top of page
Top of Blog
Exotic refreshing cocktails next to book and straw hat by the pool on vacation._edited.jpg
  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Inmate

By: Freida McFadden ISBN: 979-8835444670

Narrator: Leslie Howard

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: 03/05/2024

Format: Audio 🎧 e-book, paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars

A gripping, twisty thriller from Freida McFadden, the New York Times author of The Housemaid and The Coworker!

The guiltiest people aren't always the ones behind bars…

As a new nurse practitioner at a maximum-security prison, Brooke Sullivan is taught three crucial rules:

  1. Treat all prisoners with respect.

  2. Never reveal any personal information.

  3. Never EVER become too friendly with the inmates.

But nobody knows that Brooke has already broken the rules. Nobody knows about her intimate connection to Shane Nelson, one of the penitentiary's most notorious and dangerous inmates.

They certainly don't know that Shane was Brooke's high school sweetheart—the star quarterback, the golden boy who's serving a life sentence for a series of grisly murders. Or that Brooke's testimony was what put him there.

But Shane knows. He knows more than anyone. And he will never forget.

The Inmate is a propulsive, mind-bending thriller about how we define guilt—and who has to pay for it, from New York Times bestselling author Freida McFadden.


"A thoroughly entertaining read that delivers everything her readers expect―a tense standalone psychological thriller with plenty of unexpected twists and turns." ― Booklist

My Review

"In Freida McFadden's THE INMATE, one woman's tormented dark past returns to wreak havoc in the present. Secrets, obsession, and vengeance converge in this complex multi-layered psychological suspense crime thriller turned deadly whodunit game of cat-and-mouse—with a jaw-dropping twist you do not see coming!"

The protagonist, Brooke Sullivan, has moved back to her hometown in Raker, upstate New York, with her young son Josh. She has a nice older lady Margie who is her babysitter, and Josh adores her and her cooking.

Brooke has had a problem finding a job and has taken a job at the Raker Penitentiary. She did not want this job as a nurse practitioner, but it was the only thing she could find, and only for a year.

She does not tell her employer that the man who was her first boyfriend is an inmate at Raker Maximum Security Penitentiary, currently serving life without the possibility of parole. She is the one who put him here.

It is not long before she faces him in the medical ward: Shane Nelson—the father of her son.

From the past to the present, we learn about the events that unfolded eleven years ago. A party, friends, drinking, drugs, sex, and parents out of town. Her childhood friend, Tim, Shane, and her other friends. The party turns deadly. MURDER.

In the present, Tim (her childhood friend) and one at the party years ago is the principal at Josh's school. Josh likes him. They start dating. He seems like such a nice guy. Can she trust him?

Then as she gets to know Shane in prison, he does not seem like a killer. She second-guesses herself and the events of eleven years ago.

Could it have been Tim that tried to kill her and the others instead of Shane? Or were they working together? Something is off.

What happened at the Nelson farmhouse eleven years ago, and what is happening now?

She could not see her attacker's face. It was dark. He had a particular smell she would never forget. Did she make a mistake? Who is guilty?

Who murdered her friends and tried to kill her. Is the real murderer still out there? From here on out, it is fast-paced, and you need to figure out whom to trust.

McFadden takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes even good people are drawn to do evil things.

A highly entertaining popcorn thriller!

THE INMATE is an easy, fun, wild ride binge-read that will keep you on your toes until the end. The Epilogue raised this one to 5 STAR status.

Deliciously evil, and as always, you can count on Freida to end her books with a bang. I am constantly guessing at the end game, but she stays one step ahead. It is like that little evil twist bonus that leaves you smiling.

I recommend going into this one for fun and not making it too serious. Brook is naïve, and things are a little wacky, but this is fiction, folks. Everyone is a suspect, and many red herrings. However, I would never have guessed the killer. So hats off to the author for the surprise shock.

If you enjoyed the movie Scream, you might enjoy the book. However, the book is not horror and does not have gore (which I do not care for).

If you are looking for a fun, addictive, complex, multi-layered whodunit with dual timelines and devilish cat-and-mouse games, I highly recommend it. Everything I have read by the author so far has been great.

I purchased the e-book and audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the wild ride. I am relatively new to the McFan club and have read all her new books and making my way back to the older ones.

Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for a gifted ARC for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 STARS

Pub Date: 03/05/2024


AUDIOBOOK: I am a huge Leslie Howard fan and love her as a narrator. Her captivating voice grabs you from the first page to the last. Highly recommend the audiobook for an engaging listening experience.

Check out my fun & fascinating #AuthorElevatorSeries Q&A Elevator Ride with Freida where we go behind the scenes of THE COWORKER and this mega talented author! VIEW INTERVIEW

About the Author

​#1 Amazon, New York Times, and USA Today bestselling author Freida McFadden is a practicing physician specializing in brain injury who has penned multiple Kindle bestselling psychological thrillers and medical humor novels. She lives with her family and black cat in a centuries-old three-story home overlooking the ocean, with staircases that creak and moan with each step, and nobody could hear you if you scream. Unless you scream really loudly, maybe.







bottom of page