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What She Knew: A Novel

What She Knew: A Novel


What She Knew: A Novel

ratings:
4/5 (294 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 1, 2015
ISBN:
9780062444622
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as ebookEbook

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Description

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...

A HarperAudio production.

Publisher:
Released:
Dec 1, 2015
ISBN:
9780062444622
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Gilly Macmillan is the internationally bestselling author of What She Knew, The Perfect Girl, Odd Child Out, I Know You Know, The Nanny, and To Tell You the Truth. She resides in Bristol, England.



Reviews

What people think about What She Knew

4.2
294 ratings / 64 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    This one is very gripping! As a parent, also disturbing. Great writing and characterization
  • (5/5)
    “If there’s so much potential for others to judge us wrongly, then how can we be sure that our assessment of them in any way resembles the real person that lies underneath?” (citation pos. 152)ContentRachel Jenner, recently divorced, photographer, loves to go for a walk with her son Ben, eight years old, and their dog Skittle. When he wants to run ahead to go on the rope swing, Skittle on his side, she tries not to listen to her maternal voice and allows it, because it is not far and he knows the way. After a short phone call with her sister, Rachel arrives at the rope – and Ben is not here. He is missing, without any traces. Every day that passes makes the search and the questions more desperate.Theme and GenreThis thriller is about the impact of a case of a missing child on the family, friends and the investigating police. An important topic is the psychological point of view, the feelings of the persons involved. The story also shows the pressure of the public opinion, of journalists, of strangers gathering and sharing their opinions via social media, hate postings and bullying. CharactersRachel sometimes still struggles to get over her divorce. She feels guilty for letting Ben run ahead in the wood and with the public opinion calling her a bad mother almost breaks her down, as well as having to wait for results of the investigation. But she never gives up.DI James Clemo leads the investigation team, knowing that time is important and if the want to find Ben, they first have to find out who took him.Plot and WritingRachel and Jim, beginning with a prolog one year after Ben’s disappearance, tell the captivating story. Each day is a chapter and begins with notes from an OJJDP law report about Missing and Abducted Children, Rachel’s description of the events and Jim who tells his part to the story to his therapist. Together with extracts from the blog, it is this special and brilliant plotting, that makes the story so breathtaking, deeply impressing and thrilling. ConclusionA gripping, unputdownable story and definitely not a book that is closed with the last page, shelved and soon forgotten. An amazing read that remains in the readers thoughts.
  • (4/5)
    I'd give this 4.5 stars if that were an option.

    The story of a boy abducted from the woods, What She Knew is told in alternating sections from the perspectives of the boy's mother and the main investigator on the case.

    It's excellently paced and won't be one of those books where you're pretty sure you know what happens within the first hundred pages and only reading to confirm your hunch. While some of the secondary characters are a bit flat and their storylines seem almost unnecessary in places, the people most central to the storyline are nuanced and relatable. The writing is beautiful and never feels like the author is trying to make you see the story a certain way. The final few chapters are less strong than the book as a whole, but the author wraps this one up without artifice or cliche.
  • (5/5)
    This is a gripping story, from beginning to end!! My only "slight" comment/question would be...how did the "person" who took Ben, do it at the time it was happening? We were never provided with those details but that probably was just a little too difficult to present. Instead we have the incredible depth of what happens to the parents, close friends, and the police force involved in the search for the child. Almost exhaustingly provided......
  • (3/5)
    Enjoyable.
  • (4/5)
    In Bristol England, Rachel Jenner's momentary inattentiveness leads to the disappearance of her eight year old son, Benedict Finch. The story, which takes place in a little over a week, is told from the alternating points of view of Rachel, a divorced photographer, and DI James Clemo, who is put in charge of the police investigation. Clemo's girlfriend, DC Emma Zhang, is also assisting in the investigation. The author did an excellent job of showing Rachel's terror when she first notices that Ben is missing. You could really feel "the various textures of [her] fear". As the investigation dragged on from one disappointing lead to another, we also got to see the anguish of Rachel's ex-husband and other family members and friends and how their lives were changed forever. This book was really amazingly polished for a first novel. My only quibble was that it was a little too long. I thought that the digressions with Ben's grandmother and the whole James/Emma story broke the tension and were unnecessary distractions that could have been trimmed. Other than that, I liked the book very much and will keep an eye out for the author's next book. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.