'The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears' house. It looked as if it was running on its side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the dog was not running or asleep.
The dog was dead. There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog.'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone.
Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth.
He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down. Christopher is a brilliant creation, and Mark Haddon's depiction of his world is deeply moving, very funny and utterly convincing.
The novel is being published simultaneously for adults by Jonathan Cape and for children by David Fickling, publisher of Philip Pullman. We are convinced that both audiences will recognise it as one of those very rare books that change the way you see everything.