Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Day of the Accident” as Want to Read:
Day of the Accident
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Day of the Accident

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  3,931 ratings  ·  516 reviews
They say you killed...But What If They're Wrong?

Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie's world is torn apart

The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.

When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last
Paperback, 391 pages
Published February 21st 2019 by Penguin Books UK (first published August 16th 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Day of the Accident, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Dafne Alves
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,931 ratings  ·  516 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Day of the Accident
Ivana - Diary of Difference
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

When Maggie wakes up from a coma, her whole life has changed. The nurse tells her that she has been in an accident, her little daughter is dead, and her husband sold the house and left her.
Maggie doesn’t remember a thing.

With no home, no family, and no memory, she has to find a way and discover what happened that day.

A thriller that will uncover the greatest of secrets everyone could have. A nail-biter, this one, I tell you.

The character of
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Day Of The Accident by Nuala Ellwood is a psychological thriller that had me hooked from the first page. I could not put it down and read it in one sitting.
Maggie wakes up in hospital after being in a coma for ten weeks to find out that she has been in an accident. She then learns that her daughter was killed in the accident and her husband has now left her and nobody can tell her where he has gone. Maggie has no memory of the accident and tries to put together the facts for her own peace of
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nuala Ellwood is a new author to me but one to look out for in the future.
When Maggie awakes from a coma her world is shattered by the news that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing and when she asks to see her husband Sean, discovers that he disappeared the day after his daughters funeral.
I seem to reading a lot of psychological thrillers lately but this one is certainly up there with the better ones
Maggie has woken up after 10 days in a coma to find her whole world utterly changed forever. Her daughter Elspeth dead in an accident she is being blamed for, her house sold, her possessions gone and her husband disappeared. With no memory of how this all came about Maggie is forced to come to terms with suddenly losing her whole family and being sent back to the world penniless and homeless.

This is a very captivating thriller, one to keep the little grey cells working overtime, trying to work
Louise Wilson
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Magpies world was torn apart when she wakes up from a coma to be told that her daughter Elspeth is dead. She had drowned in the car that Maggie had been driving, plunged into the river. Maggie has no memory of the accident. When Maggie asks where her husband Sean is, she is told by the police that he has disappeared. He went missing on the day of Elspeth's funeral.

Maggie has so many unanswered questions from how the accident happened to where her husband had disappeared to and everything in betw
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I always find stories that are set close to my home town have an extra layer of enjoyment to them, the fact that I wasn’t even aware that this was the case when purchasing this book made for such a pleasant surprise.

As Maggie wakes up from a short coma in Lewes Victoria Hospital and learns that her daughter has died during the accident whilst her husband has also disappeared, I was completely invested.

With no memory Maggie starts to piece together the events of that tragic day, the small crumbs
Maggie Allan woke in a hospital bed after being in a coma for ten weeks. She was weak, confused and light-headed. But when she was informed her daughter Elspeth had died in the car accident, Maggie was distraught and disbelieving. She had no recollection of what had happened – she needed to talk to Sean, her husband. But it seemed that he had vanished – the day after Elspeth’s funeral, he disappeared, completely. Maggie was alone in her grief...

As Maggie struggled to come to terms with what she
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dull, dull, dull.

This is yet another sub-par psychological thriller with zero actual thrills and nothing new to offer. It’s obvious, overwrought, and unlikely. Her first book was excellent, this is not.

ARC via Netgalley

May 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Between 3 and 4 ⭐️. I think for the first part of the book I would have given 5 stars but there were times where the narrative plateaued and the ending was too far fetched for me.

The story centred around Maggie Allan who had been in a coma for ten weeks following her car going into the River Ouse with her daughter trapped inside. Sadly, Elspeth did not survive and whilst Maggie was in a coma her husband Sean disappeared. Once Maggie awoke she had only fleeting recollections and struggled with h
I absolutely loved My Sister's Bones, the debut psychological thriller by Nuala Ellwood, so when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I jumped at the chance to read and review it. I was not disappointed. Rarely do I come across a second book by an author that is as good as the first - there seems to be a block regarding those second outings - but Ellwood surprised me with Day of the Accident

Moments after Maggie wakes from a coma, her world is shattered when she is told that her daughter wa
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

