Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan

Title: Odd Child Out
Author: Gilly Macmillan
Series: Jim Clemo, #2
Published: October 2017, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC Paperback, 432 pages
Source: Publisher

How well do you know the people you love…?

Best friends Noah Sandler and Abdi Mahad have always been inseparable.  But when Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol's Feeder Canal, Abdi can't--or won't--tell anyone what happened.

Just back from a mandatory leave following his last case, Detective Jim Clemo is now assigned to look into this unfortunate accident.  But tragedy strikes and what looked like the simple case of a prank gone wrong soon ignites into a public battle.  Noah is British.  Abdi is a Somali refugee.   And social tensions have been rising rapidly in Bristol.  Against this background of fear and fury two families fight for their sons and for the truth.  Neither of them know how far they will have to go, what demons they will have to face, what pain they will have to suffer.

Because the truth hurts.

My thoughts: This is Gilly Macmillan's third book and the second book in her DI Jim Clemo series. It was one of the books that was high on my list of priorities at BookExpo last Spring...Gilly Macmillan is definitely an auto-read for me!

I loved this book - I loved the set-up and how it drew me in right from the start. It is a slow-burning suspense and the use of multiple narrators, each chapter alternating from narrator to narrator, just helps to ratchet up the tension ever so slightly. I felt that each time something was about to be revealed, each time we were on the cusp of fully having something being completely developed - there would be a switch of narrator and it would leave you hanging until you got back to that narrator again. It was like mini-cliffhangers almost throughout. But at the same time, all these threads are being woven together to develop a full picture of what really happened. It really was a brilliant way to tell this complex, yet heartwrenching story.

And that brings me to the characters - they are absolutely what made this story. I have never felt more attached to the characters in a book as I did in this story. DI Jim Clemo was already a favorite from Gilly's earlier book, What She Knew, so I was excited to see him again. This is his first case back from that book, and what a case to come back to! Then there are the two boys, Noah and Abdi. I had such a sweet spot for both of these boys, for different reasons and loved the way Gilly made each of them so strong, yet so vulnerable. This book is all about relationships, and that is so evident in how Abdi's mother and sister, Maryam and Sofia are portrayed. I loved the chapters that were narrated by Sofia - such a strong young woman she was, yet so conflicted by all that was going on around her. All these characters were so richly and realistically drawn, yet full of flaws. 

This book is so much more than a straightforward mystery. It touches on some heavy topics, including race and immigration, yet it also looks at family and what you consider your "family" to be. Secrets abound in this book and as it typical in must suspense books, this is definitely a case of being more than what first meets the eye. This book will keep you engaged from the very first page and have you begging for more as the pieces start to slowly come together to all make sense. It truly is a brilliantly written, memorable book.


Books in this series:
  1. What She Knew
  2. Odd Child Out 

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2 comments

  1. Oh, this sounds great! I enjoyed What She Knew. I'll have to add this one to my TBR.

    Brooke
    Brooke Blogs

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am def putting this one on my list! Thanks

    ReplyDelete

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