Summary: The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan
The Nanny follows Jocelyn Holt along two timelines — as a heartbroken child after her nanny mysteriously leaves and then as young-adult widow with a daughter who’s returned home after her husband’s death. Upon her return, as the story is told from multiple POV’s, including her mother’s, it’s clear that a secret is deeply buried.
Jocelyn obviously resents her mother because she blames her mother for her nanny, Hannah’s leaving the house. She plans that her stay will be short — only until she’s found her footing financially. But then, a skull is found in the lake near the Holt’s house. Everyone suspects Lady Holt (Virginia), Jocelyn’s mother and people start to whisper about the skull being Hannah’s.
But then, Hannah shows up at the house and things go awry.
The Nanny was my first read by author Gilly Macmillan. I’ve enjoyed a fair number of mysteries by British female authors. So I was delighted to hear an English accent when I began listening to this audiobook.
One of my favorite things about the audiobook is that there are multiple narrators. There’s one for Hannah, the nanny, Jocelyn, the detective on the case, and an unreliable, unnamed narrator. The narration is almost eerie and adds to the suspenseful nature of the plot.
For the plot itself: I enjoyed it. While I’m not the biggest mystery buff and I’m easily surprised, I thought this had a couple of thrilling surprises. The mystery is a slow burn and almost more psychological and character-based than “mysterious.”
The author cleverly develops the relationship between Jo and her mother in the present. Yet, she delicately unravels the reason for the rift between them. She also ropes in extra mysteries about Jo’s father and his business as well as Hannah’s background. All of these elements make for entertaining reading or listening.
I thought this book could have been much shorter than it was. The audiobook is 11 hours long — it could’ve easily been 9, in my opinion.
The Nanny is a compelling, character-centric mystery-thriller. This novel dissects the fraught relationship between a mother and daughter precipitated by the departure of a beloved nanny. But beyond domestic politics, Gilly Macmillan’s The Nanny highlights the divide between the elite and the commoners. It also explores the effect of childhood trauma and how far we will go to protect those we love.The Nanny is a compelling, character-centric mystery-thriller. This novel dissects the fraught relationship between a mother and daughter precipitated by the departure of a beloved nanny. Click To Tweet
If you’re looking for an absorbing domestic thriller set in the UK, this is your pick!
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Have you read this new release? What did you think? How do you feel about myster-thrillers and psychological mysteries? They seem to be real crowd pleasers, but I think people judge them harshly. I’d love to know your thoughts!