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Odd Child Out: A Novel

Odd Child Out: A Novel

Escrito por Gilly Macmillan

Narrado por Peter Noble


Odd Child Out: A Novel

Escrito por Gilly Macmillan

Narrado por Peter Noble

valoraciones:
4/5 (38 valoraciones)
Longitud:
9 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Oct 3, 2017
ISBN:
9780062791764
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Descripción

 How well do you know the people you love…?

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'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.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Oct 3, 2017
ISBN:
9780062791764
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Sobre el autor

Gilly Macmillan is the internationally bestselling author of What She Knew, The Perfect Girl, Odd Child Out, I Know You Know, The Nanny, and To Tell You the Truth. She resides in Bristol, England.


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  • (5/5)
    This is the second novel featuring DI Jim Clemo but the first I've read.It is set in the author's home city of Bristol.The action of the novel takes place over the period of a week and the story is told from several points of view with often only the content or tone to indicate who the narrator is.Abdi and Noah are 15 year olds who have been inseparable since they began secondary school. Noah has health issues and has spent a lot of time in hospital. His father is a photographer who spends a lot of time away. Abdi is Somali, his father is a taxi driver, his mother does not speak English, and his sister is at tertiary college. Noah's mother is not convinced his friendship with Abdi is the best he can do, but Noah is very dependent on him.On the night when the story starts Noah's father has a photographic exhibition which both boys attend. Some of the photographs are of Somalian refugee camps and Abdi finds them upsetting. After they get back to Noah's place the boys go out, at Noah's instigation, unknown to his parents, and this sets off a train of events with dreadful consequences.This novel has a number of thought provoking themes: relationships in the work place, journalists who use events to enhance their own careers, the effects of ill health on families and those who are afflicted, the search by teenagers for identity and rites of passage.
  • (4/5)
    Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad are best friends who have become inseparable. One night Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol's Feeder Canal with Abdi sitting, unable to speak, on the embankment. Detective Jim Clemo who just returned from a mandatory leave following his last case is assigned to look in to what happened the night at the Canal. At first it looks like a simple quarrel between friends that went wrong, but when the details unravel two families become pitted against one another.Abdi is the son of Somali refugees attending a private school on scholarship. Noah is a member of a well-off British family. Racial tensions are high in Bristol at the time of the accident and soon assumptions are made that the incident was a result of these tensions. Before long it also comes to the forefront that Noah has a terminal illness and just received notification that he has months to live. What really brought these two friends to brink of breaking?ODD CHILD OUT takes the reader into the lives of the Sadler and Mahad families and the secrets each holds dearly. No family is perfect and these two families prove this fact as the details of their personal live are revealed. Macmillian alternates chapters between Noah, DI Clemo, and a main narrator who gives the reader looks into the Sadler and Mahad families. At first I was a bit confused by the alternating narratives because unlike other novels that follow this format, the chapters where not labeled by narrator. In addition to alternating narratives, the book is broken down into the days following the incident. I greatly enjoyed knowing the timeline of events as I read through the book. I think sometimes in crime fiction the timeline can become blurred between the various actions characters are taking, but by breaking the book into parts based on days it's very easy to distinguish how fast or slowly events are happening.This was my first book by Macmillian and when I requested this copy I did not realize it was the second book in a series. There are some references to DI Clemo's previous case from book one, but not knowing the details of the first book did not detract from understanding this book. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a great detective story with family values at the core.Thank you to William Morrow, Gilly Macmillian, and LibraryThings for providing me an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
  • (5/5)
    I went into this book with low expectations and was greatly surprised. Without giving away too much of the plot it's the story of two friends and two cultures. Noah is an English teen dying of cancer and his best friend is, Abdi a Somalian refugee. It's also a tale of love and death, friendship and cultural differences. It was an eye opening read. Highly recommend.
  • (4/5)
    Odd Child Out is a story with a lot of depth, taking on some difficult and controversial topics. Be aware that this is not a straight up suspense story. Instead we have a character-driven literary experience with a mix of police procedural and suspense. The focus here is the cast of characters, as we get to know them and learn that perhaps all is not as it appears.The story is told from multiple viewpoints. In fact, every relevant character has a narrating part. Detective Clemo and Noah's parts are in first person, and the rest are in third person. The transitions are smooth, though I do wish the chapters had been titled with the character's name because sometimes it took me a paragraph to figure out whose viewpoint I was reading.The twist wasn't a surprise for me, and probably won't be for many readers. The pacing is slow and, as the story unfolds, it's a fairly obvious route to the outcome. For the most part, it