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Rubbernecker Hardcover – 31 Jan 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 321 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (31 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593066928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593066928
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 392,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Bauer's great gift is her ability to surprise the reader... [and] she makes you think a bit differently about the world." (Daily Telegraph)

"Taking the psychological thriller into new territory" (Independent)

"This excellent, thought-provoking novel will hold your attention from the very first page" (Bella)

"This could be the most astonishing whodunnit you are ever likely to read" (Red Magazine online)

"Rubbernecker isn't your average crime novel: it's far better than that" (We Love This Book)

Book Description

Prepare to be gripped and chilled, with the sensational new novel from one of the leading lights of British crime writing

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a cracking crime novel from Belinda Bauer. Patrick is a complex and yet rather endearing character who has Asperger's syndrome. He has gone to University to study anatomy in order to try and solve his quest with regard to the death of his father when Patrick was a young boy. His father's death left a hole in his life. He doesn't get on well with his mother and she in turn struggles to deal with him.

The novel is also partly set in a neurological ward and we have as one of the narrators one of the people in a coma; he is struggling to muster up any communication that can be understood by the people watching him, those wanting him to return to life; this gives us a unique and fascinating viewpoint on events, and I felt this was a very clever device to use within the story. Another viewpoint is the selfish lazy nurse who was out for herself, this introduced another angle to events in the ward.

Patrick becomes intrigued about the cause of death of the body his group is working on dissecting in his anatomy class. Unlike most of the other students who are studying medicine and saving lives, Patrick has a specific quest which makes him singularly interested in anatomy as a means to answering the question which has dominated his thoughts since his father left his life. `He didn't care what made people work. He was only interested in what happened whey they stopped...'

Patrick's curiosity and determination is what drives the story forward. He slowly begins to find a new interest in his life, a new goal to solve the fresh mystery he has uncovered. He also developes a little in his interactions with people, such as with compassionate fellow student Meg, despite the boundaries and limitations of behaviour and understanding of others that his condition dictates.
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Format: Hardcover
Patrick is a young man with a mission - to find out the meaning of death. And having Asperger's Syndrome means that he takes his mission to extremes. When he signs up for a course in anatomy, his team is tasked with dissecting cadaver Number 19 to see if they can spot the cause of death. Meantime, elsewhere in the hospital, Sam is in a coma, but although he can't wake up he can see and hear what's going on around him and it's not all good. But Sam is gradually coming back and is desperate to regain the ability to speak...

Grisly, macabre and in places gloriously blackly funny, this book is a compulsive read. It may be a cliché, but I really couldn't put it down. Bauer doesn't hold back in describing the ghastly horrors of the dissecting room or the tragedies and cruelty of the coma ward but rather brilliantly manages to keep just enough lightness of tone to make these subjects not just bearable but weirdly enjoyable. The characterisation is excellent; Patrick, with all his misunderstandings of other people's responses and vice versa, is particularly well drawn, a likeable and sympathetic hero whose sometimes outrageous actions somehow manage to make perfect sense. But the other characters are well developed too: Meg, a fellow student of Patrick's, dragged into his mission despite her better judgement; Sam, the coma patient; Tracy, the nurse who's trying to catch a man; and, not least, Patrick's mother, driven nearly to distraction by her son's odd behaviour. The plotting is good and more complex than it seems at first sight; it moves along at a fair pace and the author pulls all the threads satisfyingly together at the end.

Original, well written and gruesomely entertaining, this is a great read that I think takes Bauer to a new level - highly recommended.

NB This review is of a proof copy provided free of charge by the publisher.
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Format: 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.
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