Wednesday, May 26, 2010

House Rules - Chapters 10 and 11 (pgs 446-532)

Finished! I liked the book, but not as much as others here and at The Book Nook did. I figured out the mystery of Jess' death in Chapter 4. I had thought I'd be wrong and Jodi would throw a curve with some details I'd missed. It was frustrating to me that no one ever asked Jacob how Jess died, given how much he loves solving murders. The more interesting part of the book for me was the details about Asperger's Symdrome, both living with AS and living with someone who has AS.

In Case 10: Woodn't You Like To Get Away With Murder?, Richard Craft kills his wife and leaves very little evidence, but one missed detail leads to a trail of evidence against him. Jacob's detail is the iPod, which lead to the true events of Jess' death coming out into the open.

Henry really is there. He want to do the right thing and be there for Jacob and Emma. Emma is argumentative. The house rule are reiterated as another clue to the reader. Emma knows deep inside that a jury will not decide Jacob is not guilty.

Jacob asks Theo for help with his tie. He's tried so hard and succeeded to overcome his AS symptoms and do something he knows needs to be done. Jacob remember his father from back when he lived with them. We learn that AS is like being bombarded with sensory stimulation. I did not know that apples could rust. The first day Jacob met Jess, she taught him how someone else felt in a situation by putting him in the same situation. Jacob thinks Jess is the best teacher he's ever had and she would have understood what he did.

Oliver is really into Emma. He's focused on getting Jacob off. Then he sees Henry. Jacob doesn't like that Helen has her hair down, it's making him anxious and he thinks it's a bad omen. Jacob tells Oliver again to make sure to tell the jury the truth. Oliver tells the jury about AS and Jacob in his opening statement. He says Jacob doesn't understand what he did to Jess was wrong. Jacob writes to Oliver that he has to tell the jury what he did was right.

Theo realizes the Oliver likes Emma and Emma might like him too. Theo tries to talk to Henry but he doesn't respond well. Jacob's regular psychologist testifies about what AS is and how it manifest in Jacob. She explains why Jacob has acted violently in the past. She says that's likely what happened with Jess. Jacob stands up and denies it. There is a sensory break. Theo doesn't go. Theo thinks about Jacob not trying to help him before, that he only wants to help himself. Wrong! Another clue. Jacob is trying to help Theo. Possibly only because it is one of the house rules.

Jacob doesn't know why his psychologist said that and why Oliver isn't telling the truth. He feels like he's trapped in a nightmare. Jacob tells Emma that he didn't loss his temper with Jess and that he didn't mean to hurt her, referring, of course, to the bruises he made dragging her to the culvert and the tooth he knocked out getting her downstairs. Emma assumes that he's says he hurt Jess but didn't mean it. Helen tries to point out that diagnosis AS is a judgment call and maybe Jacob doesn't have AS.

Jacob's guidance counselor testifies. Court adjourns. Oliver makes an excuse to go to the Hunts. He tries to get Emma to ride there with him, but she refuses. Jacob rides with Oliver. Jacob tell Oliver he is not autistic, he has autism. Henry says he's staying until the trial is over. Emma offers to let him stay at the house. Oliver is jealous. Jacob walks in on them kissing as they make up. He's runs off.

Jacob is angry because he thinks if Emma likes Oliver she won't be focused on his trial. Emma slap him. She apologizes and says she didn't mean to hurt him. She realizes that maybe that's what happened to Jess. Henry talks to Emma when they both can't sleep that night. They come to an understanding and a truce. Emma thinks about the only other time she remembers blowing up at Jacob. Then she realizes he would never understand love.

Oliver and Jacob talk. Oliver tells Jacob liking Emma only makes him want to win Jacob's case more. A forensic psychologist testifies. There is a sensory break. Jacob thinks everyone is lying about him. He just wants to tell the truth. He didn't want Jess to die. It wasn't his fault. It was an accident. Emma thinks he killed Jess by accident. At this point, I start thinking that Emma is going to admit to Jacob killing Jess by accident. Jacob is going to stand up and say that he didn't kill Jess. But Jodi will pull a twist and Jacob will go to jail for creating a crime scene and not coming forward that he didn't kill Jess.

Emma does admit that Jacob killed Jess by accident. Jacob is happy that Emma told the jury the truth. Jacob think that he's not obsessed with violent crime, he's obsessed with solving it. The judge wants to stay in court longer to finish Emma's testimony. Jacob is anxious because it is close to 4:30 when CrimeBusters is on. Jacob has a major meltdown and Emma is unable to answer whether she thinks Jacob killed Jess. Jacob is put in a holding cell and talks to Rich about the case.

Jacob wants to testify. Oliver says no and tries to rest his case. Jacob insists on testifying, as is his right to make that decision. Jacob tells about creating the crime scene to make it look like Mark tried to make it look like Jess was kidnapped because Mark killed Jess. He says there isn't much to tell about Jess' death, when asked. He says he's not sorry for killing her because he knows in his head that he didn't kill her. But it looks like he's saying he did. I wonder if Jacob thinks he's on trial for creating the crime scene. If so, why is he admitting it. Doesn't Jacob realize they think he killed Jess. Why doesn't he say he didn't and that she was dead when he got there. The attorneys make their closing statements.

The jury deliberates for three days. Jacob comes to terms with Oliver dating Emma. Emma feels like she's saying goodbye to Jacob. Then it is Theo's birthday. Theo thinks everyone will forget, but they don't. Jacob has a gift for Theo and no one knows what it is or why he got Theo something as Jacob doesn't give gifts usually. Jacob gives Theo Jess's iPod. I thought he was keeping it to keep evidence of Theo killing Jess suppressed. Does Jacob think no one will know it's Jess' iPod. Then the truth about Jess' accidental death come out and the truth about Jacob setting up a crime scene to protect Theo. They head to court to explain what happened and we are left to assume Jacob gets off. This is a rather upbeat ending from Jodi. Usually her books end sad.

Next book, I'm taking notes as I'm reading, =) instead of flipping through the long chapters of this book and posting as I go.


Jennifer said...

Jenn's comments of Chapters 10 and 11 of House Rules are posted.

Shirley said...

I appreciate the chapter reviews you've given, Jennifer. I should become a better organized reader.

It was troublesome that no one asked Jacob what happened. Of course, if they would have, there wouldn't have been a trial and the book would have been a non-story.