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Summary

Memento meets Sharp Objects in this superb thriller from the best-selling author of Something in the Water, a 2019 Richard & Judy Book Club pick.

When a man is found on a Norfolk 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?

Neuropsychiatrist Dr Emma Lewis is asked to assess the patient. 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 small town in Norfolk 14 years ago and has taken great pains to cover all traces of her past since then.

But now something - or someone - is calling her back. And the more time she spends with her patient, the more alarmed she becomes.

Has she walked into danger?

©2020 Catherine Steadman (P)2020 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"Original, ingenious and utterly gripping, with characters you’ll really care about as they race towards the brilliantly unexpected ending." (J P Delaney) 

What listeners say about Mr Nobody

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The difficult second book

I’m sooo disappointed that this was such a poor follow-up to Something in the Water.
The pacing was very uneven with far too much telling and not enough showing.
The first part of the story rambled on for ages, reiterating how tough the doctor’s life was, and how only she could understand her patient. On and on.
Then, abruptly, it went all Bourne Identity and a whole bunch of thriller tropes were thrown into the mix, but the players lacked any believable motivation and it was all rather contrived.
Plus, for a book which includes a lot of extraneous detail about reclaimed oak flooring and FMRI scans, I couldn’t piece together what any of the main characters or locations really looked like.

12 people found this helpful

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Diagnosis - overly complicated,self conscious,dull

I was the No 1 fan of first book "Something In The Water" - the exotic locale, the clever gripping thrilling plot and the brilliant narration - yes the heroine was a bit of an idiot and it did get a bit far fetched at the end but it was just all in all a FABULOUS five star book.
As soon as I saw this second book I could not press buy quick enough and got ready for another twisty, turny, beautifully read thriller ........ spoiler alert this is not what I expected in a million years.

It just all seemed so self conscious, awkward, contrived, overwritten and a little pretentious. I expect that after garnering such great success for book number one there would be a lot of pressure on any author to write another winner - but even the narration was not a patch on the first one.

However my main gripe is that it did not grab me and keep me entertained all the way through like the first one - in fact I just gave up.

In truth I could not even follow it as I just felt it did not flow well.

I did not care for all the huge medical detail and also sis not care for hearing the gory details of brain trauma.
In fact I nearly did not get through the introductory section describing what happens in a car accident and the way the doctor adds it is all the more serious for her as she is the only person around who could fix such brain injuries was actually so smug and cringey, it came off like a comedy sketch.

Then the mute man on the beach - hmmmm, so overwritten it was like trudging through mud, did not buy the journalists either.
Then the recruiting of the doctor - unconvincing ... and could not care less as boggled by all the medical minutae.
Then I fell asleep and kept falling asleep and the snippets I heard upon waking did not make me think the book was going to improve so I gave up and am returning it.

Somewhere among the unlikable characters and unlikely events there could well have been a good story but just too hard to find as lost in an uninviting sea of superfluous descriptions and unwieldy wordiness.

Couple that up with ...
the haughty and clunky narration,
the endless, pointless and unwelcome medical jargon
and the lack of flow. purpose or excitement ...
and you have a follow up thriller just failed to ignite, let alone thrill and just seemed to be more intent in chasing its own tail, oblivious of any duty to entertain the listener.

Such a disappointment - come on Catherine and make the third time a charm with your next book.

7 people found this helpful

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That tricky second book…

Whilst I absolutely loved the writers first book, Something in the Water, I couldn’t even finish this follow-up. So much of the lead characters history is held back until the third of the way through the story, by which point I was expecting some incredibly juicy revelations to make up for the frankly dull and implausible storyline that comes before. No spoilers here, but suffice to say the revelations are equally as dull unfortunately.

4 people found this helpful

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loved it!

Brilliant book! Could not stop listening!
Looking forward for her next book! Intriguing from the start to the end.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

A really different book, thoroughly enjoyed it. I really like this author, I’ve read both her books.
Looking forward to the next one!!

2 people found this helpful

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Ok

I struggled to decide whether I enjoyed this book or not! Very slow in places, and a bit of a disappointing conclusion really.

1 person found this helpful

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It was ok

Found the narration not very expressive and I struggled to remain interested at times but was interested enough to keep it on in the background to find out how it ended.

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Intriguing

It took me a whole to get into it and was quite confused to start with.
However, after an hour or so, I found it really intriguing and glad I stuck with it.
I did much prefer her first book: Something in the Water.

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Poor quality narrative

The narrator is utterly implausible and their position untrustworthy. I had to stop listening as I k ew I was not in good hands.

With a decent editor this could have been a fine book. Its pretty.ise, at least, works.

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brilliant second novel.

Loved reading this when it first came out, and it is even better when read by the author. Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Jules
  • 05-02-20

Excellent !

Such an excellent audio book in every single way! The author narrates this clever story with amazing skill, I was transported into the storyline completely.
This author is one of the very very few who can get away with narrating her own book, she is a very talented narrator and story teller, I really didnt want the story to end and I hope she has already started writing another book, also loved her previous book , " Something in the water"
wow, thank you great book

1 person found this helpful