Oh My: this book was just so good.
I was hooked and invested from the very instance I started this journey and what a ride this was.
The basic premise here: Maggie wakes up from a coma after an accident that has left her daughter dead.
The car slipped into the river after the handbrake wasn't engaged properly and despite Maggies best efforts Elspeth drowns and is pronounced dead at the scene.
When Maggie eventually gains consciousness her daughter's funeral has past and her husband is missing.
To fur
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Day of the Accident is Nuala Ellwood's second novel, and after loving My Sister's Bones I was apprehensive about delving into this in case it was suffering from a bad case of second book syndrome; I needn't have worried though as this is even better than her first book. The whole plot concept revolves around the consequences of a car accident in which Maggie starts to suffer from amnesia and can't seem to tell perception from reality anymore; this makes for a thrilling and intensely absorbing ta ...more
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW and WOW again,I was so hooked in by this twist packed,roller coaster ride that I read the whole book in one day.

In the opening prologue Maggie is being led into a court room and we witness her enter her plea to a unknown crime.After that we slip back in time to the ICU of a hospital where we find Maggie just waking up after being in a coma.She eventually learns that she was involved in a accident,her ten year old daughter Elspeth is dead and Maggie's husband Sean has not been seen since the
Erin (from Long Island, NY)
I am not even sure what in the world to rate this.. Let me start by clearly stating that this was a good book, just M I S E R A B L E!!! So miserable that I didn’t even enjoy it.. I guess I was satisfied with the ending, such that it was. But idk man, this book was a serious downer! I read (& enjoy) dark books too. Thrillers, mysteries, even crime books are my thing. So maybe it was just my mood at this moment..? & I can absolutely appreciate certain aspects of the story, which is why I’m just g ...more
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
What a twist... great book!
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a ride this has been. I woke up this morning, read a few pages of this new book like every morning and then I'm glued to the same spot until I was done.

This was a gripping story dealing with loss and a domino effect of important proportions and you could not help but wonder how it would end up. The whole psychological part, the secrets and twists that came out slowly painting the picture in your mind were handled so well to the point that up until the last ~50 pages, you were wondering
Twitter |
Goodreads |
Blog |
Instagram |

I remember the first book I read a book by this author, in fact I had an early copy of it from the publishers.
Never heard of her.

I was astounded by that book so, when I could read this too I got it.
It’s been sat waiting to be read......
Because, her first book was so good I’d been worried about reading this one incase I get disappointed.

I need not have worried.

Nope, not worried at all because this author can weave a story that entrap you in it’s web
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a brilliant book this was. I was totally engrossed from start to finish. I was desperate to find out who was writing the letters and if Elspeth was really alive. I felt awful for Maggie throughout this book especially with her daughter dying and her husband disappearing. I really liked her and I did think she was a good person. This was the perfect thriller/mystery and I loved every page. I definitely recommend this book and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
What an intriguing start!!! Maggie’s daughter has died and her husband has disappeared without a trace. Maggie who has been in a comma is trying to recuperate and deal with her grief and memory loss from the night of the accident. This book drew me in from the start and kept me hooked, it is an emotional rollercoaster of a ride and very addictive!!
The letters from a child to her mother are heartbreaking, which will tug at anybody’s heart strings.

I thought I had it all worked out where this sto
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Regrets and losses
Truth and lies
Vengeance and revenge
Pride and hurt
Pretense and real
Innocence and mature
What is true, what is false
One is memory, the other life

These are the lines which came into my mind when I finished reading this book. A psychological thriller turned emotional which started with Maggie in the ICU waking up from the coma and being told that her child Elspeth had drowned due to her mistake, and she herself was found to be a state of near drowning trying to save her daughter. Ad
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In my top 5 of the year, so far

Maggie wales from a coma
She remembers little
Thankfully though she does remember she has a daughter, Elspeth and a husband Sean
Then she is told
There was an accident
Elspeth is dead
Sean hasnt been seen for 6 weeks, he just stopped visiting......

