The Inmate Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
There are three rules Brooke Sullivan must follow as a new nurse practitioner at a men’s maximum-security prison:
1) Treat all prisoners with respect.
2) Never reveal any personal information.
3) Never EVER become too friendly with the inmates.
But none of the staff at the prison knows 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.
And they certainly don’t know that Shane was Brooke’s high school sweetheart—the star quarterback who is now spending the rest of his life in prison for a series of grisly murders. Or that Brooke's testimony was what put him there.
But Shane knows.
And he will never forget.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 5 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 26, 2022|
|Publisher||Hollywood Upstairs Press|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #1,178 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#12 in Psychological Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#51 in Psychological Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#115 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2022
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Top reviews from the United States
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Why do authors have someone remember miniscule details years & years later that become key pieces of information in the present? I’ve had trauma & I can tell you; your mind doesn’t recall every detail correctly. Why else does someone remember the same event or perceive it differently than someone else who lived it with you? Why does what I said to my neighbor get twisted around & he thinks I said something totally off the mark from what I actually said? It’s a natural occurrence that’s colored by our perceptions of what’s happened. But it has to be this way for a lot of authors to tie up loose ends when the character recalls an event a decade later.
Ms. McFadden is really good about tying up all of the loose ends. In this novel, it does require Brooke, our main girl, to suddenly put part of the puzzle together that she couldn’t so clearly see while it was happening or in any other recollection or reasoning she did throughout the years. Ok, I can overlook that because it’s such an important part to create a satisfying end in this novel.
But, tying them up in this novel requires allowing oneself to believe something is true when realistically, it’s far-fetched. It doesn’t change the fact that I continued to read & finish the novel in record time. It was enjoyable but I was disappointed in a couple of key points. Since I can’t seem to stop myself from explaining my reasoning at this point, I will warn that there are a few spoilers coming.
First, the conclusion tossed out several possibilities that Brooke was considering. Could her ex-boyfriend be in cahoots with her childhood best friend who has just become her current lover? Could they have killed three of her friends together? Well, nah…that really doesn’t make sense.
Next, what motivates someone to commit these hideous murders, including murdering your best friend?
His mom had an affair with Brooke’s dad who went back to his wife. She’s mad so plots this thing a decade later where she has her son pretend to be in love with Brooke so she can be murdered to get back at Brooke’s dad.
Now if Shane was her half-brother, that might make a little more sense. He could justifiably be mad that Brooke’s dad dumped him & his mom. But realistically, how does killing Brooke become a revenge thing? No, dear old mom would go after Brooke’s mother & then her son might be convinced to help her.
Jeez, if you're determined to kill Brooke, “accidentally” run over her with your car, go on a picnic & chase her off a cliff or make her choke on a chicken bone, drown her in the pool, fall out of a tree, trip on the bleachers. There are lots of ways that could get the job done without sacrificing a bunch of your friends.
Next, Shane’s mom is a real piece of work. Logically, would any medical facility take the word of one dissatisfied customer who calls up & complains that this complete stranger is going to be applying for work so don’t hire her? Unsubstantiated, unidentified info. Makes zero sense because it wouldn’t happen. Social media has opened everyone’s eyes to crackpots writing bad reviews just to complain.
Then unsubstantiated stories that a medical employee at the prison was dealing drugs. So, where’s the proof? That person wouldn’t now be in prison herself for it because one person said it. They do thorough investigations on allegations & anyone who works in a prison know that the prisoners aren't there because they have stellar reputations & tell the truth.
Brooke wouldn’t be hired at the prison, either. She hasn’t changed her name & this was a crime that rocked a small town. So, no one would remember her? Also, they don’t skip doing a background check at any facility like a prison no matter how desperate they are for medical staff.
Fingerprinting, background checks, references, investigating every aspect of a potential hire’s life have to take place first.
How could Shane’s mom overcome young, strong people like her son’s best friend & get him outside to then kill him? How could she rig it that Brooke’s parents would die in a car accident? What makes her think that would convince Brooke to move back home when she wouldn’t show her face there for ten years? Why would she assume Brooke would move into her parent's house instead of selling it, taking the money & moving somewhere else.
