When a young girl is murdered, the only witness is a severely autistic boy. This acclaimed novel plumbs two mysteries: an appalling crime and the inscrutable workings of a locked-in mind.
Two children wander off from their school playground during recess. Hours later, they are found in the woods: one murdered, the other hiding near the body. Adam, the survivor and the only witness, is a nine-year-old autistic boy who cannot describe what he saw or heard.
Barely verbal on the best of days, Adam has retreated into a silence that Cara, his mother, knows only too well. As a single mother, she has devoted her life to opening paths of communication between her son and the outside world. Now she must interpret the changes in Adam's behavior‐not only to help him through the trauma of his experience, but also to help the police catch a killer.
A powerful story of the emotional bond between mother and son, and a thrilling novel of psychological suspense, this is a fascinating journey into the mind of a child in crisis and a mother determined to bring him through unscathed.
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"Eye Contact is a page-turner and I tore through it in twenty-four hours. But it’s more than that—it’s also a nuanced, poignant exploration of how all of us, with or without autism, struggle to find our place in the world. Cammie McGovern writes with grace and compassion."
—Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep
"Cammie McGovern makes a satisfying marriage between an exploration of one of modern parenthood's greatest frustrations--autism--and murder mystery. Moreover, she displays considerable insight into the complex, often cruel hierarchies of childhood."
—Lionel Shriver, author of We Need to Talk About Kevin
"Once in a blue moon comes a literary thriller so full of our everyday lives that it rocks you back on your heels. This is it! This book. These sweet, funny, heartbreaking characters--these mothers and sons, broken friends and lovers--including one unforgettable little boy whose last gesture in those deadly, mysterious woods recalls our lost innocence. Eye Contact is a thrilling mystery tautly told, and beautifully realized. In it, Cammie McGovern leads us through the shadowlands of our own hometowns where words break down and paranoias proliferate, even as we yearn for one lost moment of fluency. This is a book of secrets that will change you."
—Michael Paterniti, New York Times bestselling author of Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain
"Twin mysteries lie at the heart of this riveting and unforgettable novel: the identity and motives of a child-killer, and the inscrutable workings of an autistic boy’s mind. Only a writer like McGovern, whose brilliant gift for storytelling keeps pace with her unflinching emotional acuity, could take on both mysteries and succeed with such power and grace."
—Julie Orringer, author of How To Breathe Underwater
"In the tradition of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Cammie McGovern delivers a compelling murder mystery that intrigues as much by what it hides as by what it so deftly reveals--the stark, poignant, deeply intimate moments in the lives of people living with autism and those who love them."
—Patricia Stacey, author of The Boy Who Loved Windows.
JULIA FLETCHER has numerous regional theatre productions to her credit. Her voiceover work includes numerous video games as well as audiobooks.
CAMMIE MCGOVERN was a Stegner Fellow at Standford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, and TriQuarterly. She lives with her husband and three children (one autistic) in Amherst, Massachusetts. This is her second novel.
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