feels like how we get there is more important than where we're going. Issues such as racism, white elitism, and childhood cancer take center stage, shading choices and decisions for all the characters. Maybe the two families, one wealthy white and the other lower middle class Somali, conform a little too much to stereotypes. Yet, while these characters do often conform to our expectations, that might be precisely the point. We see our preconceived expectations reflected back at us and maybe we're surprised by an unexpected turn of events. There is no mention in the description or on the book's cover about this being part of a series, though I am assuming it is because of certain things with Detective Clemo's character. I checked the author's other two books, and I didn't see anything in the descriptions as to whether either/both of those feature Detective Clemo, so I don't know which, if either, comes before this one. Clemo's character has a past that is not fully explained in this book, but greatly influences his job and personal situation. For the most part, this works fine as a stand-alone, though we never do learn the specifics of what happened to him earlier. I think there needs to be clarity as to whether these books are a series.*I was provided with an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
  • (3/5)
    Noah, a British teenage with cancer and Abdi, a Somalian refugee are the best of friends. One night while sneaking off, Noah falls into a canal and is rushed to the hospital unconscious. Did he fall or was he pushed? Abdi may have the answers but is too traumatized to speak and then runs off for some unknown reason. During the police investigation, we learn more about the two boys and their families. The detective, Jim Clemo wants to find Abdi before there is an all-out riot. The story is very dramatic and I enjoyed how it all developed but was left unsatisfied by the ending.
  • (2/5)
    Interesting plot line, although the "twist" could be seen from a mile away. This book just moved way to slow for me. Too many characters and not enough depth to any of them for me to buy in or care what happened to them. It was just blah and felt like a chore to finish, which if it hadn't been a book I'd won through the Early Reviewers program, I'm not sure I would have.
  • (4/5)
    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. 4/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    Odd Child Out is the latest novel from Gilly MacMillan.Detective Jim Clemo is coming back from a compulsory leave following his last case. His superior hands him what looks to be a simple 'welcome back' case - a seeming accident. Two young men at the canal in the night - one falls in and is rescued, but..... A witness heard arguing and the second boy won't speak or answer questions. The first boy's mother insists that there is more to this than an accident. And she throws out the 'race' card. Noah is white and Abdi is black - a refugee from Somalia. And yes, there's much more to the case than a simple accident.Macmillan combines a mystery with some great character studies and takes a page from current events headlines.I initially thought the detective in the book was female. When 'he' was finally used and I realized it was a male, I went back to the opening chapter to confirm that I'd not missed something. I hadn't. I had not read MacMillan's first book, What She Knew, so I didn't realized this was the second book to feature Jim Clemo. Having not read that book, I didn't fully appreciate the references to a past case and the fallout from it. Still, you don't need to have read What She Knew to enjoy Odd Child Out. But,I found I didn't really bond with Clemo. His past angst, regrets and mistakes didn't overly engage me. The characters that did were Abdi's family. Their desire for a better life, their difficulty assimilating, the prejudice they face, the violence and hate that is visited on them and what they've left behind - both good and bad. I thought MacMillan did a wonderful job depicting this through the Mahad family. Just as well depicted is Noah's family - they too have heartache in their lives. Their anger, fear, hope, grief and frustration are just as well written.We slowly learn what happened that night on the canal through a then and now timeline. I enjoy this technique, but it does always have me reading 'just one more chapter past my bedtime. I thought I had sussed out what the final 'whodunit' might reveal. I was right but it certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. Lots of action in the last chapters had me wanting to take a sneak peek at how things resolved, but I didn't. I expect there will be a third book featuring Clemo as there were some unresolved threads.The title is effective - both boys can be described as the odd child out in many ways.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    This was a really good psychological mystery. It was really two different mysteries - what really happened to Noah Sadler and who was the man Abdi was searching for. I did feel like I would have benefited from reading the previous book - What She Knew - the book referenced things that happened to Clemo and his previous case. It is also clearly setting up the mystery for the next book as well and I look forward to reading more by Gilly Macmillan. I received an ARC of this book from LibraryThing.
  • (4/5)
    This book was excellent reading for a mystery lover. Odd Child Out is the story of Noah and Abdi--teenage boys from very different backgrounds, but they become best friends. Their families are very involved in this story also. Thank you LibraryThing for allowing me to read this book. I recommend it to all who love a great page-turning mystery.
  • (5/5)
    I want to follow these families beyond the end of the book. Please make a movie of this one!
  • (5/5)
    Until I added this book on GoodReads I did not realize it was the 2nd novel in a series. I read this title as a stand-alone. The storyline does reference Detective Jim Clemo's previous case but it is not repetitive to the extent that it deters from the current plot.

