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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Macmillan's Newest Sad, But Compelling

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for Odd Child Out, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from the first Jim Clemo mystery, What She Knew.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

Despite the fact that Noah Sandler is a natural-born Brit and Abdi Mahad is a Somalian refugee, the boys form a quick friendship.  Classmates at a fancy Bristol prep school (Abdi is a scholarship student), they bond over nerdy hobbies like chess.  Both of their families are shocked when Noah's body is found in the Feeder Canal.  CCTV cameras show the boys were on its banks late at night, but the fuzzy recording can't prove what happened.  Neither can the boys.  Noah is in a coma and Abdi refuses to speak, seemingly in profound shock.  What happened between the two friends?  Did Abdi purposely shove Noah into the water or was it a tragic accident?

Back to work after a case gone wrong, Detective Inspector Jim Clemo begins an investigation into the incident.  With racial tension already boiling over in Bristol, a twist in the case divides the public, threatening to reach fever pitch.  As Clemo digs into the histories of both the Sandler and Mahad families, he makes some surprising revelations.  The most shocking of all, however, is the truth of what really happened between Noah and Abdi.

Odd Child Out, the second installment in the Jim Clemo series by Gilly Macmillan, is a tense, timely novel.  Although it's not action-packed like many thrillers, its quiet intensity makes it suspenseful and compelling.  It tells a sad story, but one from which I couldn't look away.  As engrossing as Macmillan's others, Odd Child Out is a gripping, resonant read that just adds to the author's already impressive repertoire.  I can't wait to read the next Clemo mystery.

(Readalikes:  What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a half dozen F-bombs, plus milder expletives) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Odd Child Out from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. I liked What She Knew and look forward to reading this one.

    1. I did, too, although honestly I didn't realize these two were part of a series until I was writing my review. Apparently, Jim Clemo didn't really stand out much in my mind??

  2. I still want to give this author another chance.


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