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Mr. Nobody: A Novel by Catherine Steadman

Mr. Nobody: A Novel

by Catherine Steadman

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584317,535 (3.88)None
"When a man is found on a British beach, drifting in and out of consciousness, with no identification and unable to speak, interest in him is sparked immediately. From the hospital staff who find themselves inexplicably drawn to him, to international medical experts who are baffled by him, to the national press who call him Mr. Nobody, everyone wants answers. Who is this man? And what happened to him? Some memories are best forgotten. Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Emma Lewis is asked to assess the patient in a small town deep in the English countryside. This is her field of expertise, this is the chance she's been waiting for, and this case could make her name known across the world. But therein lies the danger. Emma left this same town fourteen years ago and has taken great pains to cover all traces of her past since then. Places aren't haunted...people are. But now something--or someone--is calling her back. And the more time she spends with her patient, the more alarmed she becomes that he knows the one thing about her that nobody is supposed to know"--… (more)



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I liked the authors first book, “Something in the Water”. Unfortunately, her second book was an example of disappointing nonsense in which the reader is just strung along by the ridiculous plot. I feel like I was led on a wild goose chase. I can’t really explain how annoying this book was without spoilers, so I’ll hide the rest of this review.

Dr. Emma Lewis is a psychiatrist specializing in amnesia cases. When the leading expert in the field is otherwise occupied, Emma is called in to treat a patient who was discovered on a beach in Norfolk. He has no memories of who he is or how he got to the beach and it appears that he may present a rare case of fugue, or psychologically induced amnesia. They decide to call him Matthew. While Matthew has no memories, Emma has way too many of them, because it turns out that she used to live in Norfolk but she and her mother and brother were forced to leave there 14 years ago following “an incident”. Strangely, Matthew (who remembers nothing) seems to have some knowledge of the “incident”. Emma sort of describes the “incident” at about the 50% point in the book. But that’s just a tease. She doesn’t get to the heart of the story until the 65% point. It doesn’t matter anyway, because it turns out that the incident has absolutely nothing to do with anything else in the book. You can safely ignore it. The real crux of the story is that Matthew has gone to extraordinary lengths to get a second opinion. None of this was believable. In case we needed more silliness, the author threw in a love interest for Emma, a married man she has known for about 12 minutes. I feel used, abused and duped by this book. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author. Sadly, she read the entire book with an urgent whisper, and she cannot do male voices at all. 2.5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. ( )
  fhudnell | Jan 14, 2020 |
Well-paced and thoroughly engrossing, this psychological thriller puts a man who remembers nothing in the hands of a young neuropsychiatrist who is trying to hide her past in Norfolk, England. Steadman can create characters you care about. Even when a good guy turns into a bad guy, the reader will have sympathy. I’d love to have more stories about the Nurse Ronda and Dr. Lewis as well as the policeman, Chris Poole. I really cared about the three of them. From the ending, though, I assume this will be a stand-alone book, but I’d still like the three of them for friends. ( )
  brangwinn | Jan 14, 2020 |
Catherine Steadman impressed me with her debut novel, Something in the Water and this new book didn't disappoint. I was hooked from the beginning of Mr. Nobody. Some of Emma's choices frustrated me and there was an underlying hint of mystery. I enjoyed learning about the parts of the brain as Dr. Emma Lewis learned more about Mr. Nobody. This is also a story of family history, and small town gossip. Overall I enjoyed this book. Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the opportunity to read this book! ( )
  clp412 | Dec 29, 2019 |
Creepy, really creepy. So much makes no sense that it makes your skin crawl. You know that something terrible happened fourteen years ago but Dr. Emma Lewis isn’t going to talk about that right now. Instead she is going to focus on her new patient who is found on a beach, soaking wet, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Except he knows things that bring Dr. Lewis back to that point in time she is trying so hard to not to remember.

It has been said that people go into the field of psychiatry because of their need to work out their own “issues”. This book could be the poster child of that theory but that does nothing to distract from it being a really tense, tight, well crafted psychological thriller. Even with a few too many dangling participles and a bunch of unanswered questions it was a satisfying few hours. I admit to wondering about the naïveté of the protagonist and her ability to absorb platitudes as gospel that all will be well but the story moved forward at a brisk, only get up for a drink pace.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for a copy. ( )
  kimkimkim | Dec 13, 2019 |
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