Friday Five Challenge ~ Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge, involves taking only five minutes to choose a book cover which appeals instantly. So take a few minutes, pour yourself a coffee…..and have a browse.


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I clicked on Discover The Best Debuts and found this one…

Burnt Paper Sky

A gripping psychological thriller about a missing child and how the public can turn on a mother following a single, momentary mistake

Rachel Jenner turned her back for a moment. Now her eight-year-old son Ben is missing.

But what really happened that fateful afternoon?

Caught between her personal tragedy and a public who have turned against her, there is nobody left who Rachel can trust. But can the nation trust Rachel?

The clock is ticking to find Ben alive.


Tightly focussed and fast-paced. You won’t rest until you really know what happened (Lisa Ballantyne)

Deft, tense and utterly gripping, Burnt Paper Sky stays with you long after the final page has been turned (Tim Weaver – author of Never Coming Back)

This pacy, emotional and expertly characterised novel’s sure to follow in the footsteps of fellow thrillers such as The Girl On The Train and Gone Girl by soaring to the top of the bestseller charts (The Media Eye)

Kindle price ~ £4.99/$7.87 for 496 pages

The reviews are mostly all good. Fifty six reviewers rated it 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon UK, with 46 of those 5*. Amazon US has 7 5* reviews, which look authentic. A number of reviewers consider it a ‘self assured’ or ‘brilliant’ debut novel.

The book cover stood out with the black background and the flaming lettering, and interestingly one reviewer asked the author the question I was wondering myself. Why the book is called Burnt Paper Sky. This is the answer….She says it comes from; a reference to the moment Rachel loses Ben: ‘I glimpsed the sky above, and I could feel darkness starting to push in as surely as fire creeps across a piece of paper, curling its edges, turning it to ash. In that moment, I knew Ben wasn’t there.’

Burnt Paper Sky is written alternately from the perspectives of Rachel, Ben’s mother and Jim Clemo, the detective in charge of the case, with additions to the narrative such as blogs, emails and comments on social media sites. The story does intrigue me and the reviews are very encouraging coming, so it seems, from bona fide reviewers.. so is it a..

BUY or PASS? At the moment it’s a PASS but it’s going on my list of books to look at again when I’ve whittled down my TBR list. The Kindle price is a little high, the paperback is only £5.59, so if the kindle price hasn’t come down, I’d probably opt for the paperback.

If you’d like to enter next week’s challenge, and the more the merrier, check out Rosie’s blog to read about the Friday Five Challenge.

More Friday Five Challengers’ choices

Rosie searched for Magpie and found a murder/mystery!

Shelley found a gypsy romance

Liz went for adventure on the high seas

Barb chose to explore being a granny – good or bad?

Wendy found cupcakes and crime

17 thoughts on “Friday Five Challenge ~ Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

  1. Pingback: Would You BUY or PASS? #FridayFiveChallenge Busman’s Honeymoon by Jenna Bennett #Mystery | Rosie Amber

  2. This sounds like an excellent book for those who love this genre. The book cover is dramatic and the book title intriguing enough to make people ask questions. I can only read a few in this style as a mother the emotions run deep and I don’t then enjoy the book. A Pass from me only because of the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: #FridayFiveChallenge | Lizannelloyd

  4. Not for me because I’m not interested in things to do with missing children (she says, having just written one into her latest novel!), for the opposite reasons to Rosie – I haven’t got any! Looks great, though,

    No post from me this week because I’ve been busy finishing my novel and getting my astrology feature thingy ready! I had one half prepared (in that I’d chosen the book and downloaded the cover!) but it never got done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: BUY or PASS? Looking at Gypsy Romance #FridayFiveChallenge | Shelley Wilson

  6. This sounds quite alluring and a great choice. The plot reminds me very much of the case of Lindy Chamberlain whose daughter, Azaria, was taken by dingos at Ayers Rocks. The media and much of the Australian public turned on Lindy Chamberlain and the case really divided Australians. I’m pretty sure that Lindy and her then husband Michael have officially been cleared but it took a long time and a lot of damage was done.

    Liked by 1 person

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