A beautiful elegy for an engagingly offbeat young man who died unnecessarily and of professionals' neglect; and a story of the pursuit of accountability for that death. A lovely portrait of a boy who didn't conform to pointless rules and who shone a new light on the world by pointing up its absurdities. His loss, the search for justice described by Connor's mother - and the many resistances to any semblance of accountability - are by turns horrifying, admirable, harrowing, baffling, inspiring, incomprehensible and stomach-turning.
Connor becomes gradually enmeshed in a labyrinth of inadequate health and social care that leads with sickening inevitability into a final, fatal, locked chamber. Afterwards, his family find themselves in a further, even grimmer, grimier and more tortuous labyrinth of denial, deceit, politicking and bullying as they seek the evidence and explanations needed for accountability and justice.
What keeps them going is love - love for Connor, love for each other - and by sharing that love through blogging, social media and public engagement, they multiply it. It grows, spreads, comes back to them and goes out again to other 'dudes' and families. A crowdfunded inquest becomes a crowdsourced movement for justice and a crowdpowered determination to make a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities.
Read it for the story. Read it for the laughs. Read it for the swears (I defy you not to join in at times, however genteel your language normally). Read it to reflect on your own attitudes and actions, personally, professionally and (small-p) politically. Read it to see how 'little' people, working together, can shake the Olympian heights. Above all, read it for Connor and all the disregarded, unnoticed people. Read it.