First of all, this book is definitely NOT a thriller. The mayor's wife gets murdered, and so technically the book is about a mom insisting her autistic son could not have committed the brutal crime, and that there is a Monster out there who did it and is now stalking her, but you will not give a shit about any of that because the whole book is just so painfully stupid.
Genevieve Hill and her 14 year old son Mason were out walking and Mason stumbles upon the dead body of Annabelle, the mayor's wife. I don't even remember her last name, or if that was even given. This takes place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the author wants us to believe that this city of 100,000 people is such a small town that everyone knows everyone else's business.
Genevieve is a former beauty pageant queen but has devoted her life to her son as it became clear he was autistic...at six.
Um, no. That does not happen, not that late.
Luckily our wonderful main character and 'autism whisperer' (no really, the detective called her that) Casey Walker realizes something is up because Autism is diagnosed far earlier than six.
Except Casey is also a fucking moron just like everyone else in the book. Morons and sociopaths. Definitely a winning combination.
So the detective on the case calls in Casey to help get Mason to talk, despite the fact that Mason is non-verbal. He's pretty shady himself and such a wiener throughout the whole book that I kind of wished Mason would smash his head with a rock, too.
Casey comes to all different kinds of conclusions and they all kind of make sense for a little while and then something else and then something else and then something else. She meets with Genevieve's daughter Savannah, who is also a piece of work, maybe, we don't know for a while. Then we do. Not a surprise.
The book is told from the perspective of Casey and Genevieve, though we get Mason's from time to time, though it is never labeled as his. Those sections are just titled "Then". At the end we get Savannah's, which was just as pointless as the rest of the book.
Spoiler ahead: Turns out the mom MADE Mason autistic, basically. She says she thought he was pretty boring and average, and she would make him 'extraordinary'. EXTRAORDINARY.
What. The. Fuck.
She basically gave him a bunch of meds and trained him to fail tests in a certain way that would ensure he received a certain score, which would determine that he was autistic.
And when you as the reader find this out, you should be appalled, right? Should be, except you aren't, because that seems exactly like something this lunatic would do to her son.
Casey is also a piece of work but in a different way. She was strictly there to educate about autism, but she didn't even do that well. She was not involved in the investigation in any way except to be a puppet for the detective (the only one on the case? Again, the author was trying to make Tuscaloosa sound small. It's not).
She basically fumbled around making random discoveries and told the detective who sometimes listened but most times didn't. She talks to her dad about the case a lot and that's just as pointless as everything else she does.
I have a big issue with the main character comparing autism and cancer. Cancer is a deadly disease that claims countless lives every single day. Autism is not. People with autism are not broken or unusual. They have a different neurotype.
The dialogue was awful. The phrasing at many times was awful. In general, the writing was clunky and weird. I'm also pretty sure the book never saw an editor.
I will leave you with a couple examples before I say this book is stupid and you shouldn't bother with it, even though it is free with Prime this month:
At one point the author describes another character as "head of the school newspaper and a star player on the debate team." You mean editor-in-chief? How is one a star player on a debate team? Captain, probably, if they're that good.
Here's my favorite: she talks about another character being drafted by Alabama and how he "became their golden boy until he tore his ACL sophomore year." I'm sorry, what? Despite what Alabama fans thinks, Bama is not a pro team. Colleges don't draft players. They recruit them, though. Did you mean that? I think you meant that.
Savannah talking about Mason: "He did get really sick once, and I'm pretty sure it was around that time, but I could be wrong. Everything's filtered though my little-girl memory, so it's hard to say, but I remember him getting really sick." Who talks like that? Such weird phrasing.
And lastly, "He's thriving ever since he got put under Blanche's care." He GOT PUT? GOT PUT??!! You mean "since he was placed in Blanche's care"?
There's more, but I can't waste any more time on this, and neither should you.
Not recommended even a little bit remotely at all.