagram: bit.ly/3wSv0Gj 📌 Pinterest: bit.ly/3vS2HGX 📚 Goodreads: bit.ly/3wQxUM3

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sue Frances

    Read in two sittings. Even though this book gave me the creeps I couldn't put it down. Claire Allans writing seems to improve with each book. The Nurse is a great read but I found parts of it difficult to read as these incels do exist! Read in two sittings. Even though this book gave me the creeps I couldn't put it down. Claire Allans writing seems to improve with each book. The Nurse is a great read but I found parts of it difficult to read as these incels do exist!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Powell

    Wow! This was super fast paced and had fantastic characters. The whole thing grabbed me from the first chapter and I just had to keep going with it until it was over. It tackled a very current subject which I was of course aware of but to no where near the extent of which is really going on. Men trying to be the anti “me too” movement. Stephen and Marian are a typical long time married couple, leading an ordinary life, but their relationship has grown stagnant and stressful. Their daughter Nell Wow! This was super fast paced and had fantastic characters. The whole thing grabbed me from the first chapter and I just had to keep going with it until it was over. It tackled a very current subject which I was of course aware of but to no where near the extent of which is really going on. Men trying to be the anti “me too” movement. Stephen and Marian are a typical long time married couple, leading an ordinary life, but their relationship has grown stagnant and stressful. Their daughter Nell works as a nurse at the hospital nearby, and though they aren’t super on top of each other, she remains fairly close to her mother, despite moving out a few years ago to live with her best friend and have some of the adventures her mother never had. Marian gets a call one day from Nell’s friend/roommate that Nell hasn’t been seen or heard from in a couple of days and had they heard from her. Which Marian had not, and it starts a spiral of looking into Nell’s life and some of the new friends she had made, and as more time passes and the police are no closer to finding Nell, everyone fears the worst. Espresso when a body is found. In alternative chapters, written by “Him” we see the thought process and actions of the person who has taken her and what led to it happening. These involuntary celibate men (or incels) are resentful of women who they feel like think they are better than them and harbor resentment against the advancement of feminism so they go on the dark web and plot dangerous things like walking behind women just to terrorize them and filming their fear then posting it in the dark web. The first post is made, which sets off a tidal wave of likes and comments and triggers the events that lead to Nell’s disappearance. My only complaint, and it real isn’t one in fact, is that the ending left a little bit to be desired. After all the action and suspense and drama, the ending felt a little flat to me. However, I prefer that to some last minute far fetched plot twists that make no sense to the rest of the story that I’ve been seeing lately. Grab this in when it comes out later this week! Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for this arc in exchange for my review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cindy van Wyk

    I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Shout out to Avon Books UK and Claire Allan. PUBLICATION DATE: Tomorrow! 💃🏻 A dark thriller that hits close to home and has a mind-blowing twist I didn't see coming a mile away, Claire Allan's 'The Nurse' switches POVs between 22-year-old nurse Nell Sweeney who has just been kidnapped; her distraught mother Marian, and a man we are introduced to as 'Him'. Blending the reality of #MenAreTrash and taking I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Shout out to Avon Books UK and Claire Allan. PUBLICATION DATE: Tomorrow! 💃🏻 A dark thriller that hits close to home and has a mind-blowing twist I didn't see coming a mile away, Claire Allan's 'The Nurse' switches POVs between 22-year-old nurse Nell Sweeney who has just been kidnapped; her distraught mother Marian, and a man we are introduced to as 'Him'. Blending the reality of #MenAreTrash and taking a darker look at #NotAllMen and the 'incels' (people who describe themselves as involuntarily celibate) behind a movement championing 'men's rights', there's a lot to enjoy about this novel. It's modern and very relevant; the pace is good; the twist threw me for a loop, the writing was very readable, and it kept me guessing until the end. I also loved how Allan incorporated the power of the internet without making it feel like another 'social media is ruining society' rant, which we've seen A LOT of in novels recently. However, there's a disconnect between the cover and the description and the actual content of the book that kept bothering me. The 'Him' character's involvement towards the end also seemed hard to believe, and I think the writer could have given us more of a look into the... camaraderie, if I can call it that, between the men on the forum. Overall, a good read, but it could have been tighter and packed a greater punch with a few small tweaks. (3.5 rounded up for interesting and timely premise.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Nell Sweeney is a 22-year-old nurse who disappears after finishing work, one Thursday. The Nurse has a palpable air of malice which is present throughout and the start is chilling. Told from the perspectives of Marian, Nell’s mum, Nell herself and another character, an unknown male Claire Allan has certainly brought to the table an extremely disturbing story. Covering topics that are prevalent and current, such as involuntarily celibate dark websites (Incel), the author has managed this sympathe Nell Sweeney is a 22-year-old nurse who disappears after finishing work, one Thursday. The Nurse has a palpable air of malice which is present throughout and the start is chilling. Told from the perspectives of Marian, Nell’s mum, Nell herself and another character, an unknown male Claire Allan has certainly brought to the table an extremely disturbing story. Covering topics that are prevalent and current, such as involuntarily celibate dark websites (Incel), the author has managed this sympathetically and efficiently though it makes in part difficult, gritty reading. The prominent feeling of foreboding added to its thriller appeal resulting in an unputdownable tale. Very highly recommended. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Avon Books UK via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    From the premise of the book, I was eager to read it and I wasn’t disappointed. Nell Sweeney is a nurse. Every day she walks up and from the hospital believing no harm can come to her, until one day, she is taken. It seems someone is out there watching her, watching women, she’s one of the unlucky ones. If the police don’t find her soon, she may not be the only one who is taken. Gripping and thrilling, I found this book hard to put down. It’s well written and will keep you hooked to the end. Tha From the premise of the book, I was eager to read it and I wasn’t disappointed. Nell Sweeney is a nurse. Every day she walks up and from the hospital believing no harm can come to her, until one day, she is taken. It seems someone is out there watching her, watching women, she’s one of the unlucky ones. If the police don’t find her soon, she may not be the only one who is taken. Gripping and thrilling, I found this book hard to put down. It’s well written and will keep you hooked to the end. Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books and the author for the chance to review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shalini

