Benedict Finch was eight years old that day when he and his mum, Rachel Jenner, took a walk in the woods with their dog. In a moment’s weakness, Rachel let Ben go ahead toward the swing, feeling he should be allowed a little confidence in his own abilities. It would be a moment that haunted the rest of her life.
His disappearance would grab the attention of the police, the media, and Rachel’s life would never be the same again.
What She Knew is narrated by Rachel, news pieces, blog entries, and DI Jim Clemo, one of the detectives in the Bristol community.
As the story unfolds, we come to know several characters surrounding the mother, Rachel, and the father, John and his wife Katrina. Rachel and John’s divorce had been a defining event in the lives of Rachel and Ben, perhaps setting her up for the state of mind she was in on that walk in the woods.
Nicki, Rachel’s sister, along with her friend Laura, surrounded her during the early days. There was also a constant media presence and a lot of hostility toward Rachel, as the blame was often aimed in her direction.
I had several suspicions about various characters, and even as I thought for sure that one of those least likely to be guilty was indeed the perpetrator, I began to realize, just at the same time that others did, who the guilty party was. I liked not knowing for sure, as it kept me turning those pages.
There is no happy ending to a story like this, as no matter what eventually happens, there will be pain and loss and damage. A realistic tale that I will not ever forget. I enjoyed the structure, with a before and after glimpse of the characters. 5 stars.