Review: The Colour of Bee Larkam’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Whatever happens, don’t tell anyone what you did to Bee Larkham…

Jasper is not ordinary. In fact, he would say he is extraordinary…Synesthesia paints the sounds of his world in a kaleidoscope of colours that no one else can see. But on Friday, he discovered a new colour – the colour of murder.

He’s sure something has happened to his neighbour, Bee Larkham, but no-one else seems to be taking it as seriously as they should be. The knife and the screams are all mixed up in his head and he’s scared that he can’t quite remember anything clearly.

But where is Bee? Why hasn’t she come home yet? Jasper must uncover the truth about that night – including his own role in what happened…

This was an interesting book, the style wasn’t what I expected from the blurb but it instantly drew me into the story. Jasper is a 13 year old boy with autism, synesthesia that means he sees colours in sounds and an inability to recognise people’s faces. he is also our narrator for this tale.

Jasper’s narrative is touching, confusing, sweet and sad. He lives with his father Ed who doesn’t understand his relationship with colours he sees, his obsession with parakeets or his desire to stick to the rules (to the point of calling 999 when he feels his birds are in danger).

I found the father son relationship heartbreaking. Jasper desperately needed someone to understand him after the death of his mum who understood him so much better as she also had synesthesia, the description of the day Jasper and mum spent together when she realised he could see sounds as well was so touching and magical. Ed however struggles with his son’s ticks and can’t enter into hos world in the same way. the result being father and son don’t talk to each other enough leading to confusion and upset. I did feel for Ed, he was trying and by the end of the book I felt they had a better understanding of each other.

This book moved me to tears several times, Jasper’s narrative means you feel just and confused and disturbed as he does by some of the events, a clever piece of writing by the author which gave the book a ‘heavier’ feel than I was initially expecting from it. I’d recommend this but be prepared for an emotional read.