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Showing 1-10 of 806 reviews(Verified Purchases). Show all reviews
on December 7, 2015
The plot of What She Knew is simple on its face. Young Ben Finch suddenly disappears while on a walk through a familiar park with his recently divorced mother, Rachel Jenner, and the family dog. What follows is the harrowing tale of the search for Ben, told directly to the reader by Rachel, and to a police department psychologist by lead detective, Jim Clemo.

As the clock ticks, many people in law enforcement and in Ben's family are forced to reveal secrets. Rachel is accused of being a bad mother, which she now begins to believe. After all, if she had kept Ben at her side rather than giving him a taste of freedom, this would not have occurred. She is forced to deal with her ex-husband's new wife, realizing that she has been unfair.

When her sister drops a bombshell, Rachel feels that she can trust nobody. When Jim Clemo's girlfriend devastates him with her secret, he is shattered. Ultimately everyone surrounding Ben becomes suspect, and trust issues abound.

This is a realistic page-turner. I felt as though I were in the middle of a law enforcement investigation, complete with blog and Facebook posts, and I gained even more sympathy for a family to which this crime has happened. I look forward to Gilly Macmillan's next book.
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on July 12, 2016
This was a GREAT story, but it was far from Psychological Thriller. I did not like the writings from the web, emails, and blogs. That could have been done in a much better way. The author uses a lot of the same descriptive words throughout the book. The epilogue was way too long to be an epilogue. I think this book would be a better movie than a book. I ordered the kindle version and there were several typos and parts that missed editing. I paid almost $12 for the book so I expected a good editing job. I enjoyed the story line very much, but the book itself was poorly written.
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on November 2, 2016
This book is hard to rate. The author spends a lot of time with symbolic and wordy descriptions, but I am a slightly lazy reader. I wanted her to get on with the story many times, anxious to find out what was coming next; however it was the kind of story that stayed with my mind. I could not forget it for a few days. While reading it, I spent many nights up too late because of the suspense. So, if you don't mind an author who works hard to give you crystal clear images of every detail - this this book is an absolutely must read. If you are like me, and don't like so much descriptive text, then you still wont be sorry. I woudl recommend this as a good read anyway.
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on December 20, 2015
This was a good book for many reasons. When Rachel lets her 8 year old son run ahead of her in the park one Sunday, he disappears into thin air, leaving only a bag of the clothes he was wearing behind.

This is really a book about the investigation of the kidnapping. As the days pass, public opinion begins to doubt Rachel as she become combative at a press conference.

In the course of the investigation, many people close to Rachel and her son Ben are investigated and secrets will be revealed. MANY lives are affected and lives are dissected.

There are some false leads in the story that seemed too obvious, but even when it is over you can't help but wonder if EVERYONE connected to the investigation will never be quite the same - even the lead police investigators.

Eventually, Rachel decides that she can't wait and does a little investigating of her own. An off-handed comment by one of the other characters provides a big clue.

I won't give the ending away, but just know that you will be affected by this story. It is well written and very well developed.
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on March 2, 2016
This book was just okay. I understand having the Mother's perspective but I really don't understand why it was necessary to have the perspective of the police officer. I feel that a lot of his background was just not told and would have been important to his story. Overall, I just thought is was underwhelming.
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on July 1, 2016
The author has a terrific concept - both the events, and the examination of how those events impact. It would have benefited greatly from competent editing.
- Characters disappear (Peter, though extensively described early in the book, never appears again, as if he had originally played a part in the story, and the early investment was never reviewed after the character was cut; John is left in a coma in hospital - and then never mentioned again until a brief two sentences in the epilogue indicate that he has apparently awoken.)
- The mechanism of the psychiatrist's notebook, which could have been extremely clever, falls flat. The psychiatrist continually adds notes that simply don't ring true for a professional's observations on a patient ("he's got me interested..."), and reveal what is, at best, a pretty questionable therapeutic path. The counselor - supposedly required to deal with the police officer's prior trauma - spends a great deal of time fishing for background details of the investigation, while almost wholly ignoring significant and potentially traumatic items brought into the conversation. A partial, early memory is skimmed over, without the counselor expressing much interest in whether it was "merely" an indicator of abuse, or represents a significant inner conflict about the nature of his father's career, despite the heavy-handed statement the image presents on integrity.
- The author repeatedly changes references mid paragraph (for example, the boy's parents hold hands, and the mother-narrator connects that to the first time she held hands with the boy's father, a week after they met. The author then spends a page telling the story of how they met, rather than of that first hand-holding [to be fair: she does get to that eventually too - but the practice of changing referents mid-sentence or -paragraph repeats in other areas).

The meandering narrative and poor content editing made what should have been a very satisfying story into an endless slog. I never did connect the title (though I did read somewhere that it has been published under another name) Definitely read it - but try the Cliff's Notes version, or wait until a second edition that has seen a significant editorial review. I'll be deleting this one from my collection here on Amazon.
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on March 3, 2016
Just a little disappointed in the ending. SPOILER: The title makes me feel like she's going to reference that she had a feeling or knew something all along that she wasn't facing perhaps. Or maybe it wasn't being brought to the surface. The way she spoke in the beginning also made me think that. The ending didn't really portray that at all. The way she spoke in the beginning really made me think it was going to be a super interesting twist on who did it and how she should have known. It made me feel like it would be different than any other book about a child going missing. I still definitely found it suspenseful the entire time and would recommend it, but my expectations were a little skewed.
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on February 14, 2016
This book needed an editor. There are large sections where it drones on for no reason. The story is ok but not great. The writing is flowery and uses sometimes laughable descriptive language. It compares itself to the book Gone Girl. This could not be further from Gone Girl - that book had me hanging on storyline and this one had me begging for it to end.
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on March 26, 2016
I don't usually choose to review books I didn't like, but I'd like to spare other readers the cost/time investment of this dreadful book. It's poorly written, with wildly improbable "plot twists," and the author uses every cliche you can imagine. (If one more stressed character was described as having "gray skin," I was going to scream.) I'm mystified by the favorable reviews. "Gone Girl" it most definitely is not.
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on July 7, 2016
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is heavy on plot and the author does a great job of really letting us get to know the characters. It is a thriller but more deeply than that, it is about a mother's love for her only child. There is so much detail and backstory but done in a remarkable way that contributes to the story and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Single mom Rachel goes on a walk with her 8 year old son Ben. She lets him run ahead and he vanishes. It is told from the point of view of Rachel (the mother) and Detective Clemo, who is in charge of the investigation. One thing I enjoyed was the use of newspaper articles, blog posts and transcripts from DI Clemo's counseling sessions that furthered the plot. Rachel has no idea who took her son or where he is. She is still reeling from her divorce and now everyone she knows is in question. She learns many truths about members of her support group and family and doesn't know who she can trust. I could not put it down! I had to see what happened to Ben. The guilty party was not revealed till the end, and it was a surprise to me, I figured it out just a bit before it was revealed. The ending is great and very thought provoking. Great book, great characters! 5 stars!
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