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 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 tr  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.


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 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 tr  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.

30 review for Odd Child Out

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 Compelling, but don't go into this book expecting a suspenseful read, I found this book to be much more and less than that. Two young teen boys, friends because of their difference, one white, Noah, struggling with cancer and the long effects of hospitalizations, the other Somali, Abdi, here with his family after his family spent years in a camp. They bond because they are basically two outcasts. Become best friends, do everything together until one day one boy almost drowned and the other c 3.5 Compelling, but don't go into this book expecting a suspenseful read, I found this book to be much more and less than that. Two young teen boys, friends because of their difference, one white, Noah, struggling with cancer and the long effects of hospitalizations, the other Somali, Abdi, here with his family after his family spent years in a camp. They bond because they are basically two outcasts. Become best friends, do everything together until one day one boy almost drowned and the other cannot or will not say what happened. DI Chemo, first day back after being released from mandatory leave, is given the case. Seems simple on the surface, turns to something much bigger. The press, and what lengths they will go to in order to get a story, embellish, prey on those suffering from intense grief. Racial bias, and how people will believe anything they read if it reinforces their own opinions. A family suffering the most intense grief and how this grief leads them to behave. Secrets from a camp, where terrifying people prey on those they can. A young boy in search of answers and a sister who will do anything to help. Many issues here, but done well, a slow unraveling of the many layers within. What really happened at that canal? That is the heart of the story for many, but a bigger issue faces Abdi. I enjoy this authors books, not straight out mysteries but her books seem to have more depth than many. Her characters are multifaceted, taking on real issues and revealing emotional contours without sappy writing. Families are families, regardless of skin color or nationality, and most want the same things for their children. To protect them and see them happy. ARC from Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is my first read of author Gilly Macmillan and I was really impressed at this novel that speaks to us of the social and political issues that are permeating and dividing our world. It is a multilayered emotive, atmospheric and character driven mystery featuring the recent return of Detective Jim Clemo after undergoing counselling with Dr Manelli on his mandatory leave. Set in Bristol, Fifteen year old friends, Noah Sandler and Abdi Mahdi are the odd couple, Noah is white and from a privileg This is my first read of author Gilly Macmillan and I was really impressed at this novel that speaks to us of the social and political issues that are permeating and dividing our world. It is a multilayered emotive, atmospheric and character driven mystery featuring the recent return of Detective Jim Clemo after undergoing counselling with Dr Manelli on his mandatory leave. Set in Bristol, Fifteen year old friends, Noah Sandler and Abdi Mahdi are the odd couple, Noah is white and from a privileged background and Abdi is black, from a Somalian refugee family. They are drawn together as both are outsiders at their elite school. Oh and yes, Noah has terminal cancer which he wishes no-one to know about. One night, Noah is found floating unconscious in a Bristol canal and placed into an induced coma. His traumatised friend, Abdi, is not talking, leaving room for suspicions to grow. Jim and his colleague, DS Justin Woodley are assigned the task of getting to the bottom of the mystery, only to find there is much more to it than they expect. Bristol is a volatile city, riven with fear and tension. Neo Nazis have marched on an anti-immigration platform. Racism, prejudice, hate, and violence proliferate and the Mahdi family have personal experience of this. DCI Fraser is well aware that their case is likely to worsen matters in the community, and Jim wonders if they can trust a witness's account of what occurs. In the midst of this is the media, where the truth is of little account, as they stoke the ever febrile atmosphere in a combustible Bristol. Jim's bitter and ambitious ex-girlfriend, Emma, is now a journalist willing to do whatever it takes to become known. Noah's parents, Fiona and Ed, are a picture of grief, aware of how little time they have with him. This fuels the path they take and their need to protect Noah. Noah has a bucket list, and it is this that has him getting together with Abdi on the fateful night. Abdi's father, Nur, is a taxi driver and a hopeful man with aspirations for his family. Maryam, his mother is depressed and fearful, having never really bonded with Abdi. It is Sofia, his sister, that has filled the vacuum left by his mother. When Abdi goes missing, they want to do their best to protect him. Their experience of the horrors and exploitation rampant in a refugee camp has never left the family as once again it returns to haunt their present. Gilly Macmillan is a talented writer who gets inside the heads of her complex and authentic characters amidst the turbulent background of a Bristol torn apart by the issues of race and immigration. This is a gritty tale of secrets, lies, family dynamics, friendship, grief and loss. Both families want to look after and protect their children. Noah is not a saintly character with debilitating cancer, he is flawed and so very human. I love the depiction of Jim, a character concerned for Abdi and what he faces, his ability to empathise is central to who he is as he delves into the mystery. Macmillan weaves a story with a gritty social and political commentary relevant to our contemporary realities. A brilliant read which I recommend highly. Many thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Odd Child Out by Gilly McMillian is a 2017 William Morrow publication. Deeply absorbing literary suspense. Inspector Jim Clemo is back at work, after having completed his requisite counseling. His first assignment, on the surface, is a low priority case, a probable accident. However, the circumstances are murky and the incident did leave a terminally ill boy in a coma and another boy so traumatized he can’t – or won’t- speak. The question Clemo and his partner much determine is if foul play was i Odd Child Out by Gilly McMillian is a 2017 William Morrow publication. Deeply absorbing literary suspense. Inspector Jim Clemo is back at work, after having completed his requisite counseling. His first assignment, on the surface, is a low priority case, a probable accident. However, the circumstances are murky and the incident did leave a terminally ill boy in a coma and another boy so traumatized he can’t – or won’t- speak. The question Clemo and his partner much determine is if foul play was involved, or if it was a horrible accident. But, the situation is much more complicated than anyone would have imagined. Noah, a teenager dying of terminal cancer, lies