Burnt Paper Sky

Burnt Paper Sky

Paperback - 2015
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In her enthralling debut, Gilly Macmillan explores a mother's search for her missing son, weaving a taut psychological thriller as gripping and skilful as The Girl on the Train and I Let You Go . Will also appeal to fans of The Missing.

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.



'What an amazing, gripping, beautifully written debut. Kept me up late into the night (and scared the life out of me)' Liane Moriarty, bestselling author of The Husband's Secret

'Every parent's nightmare, handled with intelligence and sensitivity, the novel is also deceptively clever. I found myself racing through to find out what happened' Rosamund Lupton, international bestselling author of Sister

'A nail-biting, sleep-depriving, brilliant read' Saskia Sarginson, Richard and Judy bestselling author of The Twins

'Heart-in-the-mouth excitement from the start of this electrifyingly good debut...an absolute firecracker of a thriller that convinces and captivates from the word go. A must read' Sunday Mirror

'One of the brightest debuts I have read this year' Daily Mail

Publisher: London :, Piatkus,, 2015
ISBN: 9780349406398
Branch Call Number: FIC MAC
Characteristics: 483 pages ; 20 cm


From the critics

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Sep 26, 2019

Enjoyable mystery.

Sep 26, 2018

Well written and carefully woven to reveal the many layers of each relationship. However, I found it a tad bit long with pointless characters like Laura and Emma who contributed nothing to the plot at all. And so they were flat and unnecessary. The book could've easily been a hundred pages shorter.

Sep 19, 2018

This was a good solid mystery, not predictable and enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. It was an interesting commentary on human behaviour, as much of it describes what Rachel had to deal with amidst her terrible grief. I appreciated that the story relied on strong writing alone, not gore or sensationalistic details. You really did get involved with the character's lives. I will read the author's other books now. Well done.

Aug 13, 2018

I thought this book was quite well done for a debut. The suspense was taut and sustained, the characters were revealed well and developed (women more so than men, but clearly the ability is there).

The book touches a chord with any parent who has misplaced their child for even a few short moments and has felt their world tilting and crumbling beneath them.

As I noted in my review for Red Sparrow, this book has a few more ideas, plot tangents, and filler than were absolutely necessary, but that is common with a new author and will resolve itself with practice and stricter editing.

All in all, I enjoyed the book. Well done, Ms. McMillan. Keep up your good work.

Jun 20, 2018

February 03 2017
Gilly Macmillan has said in interviews that she wanted to write a psychological thriller that was a page turner. This is her first novel and it definitely lives up to her promise. Not only does it keep the reader engaged from the very first page, but it is very well written. This is not pulp fiction. The reader is drawn into the characters' lives by the lyrical and intelligent prose. I kept turning the pages but I didn't want the story to end. It was that good! I can't wait to read Ms. Macmillan's next novel. NC

Feb 17, 2018

Not sure why I sought out this novel, but I am now sure that it was not particularly worth reading. The plot is good, but the writing is overblown and self-indulgent. The entire 'after-action' psychotherapy element adds nothing but annoyance, and the drawn-out climax is, well, drawn-out. But the author does share one point of comparison with Jane Austen: she cannot write a convincing male character to save her life!

Sep 04, 2017

Rachel allows her son, Ben, to run ahead of her while walking in the woods. That is the beginning of her nightmare. With her son missing and the media against her, she tries to do everything in her power to find Ben.
The author provides viewpoints from both Rachel and the lead investigator, Jim.
Nicely written debut.

Aug 02, 2017

Very good although I found the last few pages tedious.

Jun 18, 2017

Great read. I couldn't put it down. Best psychological thriller I've read in a long time.

Jun 07, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyed the style of this thriller! The differing perspectives really drew me in.

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