Rubberneckerby Belinda Bauer
A riveting thriller from award-winning writer Belinda Bauer centered on a medical student who becomes increasingly convinced that the cadaver he’s dissecting did not die of natural causes.
“Breathtaking. I read this and wished I’d written it.” —Val McDermid
Belinda Bauer is a phenomenal voice in British crime fiction whose work has won the CWA’s Gold Dagger Award for Crime Novel of the Year and garnered rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. 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 his 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 can’t-put-it-down page-turner from one of the finest voices in UK crime, Rubbernecker puts Belinda Bauer firmly on the map of world-class crime writers.
“An intelligent, disturbing read.” —The Guardian (UK)
“Exciting . . . Reads like a collaboration between Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and Barbara Vine.” —Sunday Telegraph (UK)
“Bauer takes astonishing risks but—like a brilliant ski-jumper—arcs down to the perfect landing.” —Independent (UK)
“Surprise, of course, is the most potent aspect of suspense. And Belinda Bauer knows exactly how to manipulate that element, right until the very end.” —Daily Mail (UK)
“Riveting and thought-provoking . . . A sensitive work that breaches the crime novel’s usual formulae.” —Times (UK) (Books of the Year)
“Echoes . . . Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time . . . and with more twists and coils than a hangman’s noose, it deserves to do equally well.” —Sunday Express (UK)
Patrick rolled on to his back, his breath suddenly shallow and his stomach fluttering with tension. He held his twisted thumbs up to the dark ceiling and thought again of the delicate blue veins in the backs of Lexi’s hands. Her skin was so fine and pale—nothing like Cadaver Number 19’s tough orange dermis. Making an H-incision in her throat would be completely different. There would be no scrape of old stubble against his knuckles, no Adam’s apple to teeter up and down again, no smell of lilies and shit. Only the pliable tracheal rings, dipping gently into the jugular notch at the base of her smooth neck. Nothing about it would be the same as the cadaver’s, even if her veins and kidneys did give away the family connection.
“Are you awake?” he said clearly. Her forehead creased. “What do you want?”
“Are you allergic to nuts?”
“Yes. If I have one I could die.”
“Was your father?”
“OK,” said Patrick. He opened his wardrobe and put on his T-shirt and hoodie.
Lexi sat up, hair awry, and hugged her knees through the red blanket. “Why? What’s going on?”
He didn’t tell her because he didn’t hear her. He was overwhelmed by a looped image of his own blue finger dipping into Number 19’s puckered flesh, like Doubting Thomas peering into the side of Christ, while a question buzzed through his being.
If Number 19 was being fed through a tube, what was he doing with a peanut—of all things—in his throat?