in a hospital bed, comatose, but the reader is privy to his thoughts, as he narrates the events of that fateful night. Meanwhile, Noah’s best friend, Abdi, a Somalian refugee, hasn’t uttered a word since that night, but there may be more troubling him than his friend’s condition. Still, suspicion hangs over him, which complicates matters even more, especially when Jim’s former lover, a woman who has taken a job as a journalist decides to fan the flames of social tension surrounding Somalian refugees. This author has a unique writing style, employing both first and third person narratives. Noah and Jim speak to us directly, while the other characters converse in third person. Switching narratives may be met with skepticism, but in my opinion, it complimented the flow of the story and truly made sense, in this case. This story is a traditional police procedural, but it is also augmented with the deeply absorbing and heartbreaking backstory of both sets of parents. As such, the book could also easily pass as a work of contemporary fiction. The story does not unfold in the same way many other mysteries do, with a slow pace, and much more emphasis on character and deliberately shakes out strong emotions. Abdi’s family endured extreme cruelty in their lives, and carry deeply embeded scars, while Noah’s family has dealt with his cancer diagnosis for nearly half of his life and now must face his eminent death. The author also delves into Jim’s personal life, adding yet another thought provoking element to the story, and once again touching upon key social issues. While the suspense builds at an unorthodox pace, once it reached its pinnacle, I was utterly still, holding my breath, completely riveted as unexpected events began to unfold. The characters are unique, conflicted, flawed, and completely human, some of them more likeable than others, but all very well drawn. The story is very well crafted, written in such splendid prose, with incredibly profound elements that made me think about all the many layers of humanity and the very strong bonds of family and friendship. The ending is very stirring and I admit I may have swallowed down a lump in my throat, which is not something that happens much when I'm reading a dark and moody procedural. This story goes much deeper than the usual mystery novel, dealing with very grim topics, but has so much added depth and emotion, that I could easily recommend it to anyone who enjoys good fiction. 4.5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    "The atoms of my soul are fading, dissolving, disappearing." What exactly is the tinder that sparks one to be drawn to the flame of another individual's life? Sometimes we go willingly, and more often than not, our paths cross and intersect by chance. The ending result can't but leave a deeply indelible mark on that very soul. Gilly Macmillan presents a tale of people acting and reacting to the simple humanity in all of us. Her characters reflect the heavy-duty mileage clocked on internal odometer "The atoms of my soul are fading, dissolving, disappearing." What exactly is the tinder that sparks one to be drawn to the flame of another individual's life? Sometimes we go willingly, and more often than not, our paths cross and intersect by chance. The ending result can't but leave a deeply indelible mark on that very soul. Gilly Macmillan presents a tale of people acting and reacting to the simple humanity in all of us. Her characters reflect the heavy-duty mileage clocked on internal odometers which tick to the rhythm and tempo of our life experiences......of long or of short duration. Don't reach for this one thinking that it is of the mystery/thriller flavor. It's not. The threads will follow into time old responses that meet head-on with new living challenges. Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad gravitate toward one another in a friendship that only fifteen year olds can recognize and cherish. Their background differences weave in and out throughout the story. Although they both attend the same private school in Bristol, Noah carries the weight of a cancer diagnosis and Abdi breathes in and out the realities of being a recent Somali immigrant along with his family. But what is at the core here is the aftermath of one night's simple adventure gone drastically wrong. We, as readers, follow the footsteps of Noah and Abdi as they sneak out late into the darkness during a sleepover at Noah's house. The sudden splash of water heard near the canal will forever change the lives of the known and the unknown. Was this an intentional shove in anger or was this an accident with charring results? Abdi falls into silence not uttering a single syllable. Detective Inspector Jim Clem is called in to investigate. He will be familiar to those of you who have read What She Knew. (Odd Child Out is definitely a standalone.) Jim Clem's compassion was the draw in What She Knew and it is front and center here as well. Clem sees the entire mosaic of the individual during his investigation. Macmillan has honed him into a stellar character. There's plenty of police procedural here. Jim Clem will come face to face with his ex, Emma Zhang, a relentless mercenary journalist. The word "wicked" does come to mind. Macmillan shines with her interplay of characters who seem to spin out of control in response to the secrets and wounds of the past. These birds will certainly come home to roost. There's no denying their force and the strength of their wings. And what triggers the sparks here are the complicated, gut-wrenching, knee-jerk reactions that have been pre-programmed in all of us. We are all wired differently which can be an asset in some circumstances and deadly in others. Odd Child Out is an especially good read from Gilly Macmillan. Mark November of 2018 as the arrival of her latest offering. Looking forward to it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    4.5 stars, rounded up This is not your standard mystery. Among other things, it deals with racism and discrimination, exclusion and privilege, not to mention rabid dog journalism, making it all seem especially current. It’s really more of a character study and a very well done one at that. It’s a beautifully written book. “When she swallows, all she tastes is fear”. The book is told from multiple POV, including Noah’s, who is in a medically induced coma. It serves to keep you off kilter, unsure o 4.5 stars, rounded up This is not your standard mystery. Among other things, it deals with racism and discrimination, exclusion and privilege, not to mention rabid dog journalism, making it all seem especially current. It’s really more of a character study and a very well done one at that. It’s a beautifully written book. “When she swallows, all she tastes is fear”. The book is told from multiple POV, including Noah’s, who is in a medically induced coma. It serves to keep you off kilter, unsure of what is happening. What is so apparent and makes the book so much more heartbreaking, is the friendship Abdi and Noah had. The characters are beautifully drawn, Fiona especially. “A mother doubted can be a ferocious adversary, and I don’t want to make an enemy of this one.” Everyone has their crosses to bear and the secrets they attempt to keep hidden. It’s not a fast paced book. It moves at its own pace, taking you into everyone’s thoughts and only gradually letting you see how the boys got to this place. Highly recommend this book and will be on the lookout for book three.

