Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer

Patrick Fort just wants to know.  As a young man with Asperger's Syndrome, he has a total focus and perseverance when he has a question.  And he has one of the biggest questions of all:  what is death and what causes it?  He has been obsessed with the question since his father died when he was younger and has tried various methods to satisfy his curiosity.

Now he may have the answer.  He has been admitted to college and to an anatomy class.  Although the rest of his classmates are all headed to medical degrees, Patrick has no interest in that.  He is just interested in the dissection they will be doing of a human corpse for his research.  He is sure that the answer has to be somewhere in the work they will be doing over the next few months.

In some ways, Patrick is the ideal candidate for this work.  He is unemotional and none of the dissection bothers him. His work is clean and methodical and he is even in the running for the semester's top prize.   In others, he is definitely the odd duck.  His literal way of looking at the world confuses his lab partners, and of course, he has no concept of teamwork. 

But as the weeks go by, Patrick becomes consumed with what he is sure has occurred.  Part of the work includes making a diagnosis of what killed the subjects.  Most are easy to diagnose as either cancer or heart disease makes up the majority of cases.  But No. 19, Patrick's body, is not easy to diagnose.  When Patrick decides 19 has been murdered, the groundwork is laid for a colossal  disaster.

Belinda Bauer is one of the best of the younger generation of mystery writers.  Her books are dark yet touch the reader as they explore the inner thoughts of those individuals who just don't fit in the mainstream.  Patrick's actions seem inevitable and the reader cheers him on even as things go awry.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

No comments: