'It's the Details that Count' Novel Information:
Set in the aftermath of WWII in the 1950s, this novel, written for teenagers/adults, explores the realities of high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome (AS) in females. Based on Adele's own personal experience of misunderstandings due to her not following the stereotypical male autism, it gives an insight into what life is like, while showing a positive side: the attention to detail. With a concatenation of evidence pointing in different directions, the Asperger’s aptitude for observing seemingly insignificant details that most would ignore, turns out to be vital for assisting in solving the case and tracking down the murderer before it is too late.
Martha, (16) and her younger sister Nora, (14) who both have AS, stumble upon the missing man Max Shaddoe's body, and set about investigating the murder in parallel to the police. The Detectives' reluctant admission of their usefulness ensures the girls’ very personal involvement in the investigations. Martha, now more aware of the “normal” neurotypical behaviour, is constantly explaining and curbing her younger sister's remarks caused by her AS. Their well-intentioned obsessive preoccupation in solving the mystery exacerbates the tension between themselves and the Detectives, D-Superintendent Oakes and D-Sergeant Pickering.
The victim's sister, Ruth's, arrival from Spain is the catalyst for the crimes that follow; a second death complicates matters, adding to the plethora of possibilities, likely and unlikely, explored through the meticulous autistic mind-set.
When another death occurs, their main suspect must be unassailably ruled out, or is that actually the case?
The confusion of assumed identities and a footprint mix-up add to the bewildering complexities of this labyrinthine mystery.
Oakes' gentle, non-judgemental acceptance of their AS, stands in sharp contrast to the local police's undisguised antipathy. Similarly, the serious intensity with which the girls tackle their investigations has an amusing foil in the unwitting buffoonery of the junior Detective, Pickering. These contrasts, typical of the black and white rigidity of AS are highlighted by the bizarre incongruity drawn from the gruesome events in the beautiful environment.
The psychological repercussions of WW2, and the rationality of potential motives are meticulously chronicled in detail as events unfold, culminating in an unexpected and exciting climax, as the murderer eventually comes to the fore.
The book emphasises the all-pervasive nature of AS, contrasted with the overtly mild oddities which are often all that the outside world sees. This is why it isn’t usually understood and allowed for; the underlying causes for AS behaviours such as social ineptitude are often dismissed. This book aims to familiarise people with the indicative signs to look out for.
Having the right balance between informative and entertaining, you can still enjoy the book to the full even if you aren’t reading it for the insight into how AS presents in girls, as hopefully the parenthesis will make it easier for the AS information to be disregarded if desired.
To buy or review this book, follow the link: It's the Details that Count! eBook : Lea, Adele: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store