  6. 5 out of 5

    *TANYA*

    I absolutely enjoyed this book. I read the first book in this series and it was “okay” but the author completely redeemed herself with this book. FANTASTIC!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    Best friends sometimes do unexpected things. Abdi and Noah were best friends and did something that no one would expect. The unexpected incident obviously brought the police in along with the two silent friends. Noah was put into a coma because of his injuries, and Abdi wasn't talking. ODD CHILD OUT was definitely a study of personalities and human emotions. Each character seemed to not fit with each other, and I thought it was odd that they were family members as well as friends. I did like the " Best friends sometimes do unexpected things. Abdi and Noah were best friends and did something that no one would expect. The unexpected incident obviously brought the police in along with the two silent friends. Noah was put into a coma because of his injuries, and Abdi wasn't talking. ODD CHILD OUT was definitely a study of personalities and human emotions. Each character seemed to not fit with each other, and I thought it was odd that they were family members as well as friends. I did like the "bucket list" that Noah and his father compiled, but one part of the bucket list is what caused a problem the night of the incident. ODD CHILD OUT has us following along with the police in their investigation after Noah is found in the canal and an eye witness says she saw the best friends arguing. When Noah who is terminally ill with cancer is found floating in the canal and Abdi, his best friend, had been with him, no one knows what to think. It is difficult to imagine these boys doing anything out of the ordinary because they were star pupils. We also follow the story being told by Abdi and Noah about what really happened as the friends silently re-live it in their minds. The descriptions and the character development are very good and help you visualize the scenes and totally experience the emotions of each character which were mostly fear, loss, and questioning. You also feel the weight of lies and silence, truths untold, and prejudices. ODD CHILD OUT is an emotional, tense book that will make you think and question. Another excellent read by Gilly MacMillan. 4/5 This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Noah's family consists of his father, a world traveling photographer, and his mother, who is 100% invested in Noah's health and longevity. Noah is 15, was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, and has just learned that he does not have much longer to live. Abdi was an infant when his family arrived in Bristol as Somalian refugees. His father drives a taxi for a living, but Abdi attends the same prestigious school as Noah because he received a full scholarship. The language barrier makes communic Noah's family consists of his father, a world traveling photographer, and his mother, who is 100% invested in Noah's health and longevity. Noah is 15, was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, and has just learned that he does not have much longer to live. Abdi was an infant when his family arrived in Bristol as Somalian refugees. His father drives a taxi for a living, but Abdi attends the same prestigious school as Noah because he received a full scholarship. The language barrier makes communication difficult for Abdi's parents, and his older sister serves as a go-between. The two boys have been best friends for years, partly because they are also outcasts. One pivotal night throws their families' lives into turmoil. It is hard not to compare the two families and the two boys and see the various undercurrents in this book. Parental love, poverty and wealth, citizen and refugee, and racial undertones are there. At the forefront is the police investigation, led by DI Jim Clemo, of that pivotal night. Jim has just concluded therapy and has returned to work. He is also dealing with his sister who is in an abusive relationship and a former co-worker turned reporter. It sounds like a disaster of a mixture, doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s a thoughtful, well written story of family, love, anger, and fear. Most characters are endearing, but sometimes selfish and not always likable. If you’re looking for an action packed crime thriller, this is not it. I really enjoyed this book. The author's personal note at the end was touching and lent authenticity to the story she told.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)

    Enter the giveaway and check out all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine. Giveaway ends 10/31/17 11:59pm EST. This is another book that first caught my attention at Book Expo 2017. Though I hadn’t read What She Knew, the first DI Jim Clemo book, I had absolutely no problem at all reading this book as a stand-alone. Odd Child Out drew me in straightaway. It is a very steady page-turner. There are several reasons for this but the first is that this is the “smartest” mystery/thriller I’ve read in a v Enter the giveaway and check out all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine. Giveaway ends 10/31/17 11:59pm EST. This is another book that first caught my attention at Book Expo 2017. Though I hadn’t read What She Knew, the first DI Jim Clemo book, I had absolutely no problem at all reading this book as a stand-alone. Odd Child Out drew me in straightaway. It is a very steady page-turner. There are several reasons for this but the first is that this is the “smartest” mystery/thriller I’ve read in a very long time. Are you one of those bookworms that professes to read only literary fiction? Well then, this book is for you. Gilly Macmillan has written the perfect crossover for fans of literary and contemporary fiction who who are ready to take a step toward the dark side! Odd Child out is also very uniquely plot and character driven. It’s really very well-balanced in that regard which I find unusual; especially in this genre. The story mattered more because I became very invested in the characters. What started out at as a typical who dunnit quickly developed into a gut-wrenching NEED to know. The story is told in the first and third person points of view of multiple characters. I very much enjoyed this approach as it made each chapter feel fresh. With regard to the characters, it would be impossible for me to choose a favorite. Of course, I loved Noah and Abdi. But I also loved the way the author rendered Abdi’s mother and sister, Sofia and Maryam. I loved that they were all realistic and flawed and I was very impressed by the way Gilly Macmillan depicted their relationships. There were so many subtle nuances that really made a difference in terms of my ability to relate and connect to them. In fact, I believe the relationships mattered more than the individual characters in many ways. I must admit that I did shed a few tears at the end of this book. I do hope that DI Jim Clemo will make a return in the future. I would also be among the first in line to read anything else written by Gilly Macmillan. 4.5/5 stars Many thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Detective Jim Clemo’s last visit with the counsellor after six months enforced leave left him keen to get back to work. He knew things might be a bit awkward with his fellow officers, but he was prepared for that. When he walked into the office the following day, he was immediately thrust into a case which involved two fifteen-year-old boys – best friends. Noah Sandler and Abdi Mahad had been friends for a long time; Abdi arrived in England as a baby when his parents and elder sister Sofia escap Detective Jim Clemo’s last visit with the counsellor after six months enforced leave left him keen to get back to work. He knew things might be a bit awkward with his fellow officers, but he was prepared for that. When he walked into the office the following day, he was immediately thrust into a case which involved two fifteen-year-old boys – best friends. Noah Sandler and Abdi Mahad had been friends for a long time; Abdi arrived in England as a baby when his parents and elder sister Sofia escaped from Somalia. Noah and Abdi met and became friends at school. The situation which Clemo and his partner Woodley were investigating was a strange one – it seemed an easy case to solve. Two boys; one falling into the Feeder Canal and one watching on. But when Noah was placed into an induced coma in the hospital, and Abdi was unable to talk – to tell anyone what happened – the case became fraught with tension. With the media involved, and incorrect reporting on the face of it, Clemo felt at his wits end. What would happen to the case? It obviously was not as it seemed; secrets and lies were rising to the surface. Would he need to go with his gut instincts again? Odd Child Out is the second in the Jim Clemo series by Gilly Macmillan and is an intense, gritty and fascinating psychological thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed. Fast paced, the tension kept me riveted to the pages. Jim Clemo is an excellent character; flawed but not irredeemably so. Another great thriller by this author, Odd Child Out is one I have no hesitation in recommending highly. With thanks to Hachette Australia for my ARC to read and review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    The second book in Gilly Macmillan's excellent DI Jim Clemo series finds Jim back in similar circumstances from the first--working against time to save a child. Jim has returned from leave after the Ben Finch case, and he's ready to redeem himself in the eyes DCI Fraser and his peers. He's assigned what looks to be a terrible accident: best pals Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad are out late one evening when teenage Noah falls into a local canal, rendering him unconscious. Abdi refuses to speak about w The second book in Gilly Macmillan's excellent DI Jim Clemo series finds Jim back in similar circumstances from the first--working against time to save a child. Jim has returned from leave after the Ben Finch case, and he's ready to redeem himself in the eyes DCI Fraser and his peers. He's assigned what looks to be a terrible accident: best pals Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad are out late one evening when teenage Noah falls into a local canal, rendering him unconscious. Abdi refuses to speak about what happened, leaving the families (and police) to ponder what really occurred that evening. Complicating matters is the fact that Noah is already ill from cancer; plus Noah is British, while Abdi and his family are Somalian refugees, so Jim fears how this case will be presented in the press. By most accounts, Noah and Abdi are best friends, so what truly went down night? This is another gorgeous gem of a novel by Macmillan, who offers yet one more beautifully-written mystery combined with lovely, perfectly drawn characters. This book touched me in so many ways, and I just cannot keep raving enough about how well this author writes, or how she so excellently embodies her characters. Again, this is no straightforward mystery, or simple fiction, but a wonderful combination of the two. For me, this book really hit from home the beginning, as Jim mentions how an anti-immigration march by a neo-Nazi group has rocked Bristol, wrecking havoc on the police force, as well as emotions in the area. It's clear that racial tensions are high. As someone who was born in Charlottesville, VA, and lived in the suburbs of the area for the last nearly ten years, I felt this in my heart all too well. The backdrop of race stretches across the fabric of Macmillan's entire novel, and it's quite well done, in my opinion. On one end, we have the Sadler family--well-off and British: Noah attends a posh private school, Fiona manages Noah and Noah's illness, and Ed is a photographer--often of refugees. In fact, we learn that he's even photographed the very camp where Abdi's parents and sister lived. The Sadler's life, however, is clouded by the tragedy of Noah's cancer, which has basically formed each family member into who they are today. As for the Mahads, we see how their past experiences has created them, as well. One of the strengths of this book is that we get small portions of narration from all of characters: the Sadlers, the Mahads, and Jim. The bits and pieces you learn of the Mahad's origins--my goodness: it will break your heart. Macmillan captures the fear of the family because they are different due to the color of their skin and the country of their origin, yet you see their strength and pride shine across as well. The main storyline of ODD CHILD OUT revolves around figuring out exactly what happened between the boys and how Noah ended up in the water. As mentioned, you get snippets from each character, as we slowly work up to that point of no return. We also get flashbacks to various pieces of earlier parts of their lives, and we start to realize that something has spooked the Mahad family--something is not as it seems. It's not your conventional mystery, per se, but it's compelling and certainly intriguing. At its core, this is a heartbreaking book whose strength lies in its characters. It's a wonderful exploration on race and immigration and how difficult it is to be deemed "different" by our society. What I loved about this book, though, is that you could also wonder: is either family truly all that different at its core? Every parent will go to any length to protect their child, after all. I highly recommend picking this one up. It can be read as a stand-alone, but if you want more insight into Jim and his mindset, you should definitely read the first book, What She Knew, which is also excellent (my review here). I can't wait to see what Macmillan comes up with next! 4+ stars. In a perfect swirl of ARC goodness, I received a copy of this novel from both Librarything and Edelweiss. A huge thanks to them and the publisher for a copy in return for an unbiased review. The book is available for purchase everywhere. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fictionophile

    Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad are best friends. They are both fifteen years old, very clever, and if truth be told, more than a bit 'nerdy'. They couldn't be more different, but that doesn't matter to them. Ostracized by many of their peers, their relationship is strong and as complex as the chess moves they play. Noah Sadler has terminal cancer and comes from a privileged white family. Abdi is a black Muslim Somalian refugee. They both attend a prestigious school, Noah because his parents pay the Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad are best friends. They are both fifteen years old, very clever, and if truth be told, more than a bit 'nerdy'. They couldn't be more different, but that doesn't matter to them. Ostracized by many of their peers, their relationship is strong and as complex as the chess moves they play. Noah Sadler has terminal cancer and comes from a privileged white family. Abdi is a black Muslim Somalian refugee. They both attend a prestigious school, Noah because his parents pay the hefty fee, Abdi because he is on a full scholarship. We meet the boys as they walk the streets of Bristol one cold, foggy night in March. They have snuck out, and are on an adventure.  However, the reader is not privy to the secrets that each boy carries this particular night. The adventure ends badly and Noah is fished out of the river unconscious. Abdi's silence about the events leading to Noah's accident causes others to suspect him of foul play - as he was the much taller and stronger of the two. Noah Sadler's parents Ed and Fiona are reeling from the latest news from Noah's oncologist. It seems that his remission is over and the cancer is back - their son only has months to live. Now, those months are in question as their son lies comatose in a hospital bed. Detective Inspector Jim Clemo has been seeing the police psychologist Dr. Manelli for months now. Ever since the Ben Finch case (Macmillan's last novel "What she saw") he has been on a mandatory leave from the police. Now Dr. Manilli has agreed that he can return to work at Bristol's Kenneth Steele House. His first case upon returning to duty is to investigate Noah Sadler's case. He is paired with another officer who has a troubled history on the force, Detective Sergeant Woodley. They try to discern the sequence of events that led up to Noah's immersion in the cold river. Noah, now comatose in hospital, cannot tell them. Abdi, traumatized into silence, cannot tell them.  They fear that with the city's recent racial rioting, that Abdi will be unfairly accused... There is a witness, but her testimony is suspect. Jim Clemo's ex, Emma Zhang, is now a ruthless journalist. Once a police officer, she is bitter about her expulsion from the police force and now wants to make a name for herself. Despite, or perhaps because of, Clemo's warnings, she warps the truth to make the story sensational. In doing so, she jeopardizes the case, as well as Abdi's reputation and well-being. Brilliantly written, this novel is told from many different points of view. Not the least of which is the heart-rending story of Noah Sadler. Fifteen and terminally ill, he reflects on how he will never have razor stubble, how he has never seen a restricted film, never know the taste of beer... He longs to be 'normal'. But even though we sympathize with Noah, we learn that he was not perfect... "Sometimes it's hard not to let other people's misery seep into your own bones." Abdi's parents, Nur and Maryam Mahad have been in Bristol for fifteen years. Nur, a taxi-driver, believes in hope and new beginnings. He believes in the goodness of his fellow man. Maryam's hope is lost. She lives in fear. Her memories of living in a Somalian refugee camp haunt her days and nights. She suffers from depression and has had a hard time bonding with her son, Abdi. Abdi's sister, Sofia, loves her brother Abdi unconditionally. Because of her mother's inability to bond with him as a baby, Sofia stepped in - and now she loves him like a son. She works hard, studies hard, and feels loved by her family. She remembers what true hardship felt like. How when the camp flooded, they couldn't lie down at night... This is a memorable and well-rendered police procedural. A story which expounds on the Somalian diaspora and immigrant's place in a society that is not always welcoming. It touches on the nature vs. nurture debate. "Odd child out" is a strong sequel to Gilly MacMillan's "What she knew". I do wonder how D.I. Clemo can continue on in future novels because his empathy for people will ultimately be the end of him. His inability to maintain prospective/distance from his work makes him a prime candidate for burnout.  Not so Gilly MacMillan.  She is going strong and I intend to follow her along the way. Highly recommended! I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from William Morrow/HarperCollins via Edelweiss and was only too happy to write this review as my stop on the  TLC Book Tour for this title.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Li'l Owl

