What She Knew
by Gilly Macmillan
on Tour December 2015
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...
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Number of Pages: 467
UK Title: Burnt Paper Sky
Review: This book is one of the best suspense stories I've read this year. A young boy disappears from a park after his mother allows him to run ahead of her to the swings. The story that follows takes us behind the scenes, into the workings of the police department as well as the emotional upheaval of the family members of the lost child. We also get a look at how social media can impact the family as well.
I was drawn into this story from the very beginning to the very end. I had absolutely NO idea who had taken Ben or why, and I fell victim to a few of the red herrings the author threw into the plot. When the truth was revealed, I was totally blown away.
The details of the police investigation felt very realistic, including their frustration at the lack of clues or suspects. I was riding the emotional rollercoaster right along with all the characters.
If you like psychological thrillers, missing child stories, and/or police procedurals, then you should definitely read this book.
Rating: Four stars
“What an amazing, gripping, beautifully written debut. WHAT SHE KNEW kept me up late into the night (and scared the life out of me).”
— Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author
“Tightly focused and fast-paced. You won’t rest until you really know what happened.”
— Lisa Ballantyne, author of The Guilty One
“Every parent’s nightmare, handled with intelligence and sensitivity, the novel is also deceptively clever. I found myself racing through to find out what happened.”
— Rosamund Lupton, international bestselling author of SISTER
“This accomplished, intelligent debut should come with a warning-it’s completely addictive. A nail-biting, sleep-depriving, brilliant read.”
— Saskia Sarginson, author of The Twins
“Heart-in-the-mouth excitement from the start of this electrifyingly good debut…an absolute firecracker of a thriller that convinces and captivates from the word go. A must read.”
— Sunday Mirror
“One of the brightest debuts I have read this year - a visceral, emotionally charged story….heart-wrenchingly well told and expertly constructed, this deserves to stay on the bestseller list until Christmas”
— The Daily Mail
“A terrific debut”
— Reader's Digest
“A very clever, tautly plotted page turned from a terrific new writer”
— Good Housekeeping