Friday, April 29, 2016

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan #bookreview #amreading

I've always had kind of a morbid fascination with child abduction. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but I just really wonder about what has happened to those children that are never found. I think I've said on here before that the case of the Beaumont children which happened in Adelaide in the 60s is of particular interest to me, probably because it was multiple childen (three) and remains unsolved to this day.

So with that in mind, occasionally I like to see how an author perceives an abduction case might go - the who, why, and what happens. This is what drew me to What She Knew.

I felt this book started a little slow, and maybe that is because it took me a little while to get used to the format. The book is basically written from three points of view which are interspersed with emails, news reports and info on abduction. The points of view include the mother of the victim, the officer who was in charge of the search for the victim, and the therapist of that officer. It's a bit odd, but overall it does work.

What She Knew is set in England, but is written in such a way it could have occurred anywhere.

Once I got used to the format, I couldn't put it down. There were so many possible perps just like in any real case, and you could feel the frustration of all involved in trying to find this missing child. I felt it was mostly very realistic, and the part that wasn't was still a pretty cool twist. As the search goes on secrets are divulged leaving you to wonder who to trust. This is a well done debut novel from this author. 

If you are interested in checking it out for yourself, click here to find it on Amazon.

Book Blurb:  
Gilly Macmillan
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...

About the Author: 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, and since then has done some lecturing in ‘A’ Level photography.

Gilly lives in Bristol, UK with her husband and three children and now writes full time. She’s currently working on her third novel.


  1. I have read this book and I really loved it. My friend giftes this on my result. Thank you for sharing the review and this post with us. I loved it.

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