    Two teenage boys. Inseparable. From day one. Abdi's on scholarship to attend Bristol's elite private school. Noah attends the same school, at least when he's in between rounds of treatment to fight cancer. They met on the first day that Noah returned to school after yet another treatment. They've been best friends ever since. Neither one cares that Abdi is black, his family escaped from a Somialan refugee camp when Abdi was an infant. Noah is white, from a prestigious family. Abdi is healthy. No Two teenage boys. Inseparable. From day one. Abdi's on scholarship to attend Bristol's elite private school. Noah attends the same school, at least when he's in between rounds of treatment to fight cancer. They met on the first day that Noah returned to school after yet another treatment. They've been best friends ever since. Neither one cares that Abdi is black, his family escaped from a Somialan refugee camp when Abdi was an infant. Noah is white, from a prestigious family. Abdi is healthy. Noah is dying. Four days ago Noah and his family were told that the cancer has spread, again. But this time the treatment won't help. He has a couple of months at best. Noah hasn't told Abdi the news yet. He wants wait until the time is right. Tonight both boys are attending the opening of an art show. The photos on display were taken by Noah's father from his travels around the world. Some of the photographs are from the very same place, the HARTISHEIK Camp, where Abdi's parents fled fifteen years ago. Both boys are excited and looking forward to the show. EDWARD SADLER TRAVELS WITH REFUGEES Displaced Lives & Broken Places: Images from the Edge of Existence After the show Noah and Abdi return to Noah's house. Abdi is sleeping over. Later in the night they sneak out of the house, just as they planned. They have been walking for a long time and Abdi see's that Noah is struggling. He's weak and tired from all the cancer treatments but Noah refuses to stop. He keeps telling Abdi that he has something special planed. As they near the canal, Noah and Abdi appear to be having an argument of some sort, according to a witness, and Noah falls into the water, hitting his head. The same bystander calls 999. Noah is taken to the ICU put in a medically induced coma to reduce brain swelling. DI Jim Clemo and DC Woodley are on the case. This is DI Clemo's first case back from a six month absence following a case of a missing boy that went terribly wrong. This should be an uncomplicated case though and Clemo is eager to be back on the job and to prove himself. When they arrive at A&E, Abdi appears to be in shock, completely shut down inside himself and is refusing, or unable, to say what happened. He is allowed to go home with his family until morning. On day one of the case, DI Clemo's first priority is to talk to Abdi which should give them an idea into what had happened. Unfortunately, Abdi is still lying in bed with his back to the door, refusing to engage in any way to anyone, including his family. Not even to his sister, Sofie whom Abdi is very close to, normally. When Clemo tries to ask Abdi if he can talk to them about what happened, the teen remains motionless. My gut tells me that he's not putting this on. He's afraid. He's either seen somthing or done something that's terrified him into silence. It's got me interested. Even after Clemo tells Abdi that he's not in trouble, there is still no response. When th get back to the car DI Clemo Clemo expresses his concerns about the boy to DC Woodley, both agreeing to giving the boy more time to recover. "I want to find out what scared the hell out of that boy." Then, Abdi disappears from home, his whereabouts are unknown. Jim thought this case would come to a quick and positive resolution. That turns out to be very far from what happens. As the case spirals out of control Jim realizes that he had thought the case would be easy. Instead it's got very sharp teeth. …case is small, a minnow. In retrospect it's a shark. Sofia has gone to Noah's to collect Abdi's things from the sleepover. Among the usual, pajamas, school work is a laptop that the Sadler's Housekeeper says isn't Noah's. Looking for clues that might answer why the boys snuck out she finds a video. Abdi is asking Noah's father Ed about the refugees camp he visited in Somalia. Sofia shares the video with the police. Why is Abdi asking about the refugee camp? The video is from the night before, after the art show. What did Abdi see? Is that the reason he's running? Or is he running because of something to do with Noah? The press has now been at work and, as is usually the case, if there're not satisfied with the information the police have released they make up their own storyline. Even if there isn't a shred of truth to it. In this case, today's front page headline reads TERROR IN OUR CITY! A fifteen-year-old boy fights for his life at Bristol Children's Hospital after a suspected racially motivated attack in the city center. This case has just become another nightmare for DI Clemo. As the case simmers something clicks into place in Clemo's mind, like a punch to stomach, a skip in his heartbeat. It's just an instinct, just a gut feeling. He's been on the wrong side of this feeling before and he's not sure he trusts himself. But if he ignores it and he's right, a young boy's life hangs in the balance. Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan is an exciting sequel to the DI Jim Clemo series. I enjoyed the return of Jim Clemo as he is a genuine human character with plenty of flaws but he is as determined as they come to do what he feels is right thing. The story has plenty of startling pieces and a deep foreboding feeling as Jim tries to put his apprehension from his last case aside knowing full well that if he's wrong it could be more than the end of his career. Gilly Macmillan is skilled in making the reader feel just what Jim feels. The trepidation, the hiccup in your heartbeat followed by a increase in blood flow as your heart pounds to keep up as Jim runs! While in my head I'm pleading "Please, please get there in time, Jim!" More often than not I found myself holding the book in a death grip, sitting stock still in my seat. I was caught unawares as the twists of the case unfolded and the thought of what could happen next was frightening. I was up long into the night finishing this one. I hope there's another Jim Clemo novel in the works!

