By Jennifer Reese
Updated June 02, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Setup
A girl is fatally stabbed in the woods near her primary school; the only witness (and initial suspect) is Adam, an autistic boy.

Turning Point
A gifted, troubled middle schooler decides to solve the crime and strikes up an unlikely rapport with Adam.

Final Analysis
An enticing mystery that devolves into melodrama, Contact might have worked better as impassioned nonfiction. (Cammie McGovern has an autistic son.)

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