Thursday, November 05, 2015

Review: Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

Title: Burnt Paper Sky
Author: Gilly Macmillan

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publication Date: 5th February 2015
Pages: 320
Book Source: own purchase


Synopsis: Rachel Jenner turned her back for a moment. Now her eight-year-old son Ben is missing.

But what really happened that fateful afternoon?

Caught between her personal tragedy and a public who have turned against her, there is nobody left who Rachel can trust. But can the nation trust Rachel?

The clock is ticking to find Ben alive.

Whose side are you on?

My Thoughts: 
I love psychological thrillers but I did begin this one tentatively. Whilst it's fiction, any child-related crime adds a depth of reality that is hard to cope with. Child abductions scare me to death and when 8 year old Ben Jenner goes missing, Rachel Jenner faces every parents' nightmare. 

'In the quiet, my eyes followed the lines of the surrounding tree trucks upwards until I glimpsed the sky above, and I could feel darkness starting to push in as surely as fire creeps across a piece of paper, curling its edges, turning it to ash. 

In that moment, I knew that Ben wasn’t there.' 

Yes this was a special kind of hell to read but it was also riveting and bloody brilliant. I'm astounded it's Gilly Macmillan's debut novel. 

The main narrative focuses on Rachel Jenner's recollection of her son's disappearance and investigating Detective Jim Clemo's, reports and sessions with his treating psychologist. But the narrative is supplemented with transcripts from social media posts, online newspapers, journal articles and missing children websites. It's an unusual mix and it really works. 

Burnt Paper Sky is a highly emotive read, and not just for the obvious impact of a missing child but the 'trial by media'. The vilification heaped on Rachel by the media and public was appalling. Every facial expression, phrase, action, scrutinised and judged with ignorance and maliciousness. 

Burnt Paper Sky is wonderfully layered. Tight, pacy and smart and OMG the tension, it kept me guessing. I read this in one sitting desperate to know what happened. Make sure you lock the door and start this one with a chunk of free time because you won't want to put it down and you'll want to hurt anyone that interrupts. 

A heart-in-mouth read ... start to finish. 

Gilly Macmillan is an author to watch out for and I'll be standing in line for whatever she dishes up next. 


Note: this will be released in the US as What She Knew.


Connect with Gilly Macmillan




17 comments:

  1. Sounds really good, I am not a big thriller reader but a psychological thriller is within my range! Amazing for her to be a debut author and write such an exciting book. Okay, onto my wish list!

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    1. sign me up for anything she writes after that debut ... very clever and absolutely riveting. I think you'd love it Kathryn ... love's not the right word but you know what I mean :)

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  2. Ohhhhhhhhh I need to read this ... but will wait till Brian gets home from your side of the world :)

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    1. good idea Julie .... can't wait to see what you think.

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  3. I hesitate when it involves children, but your review has me writing down the title (US) on my TBR list.

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    1. Interested to see what you think Nise` we have the same concern but I'm so glad I read it!

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  4. Sounds a nailbiter! yes for me.

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    1. I'm glad, I'll keep an eye out for your review!

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  5. This sounds like a great read. I have seen it around but not picked it up. Will do now.

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    1. Yay Emma, hope you agree it's a winner!

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  6. This sounds really good, thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Hope you give it a try Heather, thanks for stopping by :)

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  7. I haven't even heard of this Teddyree but it sounds fabulous!!!

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    1. It certainly deserves more recognition Deb!

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  8. Thanks for sharing, Teddyree, and I'm glad to know about the title being different in the US. I will be eagerly awaiting this one!

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