A medical student with Asperger’s is drawn into a deadly mystery in this unique crime thriller from the CWA Gold Dagger Award–winning author.
Winner of the 2014 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, Rubbernecker is a gripping thriller about a medical student who begins to suspect that something strange is going on in the cadaver lab.
“The dead can’t speak to us,” Professor Madoc had said. But that was a lie. The body Patrick Fort is examining in anatomy class is trying to tell him all kinds of things. But no one hears what he does, and no one understand when he tries to tell them.
Life is already strange enough for Patrick—being a medical student with Asperger’s Syndrome doesn’t come without its challenges. And that’s before he is faced with solving a possible murder, especially when no one believes a crime has even taken place. Now he must stay out of danger long enough to unravel the mystery. But as Patrick learns one truth from a dead man, he discovers there have been many other lies closer to home.
“A murder mystery with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster.” —Bustle
British author Bauer's highly original mystery boasts two unusual protagonists. The first is Sam Galen, a man in a coma ("I'm asleep and I cannot tell you how hard I try to wake up"). The other is Patrick Fort, who has Asperger's syndrome. Patrick has trouble interacting with people, but thanks to a disability quota, he has been admitted as a medical student to Cardiff University in Wales. In an anatomy class, Patrick and four other students learn to dissect a cadaver (identified only by number) and discover the cause of death. Patrick risks everything to make the correct diagnosis, even when his efforts could not only get him expelled but also threaten his life. Bauer (Blacklands) brilliantly captures both the horror and helplessness of Sam's being mentally alive in an unresponsive body, as well as the mystification Patrick suffers in virtually all dealings with others. Even without the author's absorbing storytelling, this standalone deserves attention for sheer inventiveness.