It is always impressive when you start to read a book, and you are immediately aware that the author has undertaken an immense amount of research before even starting to write the novel, and this is most definitely the case with Estelle Ryan’s The Gauguin Connection, which is the first in the Genevieve Lenard series.
It took very little to get me hooked into the story, which when you are reviewing a book, and therefore actually have no choice but to plough on regardless is a wonderful thing! Getting the simple stuff out of the way first – its extremely well-written, well edited and well researched, Estelle Ryan’s writing skill is wordy but welcoming, and as I just said above, I didn’t struggle at all to find my way into the story, and then want to continue to the very end!
I have little personal knowledge of autism, and so cannot comment upon whether her portrayal of Genevieve Lenard as having high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder is accurate, however it feels as though she writes with a degree of confidence and understanding about the subject that I have to choose to believe it is. By having Genevieve as her main protagonist, we are taken into her world and her mind, and that is probably the thing that sets this book apart the most from the plethora of other murder/thriller/detective novels available, Genevieve uses the exceptional parts of her personality – what some may consider a disability – to give her a unique perspective on the world and the crime she is solving.
So onto the book; and not wanting to give away any spoilers, the book is based in the art world, and centres about Genevieve as a favour to her boss, the only person in her life who really seems to get her and has over time earned her confidence and friendship, looking into a seemingly unsolvable problem…….the plot is complex, but not overwhelmingly so, it keeps going keeping you hooked right to the end, and I admit – I had no real clue of the ending until the end!! And it really is rather pleasing when Genevieve reveals all. If I had a criticism it would be that at times I did have to go back and reread a few paragraphs, because it is one of the those books where if you miss just one small twist or turn you are straight away confused! But that is also partly what makes for a such a gripping story.
You can find your copy HERE