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Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and fun, really gripping, 8 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Rubbernecker (Paperback)
Since Patrick Fort lost his father in a car accident as a child, he has been obsessed with the mystery of death. Patrick has Asperger's syndrome and this drives him to seek a full understanding of the world around him. Embarking on university studies in Anatomy doesn't help Patrick to determine what exactly happened to his Dad, but he soon begins to notice irregularities in the dissection room and ends up trying to get to the bottom of another mystery entirely. But this isn't easy when the only clue he has is an anonymous cadaver with an official death certificate that appears to be entirely above board.

This is unlike anything I've read before. The protagonist and the premise are both completely unique, and Bauer has somehow managed to take some really dark subject matter and make it great fun to read about. The story flits between several different points of view and each one has a really distinct and engaging voice - Patrick himself, a coma patient on a hospital ward, a lazy and selfish nurse. You get absolutely sucked into the twists and turns of the plot and I stayed up far too late at night to reach the end.

It is clear that Belinda Bauer has spent time in the dissection room herself and that she must have the keenest powers of observation to convey its unique atmosphere so accurately. The days of disrespectful pranks are long gone, but the utterly surreal atmosphere does breed a certain brand of black humour. The very squeamish amongst you might want to take care when reading Rubbernecker because some of the scenes might be a little too gruesome for those with a delicate disposition - saying that, it is mostly quite clinical and there's no gratuitous gore or violence so I think most people would have no trouble.

Rubbernecker has drawn many comparisons to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time but I found this a great deal more enjoyable to read. Where I saw Mark Haddon's book as almost a character study of a boy with Asperger's syndrome (don't get me wrong, I think it's a good read), Belinda Bauer has written a great mystery story where the protagonist just happens to have Asperger's syndrome. Patrick's character is engaging and sensitively drawn, but his diagnosis is never used as a plot device in itself.

This is such an original mystery story and I had so much fun reading it. I really can't recommend it enough!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jul 2014 00:29:28 BDT
Bethi says:
Thanks, nice review - am going to buy it now. ( 'The Rosie Project' is an entertaining read too, have you tried it? )
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Location: Manchester, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,540