An Underrated Crime Novel

8What She Knew

Author: Gilly MacMillan25817531

Genre: Mystery/Crime

Published by: William Morrow

Published on: December 1, 2015

Pages: 512 [paperback]8

Opening Sentence:

In the eyes of others, we’re often not who we imagine ourselves to be.


On a crisp Sunday afternoon, Rachel and her son, Ben, were taking a nature walk with their dog. Feeling independent, Ben ran ahead to a rope swing. When Rachel reached the clearing, the rope was eerily swaying, the dog’s leg was broken, and her son was missing.

Now, Rachel is shattered; she hit rock bottom. Her husband left her for a younger woman, and her son is missing. The journalists camped outside her front door and the media pointing fingers at her certainly aren’t helping. In the draining effort to find her son, what will she lose along the way?

“In the UK, a child is reported missing every three minutes.” (



MacMillan takes her time telling the story. At the start, we are as clueless as those searching for Benedict Finch.  But when it picks up, it really picks up. It took me a week to read the first half, and a day to read the second half. I became addicted, sneaking in a couple of pages here and there throughout the day. I HAD to find out what happened to Benedict Finch in the woods that day.

What She Knew is told, alternately, by Detective Jim Clemo and Rachel, the mother.what she knew cozy

Furthermore, the story is told in a variety of formats:

  • First Person;
  • Blog Style;
  • E-Mail Correspondence; and
  • Psych Evaluation of DI Jim Clemo 

Dr. Francesa Manelli’s evaluation of the detective is a curve ball in the story; the psychiatrist questions the stability of the DI Clemo in the aftermath of the investigation. The fact that DI Clemo is speaking to a psychiatrist leads readers to assume that the turnout of the case was not good.

MacMillan builds a breathtaking crescendo of tension, until suspects emerge. The conclusion, although long waited for, is dramatic and will leave you in utter shock.

My Rating



What She Knew is the first book of the Jim Clemo series. The second book, Odd Child Out, was published October 2017.

If you enjoy novels by authors such as Tana French, Jane Harper, Kate Atkinson, and J.K. Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith), than this series is for you!8

Happy Reading,blonde vs books header blue and green small3


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