  14. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: I felt like a mongrel dog, compared to them. Unwanted, strange-looking, and kicked so many times I didn’t know how to do anything apart from cower. Noah’s Bucket List Item No. 12: Be cremated. I can’t stand the thought of being buried. I want to be turned into smoke and air so I can be everywhere all at once. My Review: Odd Child Out was my first experience with both the complex and guarded DI Jim Clemo and his talented creator Gilly Macmillan, I want to make a habit of this pair. B Favorite Quotes: I felt like a mongrel dog, compared to them. Unwanted, strange-looking, and kicked so many times I didn’t know how to do anything apart from cower. Noah’s Bucket List Item No. 12: Be cremated. I can’t stand the thought of being buried. I want to be turned into smoke and air so I can be everywhere all at once. My Review: Odd Child Out was my first experience with both the complex and guarded DI Jim Clemo and his talented creator Gilly Macmillan, I want to make a habit of this pair. Besides being topical and relevant, the storyline was well-crafted and of the stealthy variety as it developed slowly yet steadily in intriguing increments that I eagerly gathered like breadcrumbs. There was a wide array of intriguing and mysterious characters as well as a vast assortment of oddly shaped puzzle pieces to make sense of, yet and none of them seemed to match up. The characters were slowly fleshed out with several being ultimately revealed to be less than admirable than I had first assumed, as well as the opposite. My interest was snagged quickly and my attention never flagged as I unwound this delicately complicated plot that occurred over the period of a week, yet went several layers deep and across fifteen years and a different continent to expose a fiercely guarded and devastating secret.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    3.5 stars The awkward moment when you insist that you love an author and that you've read many of their books, only to discover that you mixed said author up with another one. For the record, I plead that book publishers all tend to like the same type of covers. So, "Odd Child Out" is my *ahem* first Gilly Macmillan read and it certainly will not be my last. Once I started to read, I just couldn't put the book down. Told from the perspective of multiple characters, Odd Child Out isn't just about 3.5 stars The awkward moment when you insist that you love an author and that you've read many of their books, only to discover that you mixed said author up with another one. For the record, I plead that book publishers all tend to like the same type of covers. So, "Odd Child Out" is my *ahem* first Gilly Macmillan read and it certainly will not be my last. Once I started to read, I just couldn't put the book down. Told from the perspective of multiple characters, Odd Child Out isn't just about the tragedy of a young boy plunging off a bridge, but also a look at refugees in the UK and the scars that they carry. I rate it as a 3.5 because it wasn't a book with a lot if twists and turns. Instead it followed a fairly logical storyline and I didn't find myself "shocked" in anyway. But the writing for me was solid and the characters intriguing enough to keep me hooked.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Antoinette

    3.5 Stars. Enjoyed this quick, easy read. It was missing some much needed tension and it was not enough of a riveting mystery, but it still kept my interest throughout. The story is about 2 best friends, Noah and Abdi- both 15 yrs old. One night something happens and one of them ends up in the canal. Accident or intentional? We have a witness with a conflicting statement. We have a journalist who wants to make this a race issue and an anti police issue. Our detective, Jim Clemo, is just returning bac 3.5 Stars. Enjoyed this quick, easy read. It was missing some much needed tension and it was not enough of a riveting mystery, but it still kept my interest throughout. The story is about 2 best friends, Noah and Abdi- both 15 yrs old. One night something happens and one of them ends up in the canal. Accident or intentional? We have a witness with a conflicting statement. We have a journalist who wants to make this a race issue and an anti police issue. Our detective, Jim Clemo, is just returning back from a stress leave. His last case (Book #1) dealt with a missing child and to again have to deal with a case involving children is very unsettling for him. There was an interesting conclusion to the book, but there were 2 storylines that did not feel complete. Maybe to be continued?? If you are looking for an easy read to race through this is it. Will it stick with me- probably not.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    Gilly Macmillan returns following What She Knew and The Perfect Girl with her latest, ODD CHILD OUT —her third highly-charged compelling psychological (literary fiction) suspense. Set in Bristol, meet two teen boys from different backgrounds: Noah Sadler— a native-born British boy, and Abdi Mahad — a refugee from Somalia. An opening scene. One boy jumps near a canal at the edge of the water . . . He lands, gets up and begins running. One pleading with the other. A suicide attempt? What happe Gilly Macmillan returns following What She Knew and The Perfect Girl with her latest, ODD CHILD OUT —her third highly-charged compelling psychological (literary fiction) suspense. Set in Bristol, meet two teen boys from different backgrounds: Noah Sadler— a native-born British boy, and Abdi Mahad — a refugee from Somalia. An opening scene. One boy jumps near a canal at the edge of the water . . . He lands, gets up and begins running. One pleading with the other. A suicide attempt? What happened? Did someone fall? Was foul play involved? Two friends. As thick as thieves. They made friends on the first day and became inseparable at the college. One boy winds up in the hospital. An accident? Detective Jim Clemo (we met in Book #1) returns and is assigned to the case with colleague DC Justin Woodley. Things become complicated. Social tensions arise from fear and fury. Both parents want to learn the truth. Noah is dying. Cancer. Terminally ill. He has a bucket list. Thirteen items. His #1 item. “Don’t tell anybody else I’m dying. Not even Abdi.” They need Abdi to speak. A photo exhibit. Images from war and disaster zones. A racially motivated attack? Neither boy can provide a version of what happened. Noah is in a coma, and Adbi remains mute. Emma, a reporter, stirs up emotions. Both Noah’s and Abdi’s families are forced to confront emotions and secrets. Covering five days of the investigation and the day after, the author covers media frenzy and social tensions, as well as emotions of diverse families, in this highly-charged third book. A story of family, love, loss, illness, and friendship. A realistic and timely storyline, with similar critical issues we are faced with today in our society. A special thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Harper Collins for an early reading copy. JDCMustReadBooks

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    Four and a half stars. Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahal have been best friends ever since they met at school. Noah has had cancer ever since Abdi has known him. Abdi, who is from Somalia, does his best to try and support Noah. But then a horrific incident occurs. DI Jim Clemo is back after and enforced leave of absence. At first he wonders why he has been assigned to what appears to be an accident but as the truth emerges a lot more details from that night, as well as from the past, are brought to ligh Four and a half stars. Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahal have been best friends ever since they met at school. Noah has had cancer ever since Abdi has known him. Abdi, who is from Somalia, does his best to try and support Noah. But then a horrific incident occurs. DI Jim Clemo is back after and enforced leave of absence. At first he wonders why he has been assigned to what appears to be an accident but as the truth emerges a lot more details from that night, as well as from the past, are brought to light. It takes a while though as one of the boys is in a coma and the other refuses to talk to anyone. The city of Bristol is a city where racial tensions are running high especially after a recent protest incident. This current incident only adds fuel to the flames. The situation is not helped by the media and the extent some journalists will resort to for a story. I’m not sure I would call thinks a thrilling read as such but it did have my interest throughout. I liked all the information about life and conditions in Somalia. The characters are particularly well drawn and it is easy to get caught up into their individual traits, motivations and stories. It shows a great understanding of people. The story is told from more than one viewpoint and that helps to get inside some of the characters. It’s very much a character driven plot. This adds another layer and stops it from just being a police procedural. The pace is steady throughout but the tension is certainly ramped up towards the end. I liked the way all the pieces of the puzzle were revealed over time and how they fitted together like a jigsaw. I highly recommend this book. The great cover and the fact that this was written by Gilly Macmillan were enough to convince me to bring this book home. This is the third book I have read by this author. They have all been engrossing and thought provoking reads. You can just bet I will be looking out for the next book by this author

