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Review: Smart by Kim Slater

I found Jean’s friend dead in the river. His name was Colin Kirk. He was a homeless man, but he still wanted to live.

There’s been a murder, but the police don’t care. It was only a homeless old man after all.

Kieran cares. He’s made a promise, and when you say something out loud, that means you’re going to do it, for real. He’s going to find out what really happened. To Colin. And to his grandma, who just stopped coming round one day. It’s a good job Kieran’s a master of observation, and knows all the detective tricks of the trade.

But being a detective is difficult when you’re Kieran Woods. When you’re amazing at drawing but terrible at fitting in. And when there are dangerous secrets everywhere, not just outside, but under your own roof

My thoughts
I must admit I wanted this book because of the cover. It wasn't until I started the first few pages that my heart sank a little bit. Not another curious incident style book featuring an autistic protagonist solving a crime! Despite my reservations I stuck with it and I am so glad that I did.

Smart is the story of Kieran. Kieran is an artist and wants to be a news reporter so jots down observations about the world around him in his secret notepad. I loved his innocence but also how he made his own way in the world and wasn't a victim of his condition. I loved the scenes where he is trying to get his head around the various things he sees in his world which he isn't quite happy with.

For me this book is all about the things that go unsaid in the book. Kieran's mum lives with a nasty man and his son and they are no good. It is implied They are drug dealers and the father is violent towards Kieran's mother. While you never see this on screen as such you can see the wedge it has built between Kieran and his mother and between the two of them and their wider family. It really is one of those books where you read certain passages with a lump in your throat and a sense of dread about what might happen to the characters next.

All in all a book I really enjoyed.