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Publisher's Summary

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....

©2015 Gilly Macmillan (P)2015 Oakhill Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,975
  • 4 Stars
    1,893
  • 3 Stars
    847
  • 2 Stars
    191
  • 1 Stars
    86

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    2,313
  • 4 Stars
    1,520
  • 3 Stars
    528
  • 2 Stars
    126
  • 1 Stars
    68

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,753
  • 4 Stars
    1,622
  • 3 Stars
    838
  • 2 Stars
    219
  • 1 Stars
    102
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  • Story

Disappointing

I'd give this novel 2 1/2 stars if possible. Based on the reviews of other listeners and the Audible description, I expected it to be a lot more exciting. It's FAR less suspenseful, interesting, or well-written than The Girl on the Train. I kept waiting for some interesting twists and exciting discoveries, but no. It just slowly plods along to the "reveal" well into the story, and then, frustratingly, continues on for at least another hour with boring follow-ups on the characters, none of whom I cared much about.

The same ground was covered over and over -- how the main characters feel -- and even how they feel is monotonous: it's pretty much the same emotion described in different ways. The book could have been half the length without leaving anything out of the story.

As for the narration, it was fine -- not outstanding, and not bad. I didn't find the male narrator irritating at all (and little quirks really annoy me), and never thought he sounded winded or rushed.

Bottom line, I'd be hard-pressed to call this a "suspense" novel, or a "psychological thriller," or even just a "thriller." There is a mystery at the center, but the resolution isn't a huge surprise and my response was basically "ho hum." Oh, and I still don't know what the title refers to. Who is "she"? What did she know??

56 of 58 people found this review helpful

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  • Alicia
  • Tampa, FL, United States
  • 12-17-15

4 hours and 42 minutes left and I just can't do it

Any additional comments?

I really wanted to like this book. I rate the books I read based on how often I find myself daydreaming when listenening or how often I choose to listen to something other than the book. I got to the point where I was dreading getting in the car to listen. I don't know what happened to the kidnapped boy and although part of me wants to know, I can't listen for another minute. I kept waiting for something to happen, waiting for the story to finally capture me. I felt no connection to the characters and the story was just monotone. The narration was also not great. The voice made for the little boy was annoying and the male narration sounded like he had just finished running a marathon and was yelling. I can only assume the ending was good if so many people liked the story. Just not for me I guess.

97 of 106 people found this review helpful

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Unhurried Suspense

I enjoyed the story but given the subject matter I was not anticipating the pace to be this slow.

It was not a page-turner, but that does not mean it wasn’t interesting - it was just not rushed. In a way, it reminded me of the pace of “Broadchurch” – suspenseful and interesting yet takes it’s time getting to where it wants to be.

I particularly liked the element of the blog comments which could be considered a form of cyber-bullying. It’s so easy to be cruel and self-righteous when you are anonymous! It demonstrated how destructive a mob mentality can be: Read an article in the paper, don’t bother to think about the other side of the story, take for granted that what you are reading is 100% accurate fact and denounce everyone involved.

Passing cold judgment on people you don’t know with no regard to their feelings or their families… It struck a chord with me.

77 of 84 people found this review helpful

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Honest writing and schadenfreude

Would you consider the audio edition of What She Knew to be better than the print version?

Yes. The reading was brilliant!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Rachael. The mother. She speaks with harsh truth and gut wrenching pain.

What does Penelope Rawlins and Dugald Bruce-Lockhart bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

They bring the story to life. Both of them are exceptional readers who do the different voices of the characters very well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

All of it. I listened to it all day and most of the night and the next day until it was finished.

Any additional comments?

As an avid audio book listener, I highly recommend this edge of your seat thriller that is full of suspense and beautiful writing. They should make a movie about it.

64 of 70 people found this review helpful

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Hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves

This book was hard to put down. I'm really surprised that it isn't a #1 bestseller. You know from the description that it's about a boy who turns up missing and the media gets overly involved, pointing fingers at the mother and others. There's much more to this book than that. Surprising family secrets come out and just when you think you've solved it, another twist will come into play. You will keep guessing until the end!

If you like mysteries, this will be a great pick for you.

62 of 68 people found this review helpful

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This one broke my "blah book" spell...

Excellent psycho thriller from beginning to end, and I changed my mind about "whodunit" more than once. Very well narrated as well. I would definitely recommend this one

78 of 86 people found this review helpful

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Let down

This book was just alright to me. It was very slow paced and I feel like the ending was weak. Only the two main characters had any depth and even they were a disappointment.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Great performance

I loved all the different voices the narrater did for each character, it was natural and believable and made it easy to distinguish between people during dialogue.

The story itself was good, not great, but I did enjoy it. A little slow and slightly repetitive to start, but it did give you a chance to really get to know each character. I liked the different perspectives (Doctor, first person, websites, etc.). I can't say I saw the ending coming, but it wasn't incredibly suspenseful either. I did like the jump back and fourth at the very end, definitely kept me guessing.

Overall I think I would recommend this book.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

Bound to be a bestseller. I loved this book. Intriguing story, every evolving plot, wonderful character development. Narrators were perfect. Rarely write reviews but this book is exceptional. You will enjoy it.

45 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

what i know

nothing great about this book except the narrators. was refreshing to hear the character back and forth. really just another book about abduction but reminds us to always watchout

5 of 5 people found this review helpful