“A year ago, just after Ben’s disappearance, I was involved in a press conference, which was televised. My role was to appeal for help in finding him. The police gave me a script to read. I assumed people watching it would automatically understand who I was, that they would see I was a mother whose child was missing, and who cared about nothing apart from getting him back.
Last year Rachel Jenner and her son, Ben, went for a walk in the park. He runs ahead to play on a rope swing and when Rachel catches up with him he’s disappeared. There is a police investigation and Rachel does a horrible job at the press conference which turns the media and public against her. Rachel is a classic unreliable narrator and Macmillian does her damnedest to paint her as unstable and unhinged. Her past is also full on secrets that trickle out as her family is investigated for involvement in Ben’s disappearance.
We also get Jim Clemo’s, the lead investigator, perspective on the case including details about a blog that is getting information leaked out from the inside. He is passionate detective who wants Ben back as desperately as Rachel does but his tunnel vision does lead to some mistakes.
What She Knew has a few bumps common in debuts. First of all, it takes forever to get through the first half of the novel; then all the sudden it starts to snowball and the ending feels rushed. I also wasn’t a big fan of the interview dialog between DI Clemo and his psychologist. While the writing is above average and any story involving a missing child tends to be gripping I found myself generally “unexcited” to pick this one up.