As an insurance investigator and world renowned expert in nonverbal communication, Dr Genevieve Lenard faces the daily challenge of living a successful, independent life. Particularly because she has to deal with her high functioning Autism. Nothing - not her studies, her high IQ or her astounding analytical skills - prepared her for the changes about to take place in her life.
It started as a favour to help her boss' acerbic friend look into the murder of a young artist, but soon it proves to be far more complex. Forced out of her predictable routines, safe environment and limited social interaction, Genevieve is thrown into exploring the meaning of friendship, expanding her social definitions, and for the first time in her life be part of a team in a race to stop more artists from being murdered.
This book surprised me. I thought the idea of a woman with high functioning autism as the main character would be such an intriguing person to get to know in this kind of setting, but also a very difficult character to develop. I also wondered how the author would manage to get into the mind of someone like that when autism affects people in so many different ways. I thought that Genevieve was a fascinating person due to her phobias and naturally taciturn behavior regarding social issues. I could almost liken her personality to a very literal alien or cyber robot, but the emotions and human connections are still there even though they are experienced in a way uncommon for most everyone who doesn't communicate things in such a literal fashion.
In short I loved her. I loved that everything she fears she ends up having to face. I love that this mystery forces her to move out of her comfort zone, develop friendships, interact with people, and push through the darkness that seems to be just around the corner due to her autism. Her quick mind is delightful, and the way she views things in black and white is tested as she decides whether she can trust and work with people who are criminals. The development of her relationship with Colin and Vinnie is so tender. I loved the dynamics of the group and the other people who worked to protect her even though she very fiercely denied that she needed anyone helping her.
The plot is strong and intriguing, and I honestly had no idea what to expect with every turn of the page. I'm so pleased to find a thriller that is exactly that, thrilling in every way without the overdone profanity, sexual innuendos, or horrible, graphic violence. It's the sign of a brilliant author who is able to create something so suspenseful without those unnecessary trimmings that always throw me out of a story. I've already started the next book in the series, and I am more than happy with how the story is coming along. You simply have to grab this book and get to know Genevieve and the gang. So much fun!
I gave it five cherry blossoms!
Estelle Ryan was born in South Africa and spent her childhood being surrounded by African beauty, nature and diversity of cultures. Her first trip to Europe at the tender age of 16 transformed her world into a much larger place, endless in its possibilities and places to explore. For most of her adulthood she’s travelled all over the world, lived on a few continents, explored numerous cultures and still is insatiable in the quest to still the hunger for more life experiences.
She’s written for numerous international magazines, was the editor of a European lifestyle magazine and has seven romance novels published under a pseudonym. With her interest in international politics, arts, crime, behavioural psychology, criminal psychology and music, she decided to combine all these elements in her writing. And so Genevieve and the team came into being.
She is an unabashed coffeeshopaholic. Good coffee, ambience and music in the perfect combination is all that is required to turn a mundane coffee shop into her 'office'. The appropriate coffee shop is chosen depending on the mood, the weather, the type and amount of work that needs to be done, and of course the craving of the day. All of her books have been written in numerous coffee shops all over the world.