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Eye Contact

By Cammie McGovern


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Reviewer: Alex Martin

When I started reading this novel, I thought I would be bored. Now, however, I find myself pleasantly surprised. I have read the Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and I have not yet found a more complex mystery.

Indeed, the mystery in this book would baffle the great detective himself without the proper information. However I am not just here to write about things of which mystery fans will enjoy. As a person with autism, I am also here to talk about the various psychological disorders displayed in this book. However we will get to these after I type of this book's plot.

This book's plot starts out simple. A child is murdered and only two people can solve it: Clara the mother of an autistic child, and Adam her son. Clara is the only one who can understand her sons in signals and insights. These she must use in order to find the killer.

However the story is far more complex then that. A young autistic teenager named Morgan is also looking for answers. He does this in order to make up for a crime he committed; which at first seems blown out of proportion but is in fact very serious indeed.

The story is told from different perspectives. Clara's is the main one followed by Morgan, then Adam. There are a variety of minor perspectives as well; within each one lays a variety of twist and turns.

There are at least two different points in the book in which you think that killer will be found only to have the book tell you that there is more abstraction and oddness to come. For in the end we find not a cold blooded murderer, but a teenage bully with a domineering mother who nags so much that you almost feel sorry for the culprit.

This fictional drama deals with much more than modern day dangers and disasters. It also shows a strong connection to the past. This is in the form of memories from the perspectives of the characters; the ones which are most often encountered are Clara's. Her memories of an unrealized and unexpressed romance are startlingly realistic; they show how her actions affect the present and explain the grave consequences of her past.

The last thing I will go into is the psychological disorders mentioned in this book. Clara's estranged sister Suzette, is a invalid and this is a source of pain for her. Their relationship is touched upon frequently in the book. Suzette became an invalid because she suffered from unpredictable panic attacks. Theses eventually made her stay in her house and not come out of it for about a year.

This is just one example of how often psychological disorders are mentioned in this book. For starters one of the children mentioned in the book has hydrophobia. Another autistic child besides Adam is the murder victim herself, Amelia. Last but not least a child named Chris has acute paranoia concerning bullies.

This story makes an excellent read and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, and is interested in psychology.

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