Truth or dare ISBN: 9780330368759
Published by Macmillan, 2000
When Josh and his mum drive north to nurse his sick gran, Josh is plunged into a family mystery. Uncle Patrick, who everyone believes to be dead, has left traces of himself amongst things Josh finds. His mum, consumed by guilt over something that happened in the past, begins to write down the story of hers and her two brother's childhood. Games of dare with the twins next door turn into tragedy, seemingly because of Patrick's odd behaviour, and their father sends him away, telling the family that he has died. Patrick, who has Aspergers Syndrome, has been living with a psychiatrist who has helped him develop his talent for creating computer games, one of which Josh has stumbled upon. After Josh's gran dies, a series of letters from the doctor are found which lead Josh and his mum to Patrick. The tension and interplay between past and present is huge and believable, and we have a clear picture of how autism was often seen years ago. Not an easy story, and not for everyone, but it will help gain understanding of a difficult condition. A riveting read!