Burnt paper sky - Gilly MacMillan - Excellent read


The Blurb

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?

Burnt Paper Sky is a gripping psychological thriller about a missing child and how the public can turn on a mother following a single, momentary mistake.


My thoughts

You make a tiny error of judgement which results in your 8 year old son going missing, does this make you a Bad Mother? The world begins to think so as Rachel struggles to cope with her beloved Bens disappearance on top of the stress of a broken marriage and family secrets which leak out to haunt her. Finding out who her friends are and are not leave her feeling desperate and isolated.

Jim Clemo the police officer in charge of the investigation around the missing child is stressed too, his new relationship with a young colleague is going well but he wants to conceal it from his superiors at work. We are treated to his story about the case as a series of interviews with a police psychologist following the event so we know something has left him badly shaken but is it the case itself or his own failings which have left him so affected he can no longer sleep?

We follow Mum Rachel's story as events happen, coping with the unthinkable, the loss of a child, alone without a husband to lean on she is barely keeping her head above water when the power of Social media steps in and in this high profile media case "Joe Public" seize on someone to vilify and blame and Racehl becomes a pariah overnight. Hounded by the press, the public crucifying her online and her friends and family begin to show their flaws too. With nobody to rely on but herself, she needs to find an inner strength to cope or go under. She never stoaps believing that Ben is still alive and it is this convction which keeps her going.


This is a very tense missing child thriller which will keep you on the edge of your seat, an extremely well written debut which grips and shakes the reader. For my own personal tastes there is a touch too much emphasis on the police side of the investigation but that is purely my own failing I just can't get away with detective stories, I'm certain many readers will find this adds to their enjoyment. An excellent read. My thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for my advance copy.

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