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Gilly MacMillan Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

What She Knew aka Burnt Paper Sky (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Butterfly in the Dark (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Perfect Girl (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


A British author, the English writer Gilly Macmillan has been writing for some time now, primarily known for her ever distinctive brand of crime and thriller fiction novels, which have been increasing steadily in popularity ever since the release of her first book. With over three titles so far and counting, she has managed to garner a lot of attention, all thanks to her perceptive eye and careful insight into her subjects and characters, all of which have resonated with readers worldwide. Continuing to write to this day, her career is as strong as ever, with more books on the horizon expected to follow.

Early and Personal Life

Born in the United Kingdom, Gilly Macmillan was brought up in Swindon in Wiltshire, where she spent most of her formative, all whilst nurturing her passion for the written word, and taking in inspiration from her surrounding environment for her writing career that was to be. She also moved to North California for a segment of her later teens as well, giving her a wider sense of perspective, and shaping much of her world-view in the process too, building upon her experiences. It also put her in contact with a wider range of people and characters, all of which allowed her to build upon her ideas and premises to follow.

Educated at Bristol University in England she studied the history of art, gaining an education that would give her some historical perspective as well, allowing her to further develop her craft, refining and honing it continually, building it up and establishing herself creatively as both an artist and an author. She then went on to study at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, providing her material with more a greater academic foundation, whilst enabling her to carry on working as an artist. All this helped her to become the writer that she currently is today, with her grounded sense of narrative and character.

She has also lectured in ‘A’ level photography before coming a writer full-time, something which allowed her to express herself creatively, as she carried on with her writing and finding her voice and ever unique style. This was backed up through her previous work at The Burlington Magazine, whereby she refined her craft as a writer, creating pieces for mass consumption, whilst also working at the Hayward Gallery as well, both of which made her the writer that she currently is today. Moving on from these job with a newfound sense of perspective and herself, she went into writing full-time, something she’d always dreamed of ever since the beginning.

Currently living in Bristol in the United Kingdom now, she continues to write to this very day, whilst also simultaneously raising her three children with her husband. Not only writing full-time, but looking after her family as well, she’s constantly busy, as she carries on looking for new and exciting ideas to put in her next novel. With more books set to be released on the horizon, she doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, as she carries on into the foreseeable future.

Writing Career

With her first debut novel, ‘Burnt Paper Sky’, being released in 2015, she has come a long way in an extremely short amount of time, building her profile as a writer exponentially and very quickly, gaining the recognition she needed worldwide. This was especially the case when considering her first novel was published in over twenty countries, with it also being titled ‘What She Knew’ in North America. This allowed her to build her brand and set the tone for what was to come with her second novel, ‘The Perfect Girl’ released just one year later in 2016.

Nominated for an Edgar Award for her first novel, it also managed to reach the top of the New York Times Bestseller list when released as well. It also managed to reach the finalist position in the International Thriller Writer’s Thriller Award as well, proving not just to be a commercial success, but a critical one as well. As her writing career grows from strength-to-strength, it looks set to continue for some time yet, with a plethora of books set to be released.

Burnt Paper Sky

Brought out in America as ‘What She Knew’ on the first of December, 2015, through the William Morrow Paperbacks publishing label, this was the debut novel from Gilly MacMillan, earning her a strong reputation and establishing her name with the many awards and nominations it achieved. Setting up her style and tone, it acts as the perfect introduction to her work, encapsulating her style and tone, providing a great sense of who she is as a writer. Working as a stand-alone as well, it is instantly accessible, allowing any reader to pick it up and immediately just dive right in.

Charting the heartbreaking loss of her son Ben after he goes missing in the park, this follows the efforts of the mother Rachel Jenner as she attempts to find him. Set in Bristol, he goes missing in the park, and quickly she turns to the police, whilst attempting to put together the clues herself. Not everything is as it first seems though, and she must deal with some nasty truths regarding those she trusts if she ever wants to see him again. Where did he disappear to? Why would someone want to take him? Who will discover what she knew?

The Perfect Girl

Initially published on the 3rd of March, 2016, this was brought out a year later after her original debut, as it was released through the Little, Brown Book Group publishing house. Gaining critical acclaim once more, it really doesn’t disappoint as it shows a fast return to form for the now extremely highly regarded author. Evocative as it is haunting, it’s unique take on mother daughter relationships and the effect of loss really is something special to truly behold.

A teenage daughter, Zoe Maisey, with the gift of genius, but also the burden, is a musical sensation. She has just served time though, having caused the deaths of three other teenagers, and is now free. Coming out she gives the performance of a lifetime, only to find that her mother dead by midnight. Following the aftermath it then charts her fight for a second chance, as she finds out what it really means to be the perfect girl.

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