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The Start of Everything – “What is Mystery”

March 16, 2013

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The Start of Everything

by Emily Winslow

255 pages, $26

Publisher: Delacorte Press

A teenage body floating near Cambridge, England. But wait a minute, we are getting the details from an autistic narrator. No that’s just in the first chapter, narrators rotate. As do murders. As do people’s identities. There’s a difference between the mystery of genre and the mystery of mystery. While trying for both, The Start of Everything succeeds only at confusing the reader.

But there are interesting parallels. For example, the female detective is pregnant but not telling anyone. She is watching over her former boss who was wounded in a previous criminal encounter and now may be too unstable to perform his job. And, Mathilde Oliver, the young woman who is obviously suffering from Aspergers (a disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests) who kicks things off is also murdered.

It’s one thing to be thinking beyond the plot, another to wonder where you are, who the characters are, what the hell is going on. Winslow justifies some of this at the ending. But if you are like me, reading in bed before going to sleep, you might turn off the light long before you get there.

2 out of 5_edited-1

Buy direct from Amazon for $15. Click: The Start of Everything: A Novel

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