Christopher likes to go walking at nighttime where the world is quiet. There are no people to overwhelm him and he can take his time to see all the things, but one night when he goes out he finds his neighbour’s dog dead, killed with a pitchfork.
Christopher likes logic and he likes dogs, so he decides to become a detective and figure out who killed the dog. His father is not pleased by this and forbids Christopher to investigate, but for the first time Christopher defies his father and he even starts lying, but things unravel…secrets come out.
The book is written perfectly, giving us a sense of how autistic people see the world, without going overboard. Christopher is enjoys logic and lives in a world with his own internal, consistent rules, but he never turns into a robot. We spend a lot of time just getting to know Christopher and his world. He is really into maths and physics and he includes maths problems that fascinate him or help calm him down.
“I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them”
In the end it’s not really a murder-mystery, rather it’s a character driven story, a coming of age tale where Christopher learns that parents are imperfect and parents can lie.
I loved the ending, while not everything is resolved Christopher ends up with a new trust in himself. He’s lost something important, but we’re left with a sense that he might get it back. The book is warm and clever and very enjoyable, but I would probably have enjoyed it more when I was 18.
“And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery…and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.”
CBR10Bingo: White whale. This book was recommended to me 11 years ago by my English teacher who, in a throw-away sentence, mentioned that I might like it. Well I remembered that and I’ve been intending to read it for 11 years. Finally stumbled upon it in a hostel in York and my English teacher was right, I would have been obsessed with this at 18.