    This novel shares a story that includes subjects including a child dying of cancer, refugee family integration in a new country, teenage friendship, and a detective's mental health to name just a few. With each page, I felt more emotionally invested in the lives of all the characters.

    Gilly Macmillan writes a thought-provoking novel without preaching and I would not hesitate to read another novel by this author.
  • (3/5)
    A special thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.MacMillan's second instalment in the Jim Clemo series is about inseparable best friends. Despite their vastly different cultures—Noah Sandler is British and Abdi Mahad a Somali refugee—their loyalty sees no boundaries. After what appears to be a prank gone wrong, Noah is found floating unconscious in a canal in Bristol, and Abdi has been shocked into silence. Detective Jim Clemo is just back from a mandatory leave as a result of his last case. Because the investigation seems cut and dried, it is assigned to him. After tragedy strikes, it is apparent that the case it is more than just an accident. Social tensions begin to rise as the families fight for their sons and seek the truth. Told from alternating perspectives, MacMillan's story is a slow, tense burn with a deep plot. She effectively and deftly captures how relentless the press are. This is especially relevant and relatable in today's climate—whether they print facts, fiction, or a little of both, people will believe it is spun the right way. However, there are times where the narrative was clunky which accounts for some of its unnecessary bulk. While the premise is interesting, the characters were at times a bit too stereotypical and because of this, there are times where the story becomes a bit contrived. All-in-all, a good read and I will definitely be checking in with Detective Clemo again.
  • (3/5)
    This is the second book in the Jim Clemo detective series but I did not read the first. It proved to be only a minor impediment. Jim is Detective Inspector in the Bristol, England Criminal Investigations Department. In the first book, he was apparently involved in a botched case in which a missing child died, and as this installment begins, he has just completed six months of therapy to help him deal with the loss.His boss wants to give him an easy assignment to ease back into the job, and puts him in charge of a case which seems like a “small fry” or "minnow" case. In fact, as they soon found, it turned out to be “a shark.” Two fifteen year olds were involved in an accident at the canal. Noah, a white upper-class boy with terminal cancer, is now in a coma. Abdi, his BFF and a Somali refugee, is prostate and won’t speak. Something happened there, and the stakes are huge because of all the anti-immigrant tension in the town. The press takes the low road, highlighting Noah’s cancer and Noah’s mom's prejudice against Abdi. Clemo and his partner Woodley are under a lot of pressure to figure out what happened before events get beyond them.Evaluation: The writing isn’t as smooth as it could be, but the pace and suspense are good. On the other hand, the characters conform a bit much to stereotypes, and for the most part lack depth. Nevertheless, I was engaged by the mystery, and wanted to find out what happened to the boys.
  • (5/5)
    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)
    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.