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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

What She Knew

What She Knew

ISBN: 006244462X

Publisher: Harper Audio

Publication Date:12/1/2015

Format: Audio

My Rating: 4 Stars

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..

My Review

Gilly MacMillan delivers a gripping psychological domestic suspense debut, WHAT SHE KNEW —A parent’s worst fear and nightmare- a missing child. Rachel Jenner and her eight-year-old son Ben and their dog, Skittles---an afternoon outing at the Bristol Park. Rachel gets distracted for a brief moment and her son runs ahead. He disappears. She's frantic. Newly divorced, a photographer has a low self-esteem, and an ex-husband with a new wife. Now the media is displaying her as a bad mother. Judgments flow. From social media to bloggers. An investigation—alternating perspectives between DI Jim Clemo and Rachel. Rachel is guilt ridden, and Jim blames himself for not solving the case sooner. Intensity builds as the pieces of the puzzle come together. Character-driven, a case of ordinary people finding themselves in challenging situations. Rachel was more of a victim at the beginning of the novel, worn down from life’s obstacles—however, as the book moves on she gains momentum. Secrets rise to the surface about the past and Rachel is unsure who she can trust. Jim on the other hand is dealing with his own issues. Engrossing, lyrical, deeply probing, and impressive writing; Full of twists and turns; dark secrets, fear, suspense--a mother’s deep love; the author unravels at a perfect pace, for a gripping psychological suspense debut. Fans of Paula Dalywill delight. An author to follow. I listened to the audio version and narrators, Penelope Rawlins, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart delivered an intense performance. I read this book a while ago; however, realized after reading The Perfect Girl, failed to write my review. Highly recommend the British author’s second book, THE PERFECT GIRL, a 5 star gripping psychological thriller!

Review Links:



The Perfect Girl

By: Gilly MacMillan Narrators: Penelope Rawlins, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart ASIN: B01B263FVQ Publisher: Hachette Audio Publication Date: 3/3/2016 Format: Other My Rating: 5 Stars

To everyone who knows her now, Zoe Maisey - child genius, musical sensation - is perfect. Yet several years ago Zoe caused the death of three teenagers. She served her time, and now she's free. Read Review

Gilly Macmillian

About the Author

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. Website






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