Burnt Paper Sky

Burnt Paper Sky

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
On the day that Rachel Jenner's eight-year-old son Ben goes missing, the bottom falls out of her world. Desperate to find her boy, she's completely unprepared for how quickly her personal hell is thrust into the media spotlight. She let Ben out of her sight, and now he's gone-- so of course the nation thinks she is to blame. But what really happened that afternoon? Caught between the tragedy of losing her son, a frenetic police investigation and a public who have turned against her, Rachel must now face the awful truth-- that everything she knew about herself and the people around her is a lie. And there is nobody left, not even her family, who she can trust.
Publisher: London : Piatkus, 2015
ISBN: 9780349406374
Branch Call Number: FIC MYS
Characteristics: 470 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
WPL_Erin Mar 04, 2021

Beautifully written. I loved the back and forth of perspectives, blog posts, media etc. It provided a wonderful and gripping story right up until the end. Twists I didn’t see coming and wonderfully written characters full of flaws who were unapologetically raw. I loved every minute of it.

Dec 30, 2020

A straightforward mystery/procedural about a child abduction, with a focus on the child's mother and the part social medial plays in making everything worse. Perfectly fine and a little overlong.

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.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top