Best friends Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad have always been inseparable. But when Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol's Feeder Canal, Abdi can'tor won'ttell 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.
Gilly Macmillan is the Edgar Nominated and New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew. She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and lived in Northern California in her late teens. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she's worked as a part-time lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.
Odd Child Out: A Novel 4.6 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were well developed. Written so as to keep you wondering until the end.
More than 1 year ago
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.
8 months ago
Buy thid book and enjoy it, i just luv her books and have read what is out there and just pre ordered her new one
12 months ago
While the plot revolves around the friendship of Noah and Abdi, the author delves into so many other issues --- race relations , childhood cancer, immigration , marriage , the humanity of police officials and so much more . I was not surprised by the ending , but still a worthwhile read.
More than 1 year ago
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.
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.
More than 1 year ago
This story revolves around best friends Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad, both aged 15. Noah missed a lot of school because of medical treatments for his cancer. Upon his return to school he is shunned by the other kids, except for Abdi. Their backgrounds are drastically different – Noah being from an upper middle class white family and Abdi from a black Muslim Somali refugee family. But this does not matter to them.
One night after attending Noah’s father’s photography exhibition the boys wander out along the canal on an adventure. The evening ends in tragedy when an unconscious Noah is pulled from the cold dark waters of the canal. Surveillance cameras show that the boys argued, Noah walked away, and Abdi followed. But this is not the whole story. They both had secrets they guarded tightly. With Noah in a coma, the police question Abdi as to what happened but he refuses to talk. And we all know that silence is usually seen as guilt.
Noah’s parents are beyond grief. Unknown to others, they know that Noah had only a couple of months to live. And now they may not have even that. Anger does not even begin to describe how they feel – devastated is more like it.
Abdi’s family is terrified when Abdi goes missing. Secrets from the Somali refugee camp 15 years ago have shockingly followed them to their home in Bristol.
The story is told from the perspectives of Noah (who as he lies in his coma reflects back on his life and the realization of all the things he will never get to do), Abdi’s 20-year-old sister Sofia (who has stronger maternal feelings for Abdi than does his mother), and Jim, one of the detective’s assigned to the case. I found it interesting that these perspectives were used, especially Sofia instead of Abdi. But this worked well in revealing some of the backstory of Abdi’s family fleeing Somalia. But Abdi has recently learned something that Sofia was never aware of.
I got the impression from some of Jim’s story that this book is part of a series. After looking up her other books I found that Jim is the detective from the book “What She Knew”. But rest assured that you do not need to read that book first to understand this one. In “Odd Child Out” Jim is having to attend sessions with a psychologist over a case he had recently completed – the case in “What She Knew”.
This was an excellent study in teen friendships and how families respond to tragedy. Abdi’s family’s fear and instinctive need to protect their son. Noah’s family is angry because Noah won’t tell them what happened. There is an unreliable witness whose story must be investigated. Detective Chief Inspector Corrine Fraser, Jim’s supervisor, knows that due to some recent racial tension in the city they may be sitting on a powder keg if Abdi is accused of attacking Noah.
The author puts us in the heads of Noah, Sofia, and Jim and allows the story to unfold a bit at a time. The pacing of the story was excellent. No quick wrap-up at the end as so often happens. I thought the story came to a very satisfying closure.
Thank you to GoodReads and William Morrow books for this excellent book.
More than 1 year ago
I ve recently brought and started to read this novel, I m sure that it s going to be a masterpiece, the reason I m sure that it s going to be nice is because the police officer DI Clemo, which was my favourite character in her previous novel what she knew is also there, and there s alao a brief description of Benedict case, that novel was a masterpiece and because of her that novel and her novel the perfect girl I was so anxious to brought it, and now I m sure that it will be a masterpiece just like her two previous novels
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