Friday, January 13, 2017

Review: The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

Title: The Perfect Girl
Author: Gilly Macmillan
Published: September 2016, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Source: Personal copy

Zoe Maisey is a seventeen-year-old musical prodigy with a genius IQ. Three years ago, she was involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead. She served her time, and now her mother, Maria, is resolved to keep that devastating fact tucked far away from their new beginning, hiding the past even from her new husband and demanding Zoe do the same.

Tonight Zoe is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. It needs to be the performance of her life. But instead, by the end of the evening, Maria is dead.
In the aftermath, everyone—police, family, Zoe's former solicitor, and Zoe herself—tries to piece together what happened. But as Zoe knows all too well, the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see.

Unfolding over a span of twenty-four hours through three compelling narratives, The Perfect Girl is gripping, surprising, and emotionally complex—a richly layered look at loyalty, second chances, and the way secrets unravel us all.

My thoughts: Gilly Macmillan is back with her second book after her debut novel, What She Knew - which I loved!!! And she did it again with this one - another gripping psychological thriller that had me guessing what was really going on until the very end.

I loved the way this story was told - not only alternating between multiple points of view, but also before and after. Before and after what? This book immediately pulls you in and has you wondering just what has happened and I also loved how the suspense slowly builds. You know something big has happened but Gilly Macmillan doesn't actually give you all the answers. And now something else has happened in the present and again, we aren't sure exactly what. 

As the story unravels, we get to know all the characters - some by their narrations and some by the narrations of others - which I found to be quite clever. This is not so much an action-packed story as it is a character-driven tale that pulls you in and has you spinning in circles trying to figure out what is going on. Secrets abound, family dynamics definitely come into play and the characters are compelling in their own unique ways - some are quite likeable and some are definitely not, but they are all needed to tell this story!

Gilly Macmillan is definitely on my auto-buy list - she has crafted two incredibly well-thought out, gripping tales and I cannot wait to see what comes next from her!!! 



  1. I totally agree that Macmillan is on my auto-buy list. I liked this one a lot, maybe not quite as much as the first, but still...very suspenseful. Wonder what she'll tackle next?

  2. This is a wonderful review, and while this book is on my wish may have just moved up!

  3. It sounds like this author is on a roll! Super review, Kristin!

  4. I'm so excited to try out this one! I've never quite read a psychological thriller.....


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