There are even more discrepancies that require police, lawyers, judges & juries to all work without evidence. Ok, I get it that this punches all sorts of holes in the storyline & there wouldn’t be a book written if all of that had to be spelled out.
But these are holes in the story that made it hard for me to say anything more than, “oh yeah, like that’d ever happen.” Wow, now I wonder why I ever continued to read this novel. Guess that points to Ms. McFadden’s skill at weaving an interesting story.
I’m not going to offer a “jacket cover” description, nor book report, as some reviewers are apt to do (spoilers are no fun!).
I will share, however, that this author’s world building is superb. Rich in detail - most especially regarding scents and somatic perception (“you’re really there with the characters,” outside, feeling half blinded by the major thunderstorm in the middle of the night, sopping wet hair in your eyes, the rumble of thunder & bright flashes of lightening, feet and ankles freezing as you’re standing in rushing run-off water in the winter ….).
Add in the fact that the author’s a skilled wordsmith — so abject panic and confusion is woven into, or is perhaps placed at the core, of the example scenario above. Thus, you are along for the ride, emotionally on this level - with the character(s) as well.
Character building - spot on. We know who these people are. Their histories and goals. What they are all about. Umm… errr…. Until we don’t. …. ;)
Although — it did just occur to me. I have a pretty clear image, from the author’s writing, of what all the main players and most minor characters look like. But for some reason - the central character, Brooke, as well as her son - I really don’t have much of a picture in mind. Other than Brooke’s, “silky dark hair.”
So! Either this was a total oversight by ME while reading (95% probability lol), or these two were not crafted as strongly as the rest — image wise. If so, it could be because Brooke is the one “looking out” at everyone else. Though, that’s still no excuse.
Evvveerryyoonneeee talks about the amazing, “twists and turns,” in stories. Yet all too often, when you read the pedestaled books yourself, you find the promises to be more like one big “elbow” instead. Or “a” twist. Yk?
When reading The Inmate - about 65% of the way through, I had to go back and read through the beginning again, to help me see everything I THOUGHT I knew through a new lens.
After this point, the detective hat was placed firmly on, for the entirety of the pages!
Truly, this tale is FUN! I just finished it, and it is like a roller coaster ride.
One that is lengthy (but a quick read), has tight curvy switchback corners where you absolutely cannot see what’s coming next (and are gobsmacked a few times at what you discover!), loops which swing you in every direction, including upside down (definitely causing nausea, for differing reasons), and for sure — it’s a ride, that when you come screaming to a stop…..
You’ll sit wide-eyed. Shake you head. And think — “what the heck was THAT!?!” In the best way possible! Lol!
And like me, you’ll probably refer the title to someone else immediately after swiping that last page. It is truly that well written, easy and quick to read, and quite the thrill!
Brooke has to move home and runs into an old friend and fellow survivor from the night her BF tried to kill her. At this point many coincidences happen making you suspect Tim as the real killer..
However, you soon learn that the guard at the prison who treats Shane so bad was a kid from their school who Shane bullied and he semi stalks Brooke making him look like a suspect..,
At this point in the story you are led to believe that possibly Shane is innocent and the killer is Marcus or Tim…
I recommend his book for sure. the end has many twists and turns…
Top reviews from other countries
Brooke gets a job as a nurse practitioner in a maximum security men’s prison where one of the inmates just happens to be her ex, and she was the one who testified against him and was responsible for him going to prison. There’s no way background checks wouldn’t have picked up on this connection and her application would have been rejected. As she became pregnant at 17, the author skirted around how she spent years studying with a baby and no family support to achieve her medical qualifications.
The prison medical department doesn’t have a computer to keep records of the prisoners’ treatments and everything has to be hand written and filed away – really, in this day and age?
The prison officer leaves a female nurse alone in a room with a high risk prisoner with the door shut while he waits outside.
On a date, Brooke takes a drink of her ‘alcoholic beverage’ for courage – not wine, beer or spirits – and at one point she put an extra blanket on the bed. I don’t know anyone who had used blankets in the last 40 years.
The book had a few good twists and kept my attention throughout. I previously read The Housemaid by this author, which I preferred, but I will definitely read more of Freida’s books.