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Gil

    (Note: I received a free ARC of this book via a Goodreads giveaway.) This is one of those books that I don't even really know how to review, because it was so bland that I don't feel like I have much to say about it. But I would feel bad not reviewing a book I won an ARC of, so I'll say as much as I can! From the very beginning, I was distracted from the story by the lackluster writing. This was my first experience with this author's work, other than The Perfect Girl, which I DNFed after a few pag (Note: I received a free ARC of this book via a Goodreads giveaway.) This is one of those books that I don't even really know how to review, because it was so bland that I don't feel like I have much to say about it. But I would feel bad not reviewing a book I won an ARC of, so I'll say as much as I can! From the very beginning, I was distracted from the story by the lackluster writing. This was my first experience with this author's work, other than The Perfect Girl, which I DNFed after a few pages. The writing felt so stilted and awkward. I know this is an uncorrected proof, but it read more like a first draft than a book that's been edited by a professional. Maybe I'm just too picky because I'm a writer myself, but I found myself constantly being pulled out of the story by how bad- I'm sorry to say that, but I really don't know how else to describe it- the writing was. If the plot had been better, I could have overlooked the writing, but unfortunately it wasn't. The POV switches very quickly between several different characters, which is fine when it's done well, but what bothered me was that none of the chapters are labeled to let you know who's talking. Also, two of the characters use first-person narration and the rest are told through third-person. The difference in styles, especially when they switched so quickly, was jarring and, quite honestly, annoying. On top of that, the plot was seriously underwhelming. The "mystery" at the center of the story was mostly resolved about halfway through the book, and I saw the other big "twist" coming from miles away. I never felt shocked or even motivated to continue reading and figure anything out- I would have definitely given up on this if I didn't win a copy, which made me feel obligated to finish. This book would have been a lot better if it lived up to the promise made in the description, which makes it sound like there's going to be a lot more discussion of race and immigration. There is some discussion of that, but I never felt the tension I think I was meant to feel. Overall, this whole book just fell completely flat. There was really no element about it, between plot and characters and writing, that I felt was strong at all. I didn't completely hate it which is why I gave it 2 stars, but I found this to be almost totally unenjoyable and mostly boring.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Myrna

    This one is quite a slow burner yet complex and mysterious. As I expected, some of the themes are quite dark and sad in this novel. There are a few twists and the ending - WOW. I got very emotional. The characters are interesting and realistic. Plus, I like the multiple viewpoints but the characters' audio narration could have been better. Look forward to what Macmillan will do next. This one is quite a slow burner yet complex and mysterious. As I expected, some of the themes are quite dark and sad in this novel. There are a few twists and the ending - WOW. I got very emotional. The characters are interesting and realistic. Plus, I like the multiple viewpoints but the characters' audio narration could have been better. Look forward to what Macmillan will do next.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group Uk for a review copy of Odd Child Out, the second novel to feature Bristol based DI Jim Clemo. Jim returns to CID after some time out of the frontline for stress. His first case is seen as an easy return with him being asked to investigate an incident at the canal where one boy fell in and is now in a coma and the other is unable to talk but it turns out to be anything but. What an amazing read. Ms MacMillan covers so much from such a si I would like to thank Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group Uk for a review copy of Odd Child Out, the second novel to feature Bristol based DI Jim Clemo. Jim returns to CID after some time out of the frontline for stress. His first case is seen as an easy return with him being asked to investigate an incident at the canal where one boy fell in and is now in a coma and the other is unable to talk but it turns out to be anything but. What an amazing read. Ms MacMillan covers so much from such a simple premise and it had me gripped from start to finish. The main narrative thread is DI Jim Clemo's first person account of his investigation, interspersed with Noah's thoughts as he lies in his coma and the actions and reactions of various members of both families. This could have resulted in a choppy read but such is the tension and mystery created that any information the reader can glean is welcome and it flows really well. It is difficult to decide which child is the odd one out. White, middle class, relatively wealthy Noah is dying with the cancer he has suffered since childhood so it is hard for him to make friends as he misses so much school. Somalian refugee Abdi is a black scholarship child in a white environment. Abdi is the much more appealing character but Noah's plight is moving. This ambiguity pervades the novel from Noah's mum Fiona's motives and actions to Abdi's parents' secrets, even Noah's dad Ed's photographs of refugee camps are questioned - are they exploitative or telling a story that needs telling? It is a very thought provoking read. I really liked the procedural elements to the novel as well. Jim Clemo is another oddball but he (mostly) plays by the rules and shows a sensitivity not often present in fictional crime novels. He seems very natural and realistic as does the police force and its workings. It is interesting to see them work within the confines of a modern police force and a voracious press with which Ms MacMillan has a field day - if it wasn't so close to the mark it would be funny. Odd Child Out is one of the best novels I have read this year and have no hesitation in recommending it as an excellent read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ace

    4 stars I really like the way Gilly Macmillan writes her suspense stories. Her characters are always so real to me - flawed and vulnerable. In this second Clemo book, she manages to weave together cancer and refugees in Bristol into a mystery that had me turning the pages as fast as I could. Spoilers below for trigger warnings. (view spoiler)[There is a sexual assault scene involving an adult and a teen suicide (hide spoiler)] 4 stars I really like the way Gilly Macmillan writes her suspense stories. Her characters are always so real to me - flawed and vulnerable. In this second Clemo book, she manages to weave together cancer and refugees in Bristol into a mystery that had me turning the pages as fast as I could. Spoilers below for trigger warnings. (view spoiler)[There is a sexual assault scene involving an adult and a teen suicide (hide spoiler)]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nancy McFarlane

    Media exploitation of events to gain an audience and the bias and prejudice against immigrants trying hard for a new life are front and center as Detective Jim Clemo tries to find out what happened the night that young Noah Sadler either fell or was pushed into a canal. His young Somali friend Abdi was with him but he refused to say a word suffering from what everyone thought was shock, and before the police could pressure him to talk he ran away. It is up to Jim to discover if, as he suspects, Media exploitation of events to gain an audience and the bias and prejudice against immigrants trying hard for a new life are front and center as Detective Jim Clemo tries to find out what happened the night that young Noah Sadler either fell or was pushed into a canal. His young Somali friend Abdi was with him but he refused to say a word suffering from what everyone thought was shock, and before the police could pressure him to talk he ran away. It is up to Jim to discover if, as he suspects, the only witness is lying and if Abdi ran because of what happened to Noah or because of something even darker and more dangerous. A heartrending, but explosive novel, apropos of the times; it tells the story of family love and family lies, and the friendship between two teen boys as each family tries to save their sons. Odd Child Out is richly written with wonderful characters, and Macmillan’s flair for fiction hits quite close to truth and reality.

