Monday, April 8, 2013
Review of Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer (Bantam Press, 2013)
Rubbernecker is a wonderful read - witty and smart, with a nice mix of darkness and light, pathos and humour, and a cleverly worked plot. The three main strengths of the novel are the characterisation, plot, and prose. Patrick Fort is a lovely creation - truthful, logical, obsessive and unintentionally abrasive - and the other characters are fully formed: his long suffering mother, the students in his shared house, and the staff and patients at the university hospital, especially Samuel Galan locked inside his comatose body and the selfish, uncaring nurse, Tracy Evans. The plot is nicely put together, with a couple of very nice twists towards the end of the story. Adding to the reading experience is the crafting of the narrative and the engaging prose. There isn’t a word out of place, and the story is all tell and no show. The novel has the feel of a standalone, but I hope that Bauer is thinking of creating another mystery for Patrick to investigate. Overall, an excellent piece of literary crime fiction.