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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

WHAT SHE KNEW by Gilly MacMillan_Tour

Review:  WHAT SHE KNEW by Gilly Macmillan

Inarguably, a parent's or grandfather's worst nightmare is the loss of a child,  for any reason. When it's a disappearance, the grief is open-ended and eternal in duration. Since the 1990's, such a case is announced perhaps worldwide, and the reign of the Internet and social media allows anyone and everyone to weigh in. The parents are spotlighted, often judged by those who have no possible clue.

I consider WHAT SHE KNEW a quintessentially British literary crime novel. I mean by that the restraint, the emotions "behind closed doors" (how apropos in the situation of the Detective Inspector), the unflappability of the investigators. [It is this emotional restraint that convicts the grieving mother, Rachel, in the public's view--that and the fact that she "lost" her son--that he was in her charge when he disappeared.]

Even in the midst of restraint, though, it will be a rare reader who is not wrung inside out, long before the conclusion.


In her enthralling debut, Gilly Macmillan explores a mother’s search for her missing son, weaving a taut psychological thriller as gripping and skillful as The Girl on the Train and The Guilty One.

In a heartbeat, everything changes…

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 the 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...

Author Bio:

authorGilly 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.

Catch Up: 
author's website author's twitter author's facebook

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:
Barnes & Noble​

1 comment:

  1. "Even in the midst of restraint, though, it will be a rare reader who is not wrung inside out, long before the conclusion."
    Wow, nicely said!
    I wish I could have read this one but just didn't have the time. Thanks for the review!