Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross: Riveting, heart-pounding and impossible to put down – book review –

It seems like a dream job to Sarah Larsen… nanny to a three-year-old girl in a glamorous New York City penthouse apartment for a salary that would add several zeroes to her waitressing wages.

By Pam Norfolk
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross
Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross

But from the first day of her employment at the upmarket Manhattan home of the Bird family – a role which involved signing a binding secrecy contract – Sarah knows that there is something strangely and terribly wrong.

Author of psychological page-turners The Stepdaughter and The Missing Woman, Georgina Cross ratchets up the gothic vibes in this super-spooky tale of madness, deceit and eccentricity which takes readers on a crazy, non-stop thrill ride into the heart of darkness.

So buckle up, switch off from reality, and enjoy the gripping action and menacing mystery as we follow 26-year-old Sarah to the bulletin board in her East Village apartment block where she lives with boyfriend Jonathan and struggles to pay medical bills racked up when her beloved aunt was in her final days.

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There on the board – posted on a creamy card and bearing a very exclusive address – is the flyer: ‘Nanny needed. Discretion is of the utmost importance. Special conditions apply.’ One glance and Sarah believes she has found her ticket out of a dead-end restaurant job… and a dead-end life that is drowning in debt.

When Sarah gains an interview, the job seems like a dream come true… a luxury penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC with a salary of twelve hundred dollars a week to look after a young girl called Patty, daughter of wealthy businessman Alex Bird, and his younger wife Collette.

And the interview goes better than Sarah could ever have hoped. Beautiful, kind and friendly, Collette feels more like a friend than a potential boss and Sarah is overjoyed when they offer her the position, signing the contract binding her to complete secrecy without a second thought. These are important people, after all… they can’t be too careful about who they let into their home.

But Sarah soon discovers that there is something very off-kilter about the Bird family. Their disturbing behaviour amounts to more than the eccentricities of the wealthy. Why does Collette never leave the apartment alone, what happened to the nanny before her… and is it now far too late for Sarah to seek help?

Brimming with spine-chilling claustrophobia, edge-of-the-seat suspense, and revelations that explode bomb-like across the pages, Nanny Needed opens with a sinister children’s party and ends with a wickedly clever, jaw-dropping twist.

Along the way, we encounter various creepy and colourful characters, explore some disturbing real-life issues, meet menacing atmospherics head-on, and marvel at Cross’s inventive plot that lurches, tantalises, teases and shocks right through all the unsettling drama.

Riveting, heart-pounding and impossible to put down, Nanny Needed is job done for Georgina Cross!

(Avon, paperback, £8.99)