    A nurse, Nell Sweeney, was kidnapped on her way home from work. Nell's parents were shattered and in the course of the events that followed their marriage crumbled. The story was told in multiple POVs that kept me gripped to the story to know who could have taken a prank of scaring women to kidnapping. This was a dark web of tangled weaves, that had me shuddering and feeling happy that I worked from home. A good, slightly darker read. A nurse, Nell Sweeney, was kidnapped on her way home from work. Nell's parents were shattered and in the course of the events that followed their marriage crumbled. The story was told in multiple POVs that kept me gripped to the story to know who could have taken a prank of scaring women to kidnapping. This was a dark web of tangled weaves, that had me shuddering and feeling happy that I worked from home. A good, slightly darker read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)

    The Nurse by Claire Allan was published March 17th with Avon Books and is described as ‘a chilling, gripping read, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Gillian McAllister.' Claire Allan has written five previous thrillers, all of which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed so I was looking forward to getting stuck into The Nurse. Tackling the very relevant theme of women’s safety is central to the horrific tale that unfolds in The Nurse. Claire Allan refers to the ‘institutional and systemic mis The Nurse by Claire Allan was published March 17th with Avon Books and is described as ‘a chilling, gripping read, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Gillian McAllister.' Claire Allan has written five previous thrillers, all of which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed so I was looking forward to getting stuck into The Nurse. Tackling the very relevant theme of women’s safety is central to the horrific tale that unfolds in The Nurse. Claire Allan refers to the ‘institutional and systemic misogyny’ in her author’s note highlighting the popularity of the incel (involuntarily celibate) movement, one that I admittedly never heard of. Claire Allan describes it as a community where ‘blame is laid very firmly at the door of feminism for stripping men of their worth. In these communities, men outline their ideas for a ‘fairer world’ – believing that they have a biological need for sex and that being denied this most basic of rights dehumanises them’. With this in mind, The Nurse, is the story of the disappearance of a young woman, twenty-two year old Nell Sweeney. Nell lives in rented accommodation with her friend, both working very busy shifts in the local hospital. When Nell doesn’t arrive home, her friend becomes concerned and contacts Nell’s parents, Marian and Stephen. Marian instantly fears the worst and contacts the police. Initially the police consider their options and express a certain level of concern but Nell is an adult and may just have deliberately stepped away for some unknown reason. Marian is unconvinced. She knows her daughter and her disappearing is very much outside of her normal behaviour. Marian and Stephen have a very fractious relationship and, as the story unfolds, the reasons become clear. The couple display a less than united front and although both are clearly very concerned for Nell’s safety there are deep-rooted problems surfacing. Meanwhile, in parallel, an unsettling image is building of a person with confidence issues, a person who feels rejected, belittled and disrespected. This person feels demeaned by the manner in which women ignore him, underestimate him and generally make him feel less of a man, so he decides to do something about it. He senses a shift in power and, after a dive into the dark web, he finds his tribe, a bunch of men who feel disenfranchised by women. They offer him support and validation which helps him fight his inferiority complex, making him more confident and leading him down a very unexpected and sinister path. The Nurse has an urgency attached to it that has the reader rushing forward as the story escalates and as Nell’s whereabouts become known to us. Her fear is clearly palpable and her vulnerability exposed as the horror of her situation unfolds. Her captor is a vengeful and cruel individual who wants glory, who derives power and satisfaction from the humiliation of women. Brilliantly developed and depicted, he is an evil and sadistic person, prepared to take any steps to achieve notoriety. The Nurse, albeit fiction, is a very unsettling and disturbing read. This is the second book I have read recently that highlighted this growing and very malevolent underground faction of men who are encouraging each other ‘to step up and be counted’, but with some very shocking outcomes. Claire Allan has really touched a nerve with The Nurse. It’s fresh, it’s relevant and it is frighteningly real.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Campbell

