The Inmate

by Chandra Sundeep
Cover image of Freida MvFadden's The Inmate

Freida McFadden’s books have been on my TBR since forever! I read such rave reviews about The Housemaid, (even though I have yet to read it) and was excited when I received the arc of The Inmate. Sadly, it was a bummer! It’s fast-paced and full of unexpected twists and turns. But a lackluster main protagonist and glaring plot holes stopped me from enjoying this book as much as I had hoped to.

Brooke Sullivan, a single mother, moves to Raker after her parents’ demise. A trained nurse practitioner, she lands a job at a men’s maximum-security prison. Though she is terrified of the inmates, there is one particular inmate she wishes to never come across – Shane Nelson. He is not just her high school boyfriend and the father of her son, Josh, but also the one who tried to kill her. Shane pleads guilty when he meets Brooke and blames Tim, her childhood neighbour, and best friend.

Brooke starts getting worried when the small town is rocked by murders of people known to her. The decisions she takes land her in neck-deep trouble.

McFadden is the queen of twists and turns and red herrings. Every time I guessed where the narration was headed, she threw in a surprise! The element of surprise runs high, and the pacing is excellent.

The story set in a dual timeline adds an intriguing element to the narration. I loved the initial bits, but then the story fell apart.

Brooke is quite an unlikeable character. How I wish she was not as stupid as she was. Her character lacked depth, and her actions were definitely unrealistic and questionable. There were so many times that I wanted to shake this girl and make her see sense. Ugh!

And if this isn’t enough, there are a couple of far-fetched instances that made me scream in agony. Revealing them might act as spoilers, so I’m going to keep mum!

Murders are at the heart of the story. Yet, the reason behind them is so trivial. Shane Nelson is in maximum remand for having killed a few teenagers and yet is released when Brooke recants her statement. I am not sure it’s that simple!

Despite excellent pacing, red herrings, and twists and turns, The Inmate is a disappointing experience.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press. This review reflects my honest and voluntary opinion.

Wordsopedia Rating 2.45/5


Title: The Inmate Author: Freida McFadden
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press Publication date: 05 Mar 2024
Genre: Fiction—Psychological Thriller Format: eBook
ISBN: 9781728296173 No. of Pages: 336

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