What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan – Book Review

What She Knew was a random pick at the book fair in Jan. I had not heard about the book or the author. The blurb was great and so was the price! Didn’t think twice before buying it. I’m so glad I picked this up. I regret not having read it sooner but yeah that is a reader’s life.

Rachel is out in the park with her 8-year-old son, Ben. When Ben asks whether he can run ahead to the swings, Rachel doesn’t think twice before saying yes. But then he goes missing. Search parties go out, police get called and there is still no sign of Ben. As hours and then days pass, everyone who knew Ben comes under the police scrutiny. Rachel discovers that everyone has a secret they’re hiding. She realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be. She also becomes the focus of media attention and is branded as “Bad Mother”. Who could have done this to Ben? Will he be found before it is too late?

OMG! That was one awesome book. It has just found a place in my top 10 reads this year. I completed the 470-page book in 2 days! Seriously can’t believe this is the author’s first book! How do these authors manage to write so well!!

I loved every part of the book. The book starts off a year after Ben’s disappearance. We are given glimpses of how Rachel and Jim are coping. Jim was the cop who worked the case. We are not told whether Ben is found or not. Gradually we are taken through Rachel’s and Jim’s narrative of what happened a year back. Character development is amazing. The author has also given all the characters a good backstory which helps us to understand why they did what they did.

Rachel is a very realistic character. Being a mother, I could identify with a lot of her emotions and actions. But my favorite character was Jim Clemo. He gets so involved in the case that it affects his relationships and mental health. A year down the lane he is in therapy to get back on the force. Jim’s character was complex and the therapist’s notes on his mental state give us even more insight into him.

The book also shows how a single incident can be twisted by the media and public to their narrative. They don’t bother to get all the facts right before coming to their own conclusions. Most people are ready to start blaming without giving it a second thought. Doesn’t even matter whether they’re right or wrong!!

The book had a good pace with perfectly placed twists and turns. I didn’t see any of those coming. Truly surprised me! Every time I thought I had figured it out, a new suspect came up! It was a pleasure to read this book. Looking forward to reading more books by the author.

My rating: 5⭐.

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