    i am a huge fan of Claire Allan, so was really looking forward to this read, which didn't disappoint. The narrative alternates between the perspective of Marian (the victim's mum) and Him (I won't spoil by revealing his name. There are a few chapters from Nell's point of view. Nell is a nurse. When she disappears fro a few days, her friend Clodagh assumes she has met someone and is having fun, but when she fails to turn up for work, Clodagh realises something's wrong. The author does a great job of i am a huge fan of Claire Allan, so was really looking forward to this read, which didn't disappoint. The narrative alternates between the perspective of Marian (the victim's mum) and Him (I won't spoil by revealing his name. There are a few chapters from Nell's point of view. Nell is a nurse. When she disappears fro a few days, her friend Clodagh assumes she has met someone and is having fun, but when she fails to turn up for work, Clodagh realises something's wrong. The author does a great job of portraying the characters. I really felt for Marian. Knowing your child is in danger is a horrendous situation to be in. It is clear that her relationship with her husband, Stephen is strained. Having Heather, the family liason officer involved and the journalist searching for an exclusive on the story, all added authenticity. He starts an online movement #Ihavethepower, where he scares woman. Although he has no intention of harming them, other followers are more extreme and that's how Nell finds herself chained in a cold, empty house. The novel explores the theme of misogyny and reminded me of Jodi Picoult's work. I particularly liked the way the author drip fed information and built up tension to the climactic scene at the end. I will definitely recommend this read and eagerly await, Claire Allan's next novel. Thanks indeed to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Yacobellis

    This book was amazing!! The plot twist blew my mind and the suspense had me devouring every second of it. The part where Nell was reading about her parents in the paper was so heart wrenching. You felt the emotions of everyone in this book and it was really just a fantastic read. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sara Clifford-gray

    Nurse Nell Sweeney walks to and from the hospital where she works every day believing that no harm will come of her until one day when she is taken. When Nell’s friend and flatmate makes the call to say that she hasn’t seen her for two or three days, her parents Marian and Stephen who bought their daughter up to be an independent woman, are now questioning their judgement especially as she flew the nest at a young age. A man in their area is also targeting women through fear and logging his inten Nurse Nell Sweeney walks to and from the hospital where she works every day believing that no harm will come of her until one day when she is taken. When Nell’s friend and flatmate makes the call to say that she hasn’t seen her for two or three days, her parents Marian and Stephen who bought their daughter up to be an independent woman, are now questioning their judgement especially as she flew the nest at a young age. A man in their area is also targeting women through fear and logging his intentions and results on the dark web. Working alone, he thrives on the responses he gets on the website until someone suggests they team up and work together –but this is one step too far for “him”. I really enjoyed this book, although the subject matter was hard hitting and sometimes a little too difficult to read for a long while. I think it’s fair to say that it was a disturbing read and wasn’t the kind of book that I could devour in one or two sittings. I found that I had to put it down, take a few deep breathes, do something else, and then come back to it. It was also quite harrowing in places, so I wouldn’t suggest this as a book to read if you are feeling particularly low or vulnerable. Saying all that – this is a subject surrounding women and fear and is something that needs to be talked about and addressed so that it stops being “normal” and this is something that the author covers in her note at the end of the story.

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