Review: What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan


What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan

Rating: ✮✮✮✮

Genre: Thriller

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“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…”

My thoughts:

What She Knew is about a boy who’s gone missing and how his mother (Rachel) and the investigating officer (Jim) handle the investigation. The investigation isn’t the main focus, though we do see bits of it. Instead, the focus is on the states of mind of everyone involved and how a tragic event like this affects the lives of those close to it. It is impossible not to feel sympathy for both Rachel and Jim, despite the fact that they play very different roles and have different reasons for their problems. I really loved reading both of their perspectives and seeing how the investigation affected each of their lives.

I also enjoyed the format of this book — it was separated into days and was told through a combination of traditional exposition, e-mails, news articles, interviews, and blog posts. This was an interesting way of experiencing the story.

I gave this book four stars because it’s a quick and interesting read with a compelling story. It definitely earns its place on the list of beach-ready books for summer.


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