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review 2017-01-08 17:01
Patrick the born detective... sort of
Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer

Interesting story telling about Patrick, a young person with Asperger's syndrome.

He is a loner who lost his father when he was young in a car accident. And his mother is a drunk and dislike him because of his disability.


Patrick like to study death because he didn't understand how his father had died, right in front of him.


Poor kid handled things the way that make sense to him. He is good in his own way without realising that other people don't like him because he didn't do what is expected of him in common social interactions.


Most interaction is shallow anyway and it just take too much energy.

The story started slow and it picked up quickly. Very enjoyable. 




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review 2015-11-09 21:24
Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer

I received a copy of this book through Goodreads' First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book you cannot put down. I was hooked from page one.

The book follows multiple interconnected characters as they navigate through their lives, solving mysteries and learning how to live along the way. It is absolutely magnificent!

One of the things I really enjoyed about the book is the flesh and blood characters, who are told in a realistic way that doesn't try to his their flaws (the resentful alcoholic mother, the man emerging from a coma to a new world, the unsatisfied detective sergeant).

One of the most interesting characters, Patrick, has Asperger's Syndrome and the narration gives an in-depth portrayal of his unique mindset. I really enjoyed the presentation of Patrick as a character from his own point of view as well as the views of other characters such as his mother. The complex interaction of Patrick's thinking and the neurological thinking of those around him gives great insight into some of the social and linguistic issues that individuals on the autism spectrum have to face in their interactions with neurological people. This is a great portrayal of one individual with Asperger's.

This book is amazing and I cannot recommend it enough. High suspenseful with multiple plots and mysteries, this book is a masterpiece.

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review 2015-10-03 17:01
crime find
Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer

Bauer is new to me, and a welcome find. Nothing beats a good crime story now and then, and I look forward to reading more of hers. This one features an unlikely and amateur detective (my favorite kind) in an odd circumstance told via the shifting perspectives of British narrators, who kept me reading almost nonstop for two days. 

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review 2014-07-25 19:14
"Rubbernecker" by Belinda Bauer
Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer

My first Belinda Bauer and probably my last.


Gimmick: Crime-fighting sleuth (Patrick Fort) with Asperger’s syndrome.


The gimmick and some inconsistencies - eg, the inability of almost every other character, other than Patrick Fort, to understand how to cope with his behaviour, called for Suspension of Disbelief, which ruined it for me.


it was also painful to read how even his professors had not been briefed on Patrick’s inability to use sarcasm or humour; even after some months after they’d first meet him, they were still assuming that he was being sarcastic rather than honest.


On top of that, the secondary thread between Tracy and Mr. Deal seemed unnecessary. It was as if the story had started as a short-lengthened one and then some Publishing House saw the possibility to earn more money by turning it into a novel. These two characters had no real texture: they just seem made out of cardboard and were just there to fill the necessary word count quota of a novel.


These bothersome “particularities” (they were always there in the back of my mind) spoiled my enjoyment of the novel. Almost everything felt gimmicky.


NB: I’ve got nothing against the use of gimmicks in literature, cinema, theatre, etc. Just to give an obvious example of a good gimmick, see how Shakespeare had the ghost of Hamlet's murdered father appear to reveal his killer or how Kafka starts a story with a character named Gregor waking up to discover he's changed into a giant bug.


Gimmicks, per si, are not bad. When done in a literary fashion, ie, without calling for suspension of disbelief for example, gimmicks are one of the highest pay-offs in a Story.

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review 2014-03-25 00:00
Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer Delightfully Odd - 5 Stars

Ever since reading the masterful [b:The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time|1618|The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time|Mark Haddon|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327882682s/1618.jpg|4259809], I have sought another book told in the voice similar to that of the Autistic child in the The Curious Incident . I have finally found an equal to Mark Haddon's wonderful story. The author seamlessly weaves storylines together while telling them through two unique voices.

Plot summary

Our main character and unlikely detective, Patrick, is a college anatomy student and lives with Asperger's syndrome while his mother suffers the fallout of the disorder. Since the death of his father, Patrick has longed to know what happens to a person when they die and where it is that person goes. He believes that the answer lies inside of the dead human body so naturally, dissecting a human body as part of college study will provide the answer. As the semester progresses, Patrick becomes obsessed with the cause of death of the Cadaver and mystery is born. In a parallel storyline, we view the world through the eyes of a coma patient and we learn of startling behaviour in the coma ward. Unfortunately, he lacks the ability to express his observations. Eventually the storylines converge and secrets are uncovered both in Patrick's "investigation" and in his own home.

The Good

Unique Voices

While this novel is reminiscent of the Curious Incident it is by no means a clone. The story is told though the black and white and emotionally challenged voice of a Asperger's patient. As he is unable to appreciate nuance, sarcasm and most emotional reaction, the reader is left amused at the situations created and enlightened by the observations of this unique individual. In the parallel story, we see the world through the eyes of a coma patient. As he cannot interact with and examine his surroundings, the reader is left intrigued with his conclusions as we are never sure if when can trust what he saw. As the two major characters, these two voices tell a story from points of view that will be foreign to the average reader. As such, the view is intriguing, enlightening and entertaining.

There's a Story Too!

This novel is not a one trick pony. While the story is largely driven by these two unique characters, the plot is not left to suffer. It is only the singularity of focus afforded by Patrick's disorder that allows him to see a mystery where others see nothing. The book also deals with the complicated family dynamics brought on by the disorder and his mother's difficulty in dealing with same. The issue is explored with humour and levity and avoids melodrama. The final scenes between Patrick and his mother are both absurd and touching. While the character's personal life may not resolve in a manner that the reader would find satisfactory, it is resolved in a manner that Patrick and understand and accept. Honestly, you have to read it to appreciate the seemingly absurd honesty and acceptance of Patrick.

The Bad

I really have nothing negative to say. If you hated The Curious Incident I doubt you would like this one. While the character in this novel is older and the subject matter more adult focused, the thought process and voice of the MC is similar.

Final Thoughts

This is easily one of the best books I have read in many years. If you enjoy mystery, stories told from unique perspectives mixed with brilliant writing, than this is the book for you. I give this one my highest recommendation. Looking to be my top read for 2014. Going to take a great read to knock this one down a peg.

Content Advisories

As this was one of about six books I read over a week long vacation, I am bit fuzzy on the content specifics. Please be aware that these are likely to be less accurate than normal.

Scale 1 - Lowest 5 - Highest

Sex - 2.5

There is a minor sub plot that involves an affair. One character discusses sex in non graphic terms. There scene in which a character is exposed as being a lesbian as was caught having an affair with another woman. It was not graphic. There was some innocent sexual tension.

Language - 3

To play it safe, I am giving this a three. There low use of mild language and some low use of the f-word. The usage of all adult language was generally low.

Violence - 2.5

While not strictly violence, there was some rather graphic descriptions of an ongoing human dissection as part of a university anatomy class. It was not told in gory terms but in the MC's straight forward voice. There is mild-moderate graphic of murder. The murders were not violent in nature. While this seems contradictory, a reading of the book will clear up this point.

Posted to theLiteraryLawyer.ca
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