May 2018 Debut of the Month
Our narrator Jasper is thirteen years old. He has synaesthesia which means he hears sounds, voices etc as colours and recognises individual by those colours and not by any physical appearances. We spend nearly a hundred pages learning about the disadvantages of such a condition becoming aware of many of the lad’s traits which are similar to autism. He lives in a confused world misinterpreting interactions and events and “blowing up” in panic attacks. It makes for harrowing reading. A couple of years ago his mother died and shortly after her his grandmother. His father finds the boy difficult to deal with. Now something has happened. Jasper thinks he has killed his neighbour Bee. Jasper is a very unreliable narrator. To discover what happened he has to recreate the colours of the last day of Bee’s life and try to match them to the events of that day. He spends a lot of time surmising and then painting naturally in those colours. The investigating police officer, “Rusty Chrome Orange” is a saint who eventually the boy learns to trust, but the poor lad is suspicious of everyone else, even at one time, his father. How it all works is naturally steeped in colour. Interesting.
Whatever happens, don't tell anyone what you did to Bee Larkham... Jasper is not ordinary.In fact, he would say he is extraordinary... Synaesthesia paints the sounds of his world in a kaleidoscope of colours that no one else can see. But on Friday, he discovered a new colour - the colour of murder. He's sure something has happened to his neighbour, Bee Larkham, but no-one else seems to be taking it as seriously as they should be. The knife and the screams are all mixed up in his head and he's scared that he can't quite remember anything clearly. But where is Bee? Why hasn't she come home yet? Jasper must uncover the truth about that night - including his own role in what happened...
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
A murder described in colours not words – by a boy with problems. This gripping story is like nothing you’ve read before. Each character comes to life on the page and in your mind. Full review
I loved this book. It is a beautifully written book told with humour and senisity through the eyes of a young boy who sees life through colours. Full review
This is a very original take on a murder mystery. It also gives you some insight into the realities of living with the little understood conditions synaesthesia and face blindness. Full review
Sarah J. Harris has created a brilliant cast of three-dimensional characters. The thirteen year old protagonist Jasper has autism, synaesthesia and facial blindness, so we can't help but root for him. Full review
Reeled me in hook, line and sinker. Loved the wonderful colourful descriptions and Jasper's innocence. Combined with a mystery that I was itching to have solved. Brilliant! Full review
This book is a page-turner that draws you in right from the start. Jasper is an extremely engaging character, but not a reliable narrator. It will keep you guessing right until the end. Full review
With characters more colourful than a reader would normally expect this is a charming, if off-beat mystery and kaleidoscopic trip into the life of thirteen-year old Jasper. Full review
When Bee Larkham (sky blue) disappears Jasper is haunted by the colour of her murder (ice blue crystals) Thoroughly enjoyable, immensely interesting, moments of heartbreaking sadness. A triumph! Full review
An unusual murder mystery told by Jasper, a boy who sees sounds as colours and recognises people by the “colour” of their voices. A thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking read. Full review
A novel about an autistic boy-detective who sees colours and loves parakeets-interesting, but annoying! Full review
Intriguing novel using complex voice to create suspense and uncertainty. Well worth reading! Full review
If you enjoyed reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, read this book. It has the same vibe and tone, but the author has matured in her writing. Full review
A brilliant debut read that really pulled me in. Full review
Wow what a book. Like nothing I’ve read before. Full review
'A beautiful, original novel, at once funny and tragic and brave' - Sarah Pinborough
'Intriguing, original and memorable - I couldn't put it down!' - Libby Page, THE LIDO
'Fizzing with wonderful quirkiness, completely original, and total believable, nuanced characters - a unique gem of a novel'
- Katy Regan, LITTLE BIG MAN
'An unusual and insightful read' - BBC
'A great protagonist... A must-read book for 2018' - STYLIST
'Highly original, fantastically written' - THE SUN
'Hotly anticipated debuts of 2018' - RED
'One to look out for' - OBSERVER
'Taps into a trend for novels depicting isolation' - SUNDAY TIMES
'This vivid story stayed with me long after I turned the last page.Sarah J. Harris is a strong new voice in British fiction' -
CJ Daugherty, THE ECHO KILLING
'I found myself not just drawn but expertly daubed in to Jasper's world, with its splattered sense of morals and innocence'
- James Hannah, THE A-Z OF YOU AND ME
'Jasper - whose world is both more colourful and more frightening than ours - is a character who will stay with me for some time. Harris has written a literary page turner that utterly captivated me. A stunning debut.' - Cass Green, IN A COTTAGE IN A WOOD
Publication date: 03/05/2018
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||3rd May 2018|
|Author:||Sarah J. Harris|
|Publisher:||HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, Debuts of the Month, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Crime & mystery,|
Sarah J. Harris is an author and freelance education journalist who regularly writes for national newspapers. She became fascinated by synaesthesia and face blindness during her work as a journalist. THE COLOUR OF BEE LARKHAM'S MURDER is Sarah's debut adult novel. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.More About Sarah J. Harris