Much like Emma Hunt’s life, this book is centred around Jacob. Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. To clarify; “Asperger syndrome is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others … may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.” Thank you autism.org.uk. Jacob is intelligent, he loves forensic science and respects the house rules. He does not like certain colours, missing Crime Busters, eye contact or his social worker Jess’s boyfriend. These things make him a suspect for murder.
This is my favourite Jodi Picoult book. I love how she captured the individual voices of the characters. I related to Jacob because of his love of forensic science and a show called Crime Busters. I’m binging a show called Criminal Minds at the moment and, like Jacob, I get agitated when I don’t get my fix. These well-rounded characters that have their own quirks such as Theo, Jacob’s little brother. He is left to his own devices and enjoys breaking into houses to see how the other half live. The rookie lawyer who represents Jacob wants to do the right thing and do best by Emma, Jacob’s mother. The Detective is the same. It’s easy to label him as the bad guy because we’re on the Hunt family’s side at the point in the book when he arrests Jacob. As the trial begins, we see a different side to him. Every name on the page become a real human being in my mind.
In the chaos of the book, the disruption to Jacob’s routine and his ‘selfish’ way of thinking, it’s easy to forget that a young girl has tragically died. You feel sorry for Jacob and his family throughout, on the other hand, this is a book about murder. It’s a whodunit. The author takes full advantages of the character’s quirks to take the reader on a journey they won’t soon forget.