Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Review: The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

Title: The Nanny
Author: Gilly Macmillan
Published: September 2019, William Morrow
Format: ARC Paperback, 400 pages
Source: Publisher

When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

My thoughts: Ever since reading Gilly Macmillan's debut novel, What She Knew, back in 2015, I knew this was an author I was going to follow and read everything she wrote...and so far she has not let me down! I love that she has her books with familiar characters - DI Jim Clemo  - and then she has her stand-alones, and each and every one stands out as having just enough twists and turns to keep you engaged without going over the top and they are also brilliantly crafted, and this latest one is no exception!

I loved that this book is a slow-burn. Do not go into this book excepting a fast-paced thriller or you will be sorely disappointed. This one is all character-driven and I loved that! I also loved that nothing is as it seems and that the characters are not particularly likeable. But that just seems to make the book all the more interesting when I don't love the characters - I'm more driven to find out why the characters are that way...what makes them unlikeable, why are they that way, what are their motivations? And believe me...they all have their motivations for the way they are acting!

This book is driven on secrets and motivations and it really drives the book, especially once the skull is found. I loved the way the story was told, alternating between the different points of view. There are the two main protagonists - the mother and daughter - but there is also the detective who is determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious skull and then there is a mysterious narrator who is just outright suspicious...who is she and how is she connected to this family? 

There is such a gothic feel to this book and the tension builds all the way through. It's suspenseful and something is always happening - maybe not big, but there are little things going on with the characters that you need to be watching out for. It's a complex thriller that kept me engaged from start to end and while I did guess a few things, I definitely did not guess everything. This is definitely one where you aren't sure who to trust...and I love books like that! 

Gilly Macmillan proves once again that she is at the top of her game. She is definitely an author I know I can trust to give me a gripping, entertaining read. Is this one on your list? If not, you need to add it!


1 comment

  1. This book sounds like a real page turner. Your enthusiasm for this complex thriller comes across. Excellent review, Kristin!


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