  24. 5 out of 5

    KC

    Best friends Noah, a British lad and Abdi, a Somalian refugee, were inseparable. One evening, Noah was found unconscious and floating in a local canal, a result from either falling in or being pushed. He is rushed to the hospital alongside Abdi, who had witnessed his friend's accident. Abdi ends up traumatized unable to speak, while Noah is put into an induced coma. Detective Jim Clemo is back from a mandatory leave and assigned to the case. The detective desperately tries to unravel this myster Best friends Noah, a British lad and Abdi, a Somalian refugee, were inseparable. One evening, Noah was found unconscious and floating in a local canal, a result from either falling in or being pushed. He is rushed to the hospital alongside Abdi, who had witnessed his friend's accident. Abdi ends up traumatized unable to speak, while Noah is put into an induced coma. Detective Jim Clemo is back from a mandatory leave and assigned to the case. The detective desperately tries to unravel this mysterious situation. He must resolve matters before social tensions climax. This is Macmillian's second installment featuring Jim Clemo, after he was introduced in her first novel, What She Knew.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McGill

    I was one of the few that didn't enjoy the Odd Child Out, the 3rd novel by Gilly Macmillan. It's disappointing since I did enjoy her previous 2 novels. It's hard to put my finger on what was wrong with the novel. It was a combination of lack of mystery, numerous points of view (it would of helped to have the heading of the character's point of view) and slow pace. Overall, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I was one of the few that didn't enjoy the Odd Child Out, the 3rd novel by Gilly Macmillan. It's disappointing since I did enjoy her previous 2 novels. It's hard to put my finger on what was wrong with the novel. It was a combination of lack of mystery, numerous points of view (it would of helped to have the heading of the character's point of view) and slow pace. Overall, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

  26. 4 out of 5

    DeAnna

    I'm in the minority on this one! Unfortunately I thought this book was soooo boring. I really liked the first book but not this one. 😁😕🤔 I'm in the minority on this one! Unfortunately I thought this book was soooo boring. I really liked the first book but not this one. 😁😕🤔

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ally

    I was really excited when I won this advanced copy in a Goodreads giveaway. This is the 3rd book I've read by Gilly MacMillan and I've enjoyed them all. Odd Child Out is not your typical suspense book. It deals with tough subjects like childhood cancer and immigration. I read tons of suspense/thrillers and they start to blend together after a while. This story will definitely be one that will stick with me. Highly recommend! I was really excited when I won this advanced copy in a Goodreads giveaway. This is the 3rd book I've read by Gilly MacMillan and I've enjoyed them all. Odd Child Out is not your typical suspense book. It deals with tough subjects like childhood cancer and immigration. I read tons of suspense/thrillers and they start to blend together after a while. This story will definitely be one that will stick with me. Highly recommend!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Djamilah

    Wow.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    Odd Child Out is the second book in the Jim Clemo series by British author, Gilly Macmillan. Two Bristol teenagers, on a sleepover. Good boys, smart, a bit nerdy, inseparable best friends. How, then, in the early hours of the morning, does Noah Sadler come to be unconscious in the Feeder Canal while Abdi Mahan stands at the edge? By the time DI Jim Clemo catches the case, on his first day back after six months of leave, Noah is in the ICU in an induced coma and Abdi hasn’t spoken a word. Clemo a Odd Child Out is the second book in the Jim Clemo series by British author, Gilly Macmillan. Two Bristol teenagers, on a sleepover. Good boys, smart, a bit nerdy, inseparable best friends. How, then, in the early hours of the morning, does Noah Sadler come to be unconscious in the Feeder Canal while Abdi Mahan stands at the edge? By the time DI Jim Clemo catches the case, on his first day back after six months of leave, Noah is in the ICU in an induced coma and Abdi hasn’t spoken a word. Clemo and his sidekick, DC Justin Woodley are expecting a quick solution, but “neither of us recognised this case for what it really was: menacing, strong and smooth, perhaps not making waves at first, but able to turn on a dime and surprise you with a razor-toothed bite. This case was actually a shark.” As they investigate – chasing down CCTV footage, searching for a missing backpack and mobile phone, double-checking details with a witness – Clemo tries to maintain focus despite distractions: his sister, Becky has left her abusive partner to doss down with Jim; and ex-police DC Emma Zhang (with whom he has some personal history) is now a crime reporter for the Bristol Echo, and seems determined to make Clemo’s case a focal point for the racial tensions currently boiling over in Bristol. Using a mix of first-person and third-person narrative, Macmillan gives the reader a believable plot that twists and turns and moves along at a fair clip to a gripping climax. Her characters are realistic and their emotions and feelings - grief, anger, resentment and jealousy - are well conveyed. She throws in a few red herrings to keep the reader guessing and the pages turning. Macmillan touches on some topical themes: the expectation that refugees who may well be suffering from PTSD are expected to assimilate in their new country; the effect of a cancer diagnosis on how we interact with a person; the tendency for the media to focus on and sensationalise horror in third world countries. Another brilliant read from this talented author.

  30. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: cancer, death, death of a sibling, childbirth, refugee experiences, violence, gun violence, mentions of rape, racism, mentions of domestic violence. 3.5 stars. I wanted to love this because it was such an intriguing concept. Unfortunately, I just...kind of found it rather dull. There was a LOT happening in the story and it jumped around between so many different perspectives that I found it difficult at times to keep everything straight in my head. Additionally, it turns out thi Trigger warnings: cancer, death, death of a sibling, childbirth, refugee experiences, violence, gun violence, mentions of rape, racism, mentions of domestic violence. 3.5 stars. I wanted to love this because it was such an intriguing concept. Unfortunately, I just...kind of found it rather dull. There was a LOT happening in the story and it jumped around between so many different perspectives that I found it difficult at times to keep everything straight in my head. Additionally, it turns out this is the second book in a series and so there were certain plot points that were discussing events from the previous book that made very little sense to me. They didn't exactly hinder my enjoyment of the book, but they...niggled? I guess?? I think Macmillan did a fantastic job of depicting a manipulative friendship and I loved that whole section of the plot, as well as the refugee experiences. I just ultimately didn't really care about the detective's perspective. Whoops??

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