THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME, by Mark Haddon
Vintage ISBN-13: 978-0099450252
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery like no other. The detective and narrator is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s Syndrome; he knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings.
The extraordinary power of Haddon’s writing is his ability to place the reader in the mind of Christopher. So, when the fifteen-year-old goes on a train journey, we experience the proximity of people as he does: as threatening, oppressive – even overwhelming. In simple, emotion-light (but not emotionless) language, Haddon conveys the difficulties a person on the autistic spectrum has in making sense of an emotion-laden, figurative world. Rules help, but interaction is difficult when they are altered by context, and ‘people do a lot of talking without saying words’. The nuances of body language are lost on him. Yet, when Christopher finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he has the courage and moral resolve to set out to expose the murderer.
Margaret’s third A.D. Garrett novel, Truth Will Out, is available in all formats.