Author: Gilly MacMillan
“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 can say that I’m a person with fairly macabre interests. I’ve always had a (purely scientific!) need to know about the things that go bump in the night and the people the bump in the day. Essentially, I watch a lot of shows about murder, kidnappings, and all that junk. And since reading Magpie Murders I’ve had a craving for the same type of book. While What She Knew isn’t as “fun” as Atticus Pund, I still enjoyed it.
The best part of the book as a whole was the realism from both Rachel and DI Clemo. There were no winners or losers in the book. Like Rachel said in the book, after the return of an abducted child, there really isn’t any closure. Just adaptation. Rachel’s life was completely changed after the investigation and she can’t ever go back to the way she was before. DI Clemo developed PTSD from the stress of the case, even though Ben was found alive.
Rachel was realistic and not idealistic. It’s the best kind of character for a book on such a serious subject. If someone was the perfect human after their child went missing, it wouldn’t make sense. Reading through Rachel’s breakdown about almost everything was necessary. It was interesting to see how the investigation shook skeleton’s out of the closet that Rachel didn’t even know she had. It was interesting to see how quickly people assumed that Rachel had hurt Ben, even the people who were supposed to be on her side.
The writing could get a little unrealistic sometimes, but it wasn’t anything too serious. I’ll also admit that I didn’t figure out who did it until Rachel figured it out. I’m glad there wasn’t some twist within a twist because sometimes that’s garbage. The book isn’t as long as it seems either. It’s about 600 pages but you speed through it.
I would recommend this book. I was engaged during and after and I genuinely enjoyed the experience.