Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan

This is an amazing debut novel. The combination of story line and the way the plot unfolded made for a compelling novel. It is a psychological thriller I thoroughly enjoyed.

About the book:
Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It's an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry – until Ben vanishes.

Police are called, search parties go out, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. As hours and then days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knew him is called into question, from Rachel's newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister. Inevitably, media attention focuses on Rachel too, and the public's attitude toward her begins to shift from sympathy to suspicion.

As she desperately pieces together threadbare clues, Rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. And the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent's nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts the most.

Where is Ben? The clock is ticking...

My review:
I am really impressed with this debut offering. The novel is exceptionally well crafted. I enjoyed the way the novel developed, alternating the point of view between Rachel, the mother, and Jim, the lead detective in the case. I often do not like this technique of jumping from person to person but in this book it worked perfectly.

There is a continual feeling of suspense in the novel. It is not because of physical danger to Rachel, but because she must somehow prove herself innocent before she is convicted in the court of public opinion. I really felt like I was inside her head, feeling her frustration with the methodical and slow investigation. When Rachel discovers startling facts about those close to her, I felt the same alienation and abandonment she did. The author did an excellent job of drawing me into the character.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way the information was revealed, bit by bit. That technique had me turning pages with intensity.

The topic of this novel is a hard one. “A stolen child is every parent's worst nightmare...” This intense and suspenseful novel, due to the author's gifted ability to create the reality of the child abduction, is not for everyone. I do highly recommend it for those who enjoy an intense novel full of well crafted suspense.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

You can read a sample here.

I am taking part in a Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tour and you can read other reviews at these links: Books Chatter, Deal Sharing Aunt, Keenly Kristen, The Book Divas Reads, Books Direct, The Phantom Paragrapher, Rockin' Book Reviews, Building Bookshelves, 3 Partners in Shopping, Bookalicious Travel Addict, Writers and Authors, Let's Talk About Books, Kritters Ramblings, Celticlady's Reviews, Book Babble, Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Booked on a Feeling, Beth's Book Reviews, Brooke Blogs, Fictionzeal, Mallory Heart Reviews.


Gilly Macmillan grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and also lived in Northern California in her late teens. She studied History of Art at Bristol University and then at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she’s worked as a part-time lecturer in A Level Photography and a full-time mum. She and her husband live is Bristol with their three children. You can find out more at www.gillymacmillan.com.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Number of Pages: 467
ISBN: 9780062413864
UK Title: Burnt Paper Sky
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads
I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

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