Summary (from Goodreads):
“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… ”
This book was a complete page-turner. I kept changing my mind about who was responsible for kidnapping Ben or whether Ben would be found alive. There were a lot of twists, most of which I didn’t see coming.
This is incredibly impressive, especially for a debut novel.
The subplot aobut how Rachel was portrayed in the media was also incredibly interesting. It’s something you never really think about, how easy it would be to be misconstrued by the media. And how exactly do you manage to create a good media image in a stressful situation?