Judith D Collins
The Night Nurse
By: Cole Baxter
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Publication Date: 11/27/2022
My Rating: 3 Stars (ARC)
They seem like angels of mercy. Until you invite them in.
While going through a bitter divorce, Laura moves home to care for her widowed father who suffers from dementia.
Quickly realizing she can’t handle her dad alone, Laura hires nurse Bella and her dementia-specialist brother, Andrei, to look after him. The siblings are the perfect caregivers, effectively handling her father’s needs and mood swings.
Then accidents begin happening around the estate, and her dad takes a drastic turn for the worse. He becomes violent and claims he’s being poisoned. Is it true? Or is his illness causing paranoia?
As Laura tries to get to the truth, she begins to realize that the caregivers are not who they seem, that they may have a sinister agenda of their own. But who are they really? And what do they want?
The answers to these questions are more horrifying than anything Laura could ever have imagined…
The Night Nurse – the terrifying psychological thriller perfect for fans of Freida McFadden, Daniel Hurst, K L Slater
Buy the Book
A woman's wealthy father has dementia, and she needs someone to help care for him and hires a brother and sister team. However, they are not as they appear. How will she protect her father?
Ok, here is the down and dirty for Cole Baxter's THE NIGHT NURSE. I usually do not inject my feelings into a book that did not live up to my expectations, but this one is ripe for the picking.
By the looks of the other reviews, many others shared my feelings.
~The Book Description
It ends there with the positives.
~I have not read this author before, but it appears he has a successful track record. My first impression was not a good one. Do I try again for another of his books? The jury is still out.
~THE HOUSEKEEPER: I went into this thinking it would be another great book similar to Joy Fielding's The Housekeeper (5 ⭐ STARS) which I loved. Sadly, it does not compare, nor is it in the same league.
Or even something like Frieda McFadden's The Housemaid. Nope.
Now the Cons:
~No shockers, surprises, or twists here
~Completely silly and elementary
~Overuse of the word "Darlin'!"
~No character development (Laura, in particular)
~Not enough (creative) gaslighting or manipulation to make it suspenseful or believable with tension
~Not much suspense. I would not call this a psychological thriller.
~Never mentions the town or state set in
~Radcliff estate setting could have been more atmospheric and built upon
In every conversation between Sam and Laura, he used "Darlin"! (Please use their name!) Not once, but the entire book in every conversation they had, which was many! Plus, other characters were also using other adjectives instead of their name. Who does this? If this had been an audiobook, it would have been a DNF the second time I heard it.
~Why spend so much time talking about their childhood abuse when not even leveraged?
~Not even part of the plot?
This would have been prime for murder, obsession, and revenge!
~Laura: Daughter (Author) newly separated, drama-filled, distracted, clueless
~Billy: Son (does not like the dad)
~Sam: the caretaker (onsite gardener and property manager for many years)
~Michael: Dad: Dementia (a wealthy businessman)
~Mom: Deceased (physically and verbally abusive)
~Bella: Nurse: Live-in woman hired to take care of dad's dementia
~Andrei: Bella's brother. Hired to handle physical therapy dad's care
~Dr. Temple: Dad's physician
~Dr. Fischer: Laura's Therapist
~Jim: Laura's husband
~Here is what would have made the book better: (Just my opinion, and happy for anyone to weigh in).
MY THOUGHTS: Since Laura and Billy had such an abusive childhood (at the mother's hand) and the dad was the victim, as were the children, and he did not stand up to the mom to protect the children—then USE Billy, the younger brother that Laura left to fend for himself—HE wants revenge. As we saw, he does not like his dad and refuses to help with his care. BINGO!
So when Laura reaches out to him, he refuses to come. Now here is what would have made it wickedly juicy:
In reality, he is behind the couple being hired as a way to distract his sister and sneak in himself to plan his revenge plot.
He wants to make his dad pay, suffer, torment him, and pay back for all his years of suffering—how his dad did not come to his rescue as a child. Also possibly attempted murder or even murder to get his money. His sister has no clue he is involved.
Of course, all this would be hidden from the readers, and then at the end, after much more gaslighting and manipulation (much more than was here), we would need to guess who the killer is: Bella or Andrei. Neither, it is Billy!
And maybe throw Sam and Dr. Temple in the mix as suspects (sure, they have some grievances with the old man). Also, get Laura kicked out of the house and distracted with her husband (he could be in on it). Then the final twist would be Billy as the murderer. Also would be fun to make him gay and Andrei his partner in crime.
Laura was such a weak character, and we need someone much more robust, wicked, manipulative, and evil —Don't you think?
Laura was supposed to be an author and not creative, so would not want to read her books. She is not too worried about her father being poisoned, only herself. All she worries about is getting laid (between Sam & Andrei and lying out by the pool.
So sad; this book had so much potential. I am being overly generous with the 2.5 Star rating rounded to 3.
VERDICT: Do yourself a favor, skip THE NIGHT NURSE, and go straight to THE HOUSEKEEPER You will thank me later.
Thank you to #InkubatorBooks and #NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 2.5 Stars rounded to 3
Pub Date: Nov 27, 2022
About the Author
Cole Baxter loves writing psychological suspense thrillers. It’s all about that last reveal that he loves shocking readers with.
He grew up in New York, where there was crime all around. He decided to turn that into something positive with his fiction.
His stories will have you reading through the night—they are very addictive! WEBSITE