Book Review: What She Knew (audiobook)

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What She Knew

Gilly MacMillan

HarperCollins

I was facing a road trip to Michigan last month with one of my sisters, so my mom recommended and audiobook. I typically do not listen to audiobooks for a few reasons. The main one is that I would mainly listen to it in the car, and I am just not in the car that often. And when I am in the car, sometimes my kids are with me. And my kids are 2 and 4, so not quite that age where I tell them mom’s the boss and just turn it on. Instead, I just hear a lot of whining and crying for The Lion Guard soundtrack or “Let It Go”. I know some bloggers like to listen to audiobooks when they cook or do housework but I just don’t see myself enjoying that, so I have never tried it. But our car trip was five hours each way, so when my mom handed me this audiobook, I figured why not?

Rachel Jenner is walking with her adolescent son Benedict in a local park/walking trail when her son asks to run ahead. Despite her qualms, Rachel allows him to. But when she reaches the clearing, Benedict is nowhere to be found. The next few weeks pass as the search for Benedict becomes frantic.

The viewpoints alternate between Rachel and DI Jim Clemo, who were narrated by Penelope Rawlins and Dugald Bruce-Lockhart. Having pretty much zero history with audiobooks, I obviously have no prior experience with the two, however I thought the narration was very well done. I ended up reading the final 1/3 of the novel once we returned from our trip and found that I actually preferred the audio version. I had really come to understand the narrators and I felt it enriched the book.

Overall, this was just an ok book for me. It was well written and I thought the author did a good job of drawing out the mystery and revealing key clues when necessary. But although I liked the pacing, I thought the story itself was overly drawn out. I also didn’t always understand where the story was going. For instance, the plot point involving Rachel’s sister, as well as the actual circumstances of Ben’s disappearance, seemed almost like afterthoughts. I found them, to far reaching and not entirely believable. I would certainly read more from this author, I just think that this genre is so over saturated currently that you really have to hit it out of the park.

 

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