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The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder

Narrated by: Huw Parmenter
Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

How do you solve a mystery when you can’t remember the clues?

There are three things you need to know about Jasper.

  1. He sees the world completely differently. 
  2. He can’t recognise faces - not even his own. 
  3. He is the only witness to the murder of his neighbour, Bee Larkham. 

But it’s hard to catch a murderer when you can’t recognise their face....

An extraordinary and compelling debut which will make you see the world in a way you’ve never seen it before.

©2018 Sarah J. Harris (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"A rich tapestry...distinctive and compelling." (Observer)

"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

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Profile Image for H. Fosdike
  • H. Fosdike
  • 05-09-18

An Interesting Listen

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder was a book that I was very much looking forward to considering the hype surrounding it but in the end, it just left me rather underwhelmed. The idea is really interesting – a 13-year-old suffering from synaesthesia and facial blindness gets embroiled in the murder of his neighbour – but it was a frustrating read in the hands of this unreliable narrator. We know that his early conclusions are obviously not right, which makes them all the more annoying to reread over and over again. Understandably there has to be a lot of repetition due to Harris writing as a boy with learning difficulties but as a book, it becomes quite tiring to read. Perhaps this is the point, to show exactly how sufferers of this particular disability deal with, but it didn’t quite hold the attention as I would have wished.

That being said, it’s clearly well-researched and picks up a little towards the end. It’s unfortunate that a lot of the excess could have been edited out and the final book would have probably been more enjoyable but there we are. I’m glad I read it, it was certainly interesting and the plot itself was intriguing… It just didn’t grab me like I’d hoped. Comparisons to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time are not entirely off-base and although this is far more adult than that particular book, you’ll definitely be reminded of it throughout.

The narration is good though in terms of the different voices, it is a tad shouty and squeaky at times. A solid performance that worked well with the subject matter.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Isabel
  • 03-17-19

A really engaging book, eventually

I wasn’t sure about this book when I started it. I’d read other reviews so went in open minded, but it took until midway in before I really started enjoying it. Far too much time was spent hammering in Jasper’s disability, I “got it” way before the author clearly decided to move on with the plot. But once she did, I was hooked. It has a very satisfying ending. I’d have given it five stars if a quarter of it had been edited out. I do agree with another reviewer about the father’s voice though. When he first spoke I thought I wasn’t going to be able to continue listening, he sounds gruff, dim witted, but that too improves. But for all the other characters, especially Jasper, he’s excellent. I would definitely recommend this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah Noel
  • 12-16-18

Rich descriptions - fascinating.

Audio. Huw Parmenter read it very well.
I think the narration influenced my rating.
Jasper was totally believable and reminded me of some ASC kids I’ve taught. I enjoyed the obsession with the parakeets and the defined colour/ sound descriptions.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David Gunn
  • 04-04-19

Seeing and hearing people in colour, what a special view of life.

A wonderful story and insight into how an autistic boy sees and hears people but can’t recognise faces. A murder mystery weaved into a kaleidoscope of colours. I struggled with the first 15+ chapters trying to understand all the colours, but as the story unfolded I was hooked and had to keep reading/listening. I read this on Audible which helped me understand the colours of each character voice. Told from the child’s point of view helped me understand better how an autistic child’s mind might think. I would recommend this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Caro
  • 11-25-18

Highly recommend! Great story brilliantly read.

Wonderfully written story with authentic and complex characters, surprises and intrigue, and so much sincerity in the characters' interactions. The performance is absolutely perfect, too, truly bringing the characters to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-28-18

reminiscent of the incident of the curious dog...

loved it. very reminiscent of the Curious Dog in the Nighttime. Nicely written, heart warming. Could see the twists coming from a mile off, which I think was intended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Grayl
  • 09-21-18

colourful portrayal of life & all its complexities

I loved this story. It shows the world thrpugh a really different lense and the plotline itself is fantastic. well read. thoroughly enjoyed it! would highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • pookie2shoes
  • 08-10-19

Listened to this book whilst wallpapering a room

Listened to this book whilst wallpapering a room. Finished room before finished book.. so I wallpapered a second room because the book was so good!!
Very well narrated and beautifully written.
Go for it.. whether you're wallpapering or not! 😁

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  • R W
  • 08-05-19

Wait for the twist

This murder mystery has a few twists but keep reading all the way for the real surprise.
Brilliantly told from the perspective of a 13yr old boy with synaesthesia, prosopagnosia, and aspergers, but not a book for adolescents. Disarming fidelity and insight, really a beautiful read.

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  • Thomas buckley
  • 08-01-19

A colourful and unique insight into another's eyes

spectacular and creative, a somewhat spine chilling twist which is constantly unravelled. A worthwhile read and highly recommended. The book can take some time getting used to, with descriptive colours and cryptic undertones.

if you like a curious incident of a dog, you will love this! infact this is 100 percent West end material

thank you

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  • SusanF
  • 01-18-19

Tedious

Just could not get into this as an audio book. Tedious, repetitive and sooooo slow!