Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: What She Knew

Title What She Knew
By Gilly Macmillan
Genre Adult Crime Mystery
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When a mother lets her 8 year old son run on up ahead of her the unthinkable happens. Benedict Finch goes missing. Following his mother and the detective assigned to the case, the story takes us through the 9 days after Ben's abduction.

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

I'm all for a missing person book. Several of my blogging friends had read and recommended this one, so when it went on sale for Kindle I snatched it up.

 What no one mentioned was it's more of a crime novel than a mystery. Let me explain. I consider a mystery or suspense or whatever you want to call it a book about the people that a tragedy happens around or to and how they cope or figure things out. A crime novel takes us into the head of the detectives working the case. Many moons ago, crime novels are about all I ever read. I loved them. Couldn't get enough of them. I watched Law & Order SVU religiously and binge watched old episodes. Sadly, I burnt myself out on them. Now if I see a book or show about detectives my eyes glaze over. It's kind of like when you eat so much of something you never want to eat it again.

So while it was a crime book and I almost gave up when I saw that, I decided to stick with it. It did have the mother of the missing child's POV and I was interested enough in whodunnit that I kept reading. It was a rather fast paced book after the first 100 pages or so and I liked the way it drew social media into the story. It showed us how awful people that read about these things on line can be so horrible stating their unasked for and biased, judgmental opinion. There were enough red herrings in this one to keep me guessing, though I had my suspicions, and I liked that. I hate when I know who it is from page one.

My complaints about the book are pretty straight forward. The crime novel aspect while not completely torturous did make me struggle and almost give up and I really didn't like a single character in this book.

Sometimes I think authors try so hard to create flawed characters that feel human and real that they make them a bit too unlikable. While they didn't all drive me nuts, I found them to be a bit irritating and that effected my overall opinion. Thank goodness for plot, right?

Should you read it
If this sounds like your kind of book I'd recommend it.


  1. I haven't read a lot of mystery or crime novels, but I want to try a few. I agree with the mystery vs crime novels.

  2. I used to read mystery and crime novels all the time too. I don't think I've read one in more than 5 years, though, because I want to read other stuff. So, I get how you feel about crime novels. I'm glad you like it other than your complaints.

  3. While I read a lot of thrillers, I really want there to be characters in them that I can like, you know? For me, a good book really depends on having characters I can care about and root for; those are the books I end up loving.

    1. I'm ok with plot but I do like good characters too.

  4. I really liked this one, but I like crime novels of all stripes. This one kept me reading and guessing, which is what I want in a crime novel/psychological thriller. The characters weren't my favorite of all time -- it was more plot-centered which worked just fine for me.

  5. I'm not a huge fan of crime novels, so thanks for letting us know that this is more crime than mystery. I do want to expand on what genres I read, so I wouldn't rule out reading this, but the characters seem like they would put me off a bit! Thanks for your review.

  6. I'm definitely more interested in the mystery angle than the crime-y whodunit angle of books, too. I agree that authors sometimes go overboard with their flawed characters. I love a character with layers who seems unlikeable at the outset but is revealed to be more than meets the eye, but lots of authors seem to have trouble finding the balance so you end up with a character that just... stays unlikeable.

  7. Hmm, if I end up reading this, I might try it on audio, that usually helps me get through books I might dnf otherwise.

  8. I'm SO glad you said this. I've had this on my Audible wish list, thinking it was a mystery/suspense. No, I DON'T like stories where we just follow the detectives around. Sorry to say, but detectives just aren't very sympathetic characters. They're usually pretty boring to follow, TBH. I want to get in the head of the characters affected by the story, not the detectives walking around putting pieces together. One exception was the TV show Medium--she was a relatable character and the psychic twist drew you in more than just a detective walking around.