Rubbernecker Kindle Edition
"Bones Don't Lie" by Melinda Leigh
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Autism fiction is rare but well worth finding and reading. Invariably it opens a new way of seeing the world to the reader. Not only is the autistic male (it's always a male, which is statistically reasonable) thinking in ways very thought-provoking for the reader, but also the "normal" humans around him become by contrast far less normal in any sense than we would prefer to think of ourselves. Autism fiction is never disability fiction: they are truly "differently abled," as the old PC phrase had it, and usually spectacularly better than "normals" at many things, as autism fiction is always about high-functioning autists, as it must be. But they are aliens: that's the point. It is a different way to be a person. It isn't worse. It isn't better. But it is very interesting.
This book "Rubberneckers" is one of the best autism novels I've read. Two other excellent ones are "Speed of Dark" by the great science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon, and the popular "The Curious Incident of the Dog That Didn't Bark in the Nighttime" by Mark Haddon, who worked with autistic children before he started writing. Two iffy autism novels are "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult, which is somewhat shallow and the solution to the murder mystery is obvious in the first few pages; and "Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend" by Matthew Dicks, which is fantastical. "Trust Your Eyes" is a recent mystery by the wonderful Linwood Barclay featuring two brothers, one autistic and very good with computers. There is an unreliable narrator in that one, not my favorite device, but otherwise it's a good story. But the first three I mentioned are the best autism mysteries, including "Rubberneckers."
How I wish there would be a series devoted to Patrick, the main character in this book.
This book can be gruesome at times for it's content, but if you put yourself into Patrick's head, it all becomes just another part of the story and easier to swallow.
Though this book gives some reveals early, there are still PLENTY of surprises to discover all the way till the end.
I am so happy that I finally grabbed this book off my TBR pile, it truly is a unique mystery and one that is sticking in my mind. Patrick will stay with you, and I believe you will be wanting more after you turn the last page.
5 BIG stars! Belinda Bauer is a phenomenal writer. If you haven't delved into any of her books, I insist you do..asap.
There are two settings in this book and they are both unique as well. A coma ward in a hospital and a cadaver dissecting room at a medical school, both with their attending medical personnel.
The characters are wonderful. Patrick's mother, so frustrated raising him alone after her husband's death, turns to alcohol. Lexi, a snotty brat whose father had a terrible car accident, is left with only a step-mother. Meg befriends Patrick and accepts his quirks. Tracy is the conniving nurse and looking out for only herself. DS Williams is a long-serving cop who has never been involved in a huge case.
Bauer makes all these things come together in a truly unique book that I enjoyed immensely. 5 stars!
This is a really quirky novel built around the world of the coma patient where patients are not quite in this world and the anatomy lab where the dead can tell us much about their lives. Patrick is an easy character to feel an empathy for in his fight to understand the world and his difficult mother who doesn't understand him. The unusual title will also make more sense once you read the book. Definitely an absorbing and fun read.