What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan

December 14, 2015 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 9 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
What She Knew by Gilly MacmillanWhat She Knew
by Gilly Macmillan
Genres: Adult, Crime, Detective, Mystery, Suspense
Publication Date: December 1, 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
4 Stars
Source: Publisher via Mail

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...

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

late chat with gen

What She Knew tells the story of a mother and her son, who were strolling through a path in a park and the son goes ahead to the swings on his own. His mom thinks nothing of it because they always take this route and nothing has ever happened. Suddenly, she can’t find Ben, her son and she realizes someone must have taken him.

The start of this book was slow for me but it has nothing to do with the story or the writing. It’s mostly me wanting the police to start interviewing the right people and get on with it because I needed to know who had kidnapped Ben. Suspecting Rachel who’s the mom or anyone of the family felt wrong for me. There was something about them that I felt they hadn’t done it but I wasn’t entirely sure. When the police expands their search and interviews a few other people, I immediately said, “This is the kidnapper. I bet anything this one did it.” I nailed it! *happy dance*

This story takes you through a whirlwind of emotions. You feel sad and desperate just like Rachel. You feel angry because no one is searching in the right place. You feel distraught over what could be happening to Ben and whether he will be found or not. The various POV’s shed more light to the story and helps you see this case through different eyes. We have POV’s from Rachel and the detective Jim Clemo (and I thought we had a POV from the dad, John but I can’t seem to find it. Maybe it was my imagination). We also have chapters where we have blog posts and their very rude comments, news articles and the conversations had between Jim and his therapist after the kidnapping.

At each turn, you will be thrown new information that will have you question everything and start doubting. This story started at a steady-pace and then escalated to fast-paced in a matter of a few chapters. The intrigue will keep you reading until the very end.

About Gilly Macmillan

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.

Genesis
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Genesis

Book Blogger at Latte Nights Reviews
Genesis is a 22-year-old girl who lives in Puerto Rico, an island in the Caribbean. She's obsessed with Instagram (@lattenightsbooks) and coffee shops. When she's not reading or on social media, she can be found eating, at the beach, being with her boyfriend and/or hanging out with friends.
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  • You are so good for getting who it was!!! I am so bad at that! I also got frustrated at how the police were handling everything in the beginning, I really enjoyed this one. Glad you did too!!

    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted: Review ~ Throne of Glass
    • Haha the person seemed too good to be true and was kind of putting Rachel in a bad light while making himself/herself (not specifying genre in case someone looks) look good.
      Me too! But thankfully, they searched where they needed.

  • Grace also liked this one so I’ve had my eyes on it ever since her review. This sounds like a really fun book. That’s awesome that you were able to guess the criminal. I like the feeling of being right! Haha!
    Glad you enjoyed this so much, Genesis!
    Lovely review!

    Nick @ Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist recently posted: Review: Up to this Pointe by Jennifer Longo
    • That feeling is awesome haha It really is a good story 🙂 Thank you!

  • This sounds like an intriguing read. I’ve never read anything that involves kidnapping and I like how it will stir up your emotions. I kind of feel that it’s not something you get a lot from mystery-thriller novels.

    czai recently posted: [REVIEW] Doll Parts
    • It really is. Since this one involved a little kid, I felt for him and for his family and the author did a great way in hitting the feels.

  • This sounds like exactly my kind of read, Gen. It’s the worst thing that could happen, you know… a kid disappearing in the park *shudders* so I’m sure the psychological thriller part would cut me deeply.
    Great review!

    • I know! That’s what made the story so emotional!

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