Related to: 'XO'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

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Edge

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The Sleeping Doll

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The Steel Kiss

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The Lincoln Rhyme Collection 5-8

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Solitude Creek

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Jeffery Deaver

The fourth electrifying thriller in the Kathryn Dance series from master of suspense Jeffery Deaver.One mistake is all it takes.Busted back to rookie after losing her gun in an interrogation gone bad, California Bureau of Investigation Agent Kathryn Dance finds herself making routine insurance checks after a roadhouse fire.But Dance is a highly trained expert in body language: her most deadly weapon is her instinct, and they can't take that away from her.And when the evidence at the club points to something more than a tragic accident, she isn't going to let protocol stop her doing everything in her power to take down the perp.Someone out there is using the panic of crowds to kill, and Dance must find out who, before he strikes again . . .

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The Skin Collector

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The Kill Room

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Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs will do anything to uncover the truth, so they must enter The Kill Room. 'THE KILL ROOM is full of his trademark twists, breathless suspense and ironic humour. It is a thriller of 'bits, scraps, observations (and) 180 degree changes in direction' which never cheats the reader, so that the only response can be sighs of satisfaction and admiration.' - The Evening StandardA sniper shot from a near-impossible distance. Evidence that the order came from the highest levels of US government. A New York DA who won't let it go.Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs will risk everything to uncover the truth. But there is no crime scene investigation, no evidence, and no co-operation from the local Bahamian police.No strangers to controversy, their reputation for seeing what others miss is unparalleled, and ambitious attorney Nance Laurel knows they will risk everything - even their lives - to seek the truth . . .But first, they must enter The Kill Room.

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The October List

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Authors:
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You wait, desperately, for news of your daughter.At last, the door opens.But it is not the negotiators, or the FBI.It is her kidnapper.And he has a gun . . .Two days ago, life was normal.How did it end like this?Every crime scene begins at the end. To know what happened, you must work backwards, piecing together the events that came before. The ultimate thriller writer, Jeffery Deaver puts your brain - and your nerves - to the ultimate test with THE OCTOBER LIST, in a masterful mystery that unfolds from the end back to the beginning with many a breath-taking twist along the way.

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Hodder & Stoughton

The Burning Wire

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The Bodies Left Behind

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The Blue Nowhere

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The Vanished Man

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Praying for Sleep

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The Lesson of her Death

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The Empty Chair

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The third of the bestselling Lincoln Rhyme series sends the detective deep into North Carolina on the trail of a desperate kidnapper... You've followed a killer into a swampHopefully you'll find him before he gets to his next victimsBut you'd better watch out - The Insect Boy doesn't need his own hands to kill...Sick of his debilitating injuries, Lincoln Rhyme has travelled to a world-famous spinal cord injuries center in North Carolina for some risky, experimental surgery. It may make him a tiny bit better; it may kill him. But before he has a chance to undergo the operation, the local police department draft Rhyme and his partner Amelia into a shocking new case. Using their forensic skills the pair desperately try to track down two women kidnapped by a psychotic young man known locally as the Insect Boy.After a cat-and-mouse game through the abandoned swamps of North Carolina, Lincoln and Amelia finally manage to find him - except suddenly Amelia, convinced of his innocence, breaks the boy out of jail. And it's left to Lincoln to find them both, while Amelia uses all the skills her mentor and lover has taught her to evade him.But her actions are to have more disastrous consequences than either of them could anticipate ...'The most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world . . . [Deaver] has produced a stunning series of bestsellers with unique characterisation, intelligent characters, beguiling plots and double-barrelled and sometimes triple-barrelled solutions.' - Daily Telegraph

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The Stone Monkey

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The Cold Moon

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Mistress of Justice

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Authors:
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Taylor Lockwood spends her days working as a paralegal in one of New York's pre-eminent Wall Street law firms and her nights playing jazz piano anywhere she can. But the rhythm of her life is disrupted when attorney Mitchell Reece requests her help in locating a stolen document that could cost him not only the multimillion dollar case he's defending but his career as well. Eager to get closer to this handsome, brilliant and very private man, Taylor signs on...only to find that as she delves deeper and deeper into what goes on behind closed doors at Hubbard, White & Willis, she uncovers more than she wants to know - including a plenitude of secrets damaging enough to smash careers and dangerous enough to push someone to commit murder. Yet who is capable of going to that extreme? With her life on the line, Taylor is about to learn the lethal answer...

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Speaking In Tongues

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Authors:
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Words are the most dangerous weapons on earth - and Tate Collier, who has a consummate skill with them, can talk his way into anyone's heart, and get them to do whatever he wants. Tate is a lawyer who used to defend death penalty cases in Virginia's Supreme Court; now he concentrates on work for the local community. When his teenage daughter goes missing all the signs are that she's run away. But Tate and his ex-wife, Bett, feel differently, and set out in search of her. To discover that Megan is in the hands of a man with no morals and as great a gift for words as Tate himself. Megan's is not the only life in danger...