And so the hard hitting, tense story starts and doesnt stop
The narrative goes from present to the past and soon you realise that what seemed a normal happy family was anything but.....lies, secrets, nasty lies
Sherri Thacker
This book was a little slow at times but I kept plugging along and I wanted to see how it ended. It picked up at about 65% and then I couldn’t put it down. So many unexpected things came to the surface that I ended up really liking this book. 4 stars.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Isn’t it fantastic when an author carries all that was great from their previous novel into their next novel? It’s the very thing that allows you, as the reader, to recognise their work, to get to know their style, and I think that’s what essentially keeps you returning to an author’s work, these assurances. Now, I don’t mean repetition in plot, I mean repetition in skill! When I read Ellwood’s previous novel, My Sister’s Bones, I loved the dark themes running through the plot, the feelings of u ...more
The Book Review Café
I was a huge fan of author Nuala Ellwood’s debut novel My Sister’s Bones and after reading Day Of The Accident the author is now firmly on my “favourite author’s list”. What an exciting, nerve-wracking read Day Of The Accident turned out to be. If you are looking for a psychological thriller that will keep you up late I’ve found it, if you are looking for a deliciously devious plot, you guessed it I’ve found it! I think an author has done their job well if they can surprise me, but Nuala Elwood ...more
Liz Barnsley
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Review to follow.
Trish at Between My Lines
3.5 stars

Well I did a 360 degree turnaround on my opinion of this book.

I started off disliking it, as it's written in the present tense and I find that annoying to read. The only reason that I continued is that I had really enjoyed the author's previous book, so I wanted to give this one every chance.

Lucky I did!

I ended up loving the plot. I had ZERO idea what was actually going on, and I was totally baffled by the events. In a great way, as it meant I couldn't put the book down. The plot and th
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's no accident that DAY OF THE ACCIDENT has an intriguing premise.  The protagonist Maggie is an unreliable and pitiful narrator who wakes up in the hospital from a 10-week coma only to learn that she has been in an accident that killed her daughter.   Her husband has disappeared.   She no longer has fingernails.  Maggie has no memory of the day of the accident and is clueless about her husband's whereabouts.

The story unfolds from Maggie's POV.   Throughout the book, letters from a daughter to
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book reviews on

I have conflicting feelings about this novel. On the one hand, it does intrigue and mystery well; I spent the first 2/3 of the book really intrigued as to what had actually happened on the day Maggie's daughter dies. However, I felt that the story was just a bit too unbelievable and unlikely. I didn't believe that a lot of it would actually happen, and although that doesn't necessarily mean I won't enjoy a book (I don't mind books that make me have to suspend b
Joanna Park
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Day of The Accident was a fast paced, gripping read that was incredibly hard to put down.

The story is very well written and I felt intrigued from the start by the mysterious circumstances surrounding the day of the accident. I found I had to keep reading as I had to find out the truth.

Maggie was an interesting main character that I kept changing my opinion on. On one hand I did feel very sorry for her as one of my kids going missing is my worst nightmare. Her fear and concern for them was almost
Julie Lacey
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant book which had me hooked from the first few pages.
Maggie wakes up in hospital to discover that her daughter is dead and her husband has left her.
Social services help her find a place to live to get her back on her feet but Maggie is really struggling to understand how her daughter died.
The night of the accident is a blank at first then Maggie gets a few flashbacks.
Julia, a local GP offers her help and soon her panic attacks are under control.
This book delves into Maggie’
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Page count is wrong 2 15 Dec 01, 2019 12:32AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Rumour
  • No Way Out (DI Adam Fawley, #3)
  • Sleep
  • The Evidence Against You
  • Too Close
  • I Looked Away
  • Come Back For Me
  • Finding Grace
  • Then She Vanishes
  • The Last Thing She Told Me
  • All The Rage (DI Adam Fawley, #4)
  • Apple of My Eye
  • One More Lie
  • The Family Upstairs
  • What She Saw
  • A Gift for Dying
  • The Suspect (Kate Waters, #3)
  • Deliver Me
See similar books…
Nuala Ellwood is the daughter of an award-winning journalist. She was inspired by his experiences and those of foreign correspondents such as Marie Colvin and Martha Gellhorn to secure Arts Council funding for her research into PTSD for her debut psychological thriller MY SISTER’S BONES.

News & Interviews

  If you listen to NPR regularly, you’ve likely heard the voice of Shankar Vedantam, the longtime science correspondent and host of the radio...
15 likes · 2 comments