Book Review: The Waitress by Nina Manning

I’m pleased to be welcoming Nina Manning back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her latest novel, The Waitress

Nameless. Faceless. Deadly?

Waitress Kit Lowman knows that people look down on her and the job she does. But being anonymous offers Kit safety and security and allows her own terrible secrets to remain hidden.

And then Kit’s luck changes, and she suddenly faces a terrible dilemma: reveal her true identity and accept that life will never be the same. Or stay in the shadows…where she hopes she’ll be safe?

But secrets can’t stay hidden forever. And the more Kit tries to hide away, the more someone makes it clear that they are going to make her pay for what she did.


Kit is aware that people look down on her for being a waitress. However, for Kit, it’s a job she’s good at. It means she can stay anonymous and allows her to keep her secrets.

She wins a house but is worried that it will expose what she did. The more she hides, the more someone is going to make her pay. Nothing is what it seems.

I’d previously read Queen Bee and loved it so I was looking forward to reading the new book by Nina Manning.

Kit is obviously running from something and from page one, I was immediately pulled into her journey and could feel the tension starting to build.

There are things from Kit’s past that she’s hiding. She’s using the house win to hide from her family and ex-boyfriend and all the way through, I was wondering what could be so bad that she’d cut everyone out?

The plot moved at a great pace. I couldn’t figure out how everything fitted together and this added some brilliant suspense. I also loved the fact that the story was based in the Bournemouth and Sandbanks area. Being my home town, I could picture the setting very well.

The book covers themes such as relationships and cohesive control and does this in a sensitive way.

Nina Manning is so good at twisting and turning the narrative that ‘one more page’ quickly turns into ‘oh, I’ve read that in one sitting. When did it suddenly become 4am?’ I couldn’t figure out how it was going to end.

I will admit, there was a few times whilst I was reading where I got really jumpy especially if my house made a noise and I had to tell myself to stop being silly. Haha.

There was one scene that had me in tears and the rest had me on the edge of my seat.

I don’t want to say anything else as I don’t want to spoil it.

The Waitress is a brilliant psychological thriller from one of my favourite writers in the genre.

(Thank you to Boldwood Books, Rachel’s Random Resources and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.)


About Nina Manning: 

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family).

She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast.

Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.

Say hello via Facebook, Twitter, and Bookbub. Sign up to her newsletter by clicking here

The Waitress was released by Boldwood Books on 21st July 2022. Click to buy on Amazon UK and Waterstones


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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