Monday, May 4, 2015

Acceleration by Graham McNamee

Acceleration was a great little YA book for me to indulge in while I was taking part in an activity that I very rarely do, reading more than one book at once.  I know some of your jaws just dropped, but I, my friends, do, in fact, try to maintain book monogamy.  I've found it helps me enjoy the book I'm reading more and read it quicker.

On occasion, however, one wants to read some non-narrative non-fiction and needs brief and less brain intensive breaks to intersperse with it. Acceleration, a book a lifted from my mom's bookshelves that probably comes with the high recommendation of some enthusiastic BookTuber I've never watched, was just the ticket.  Thanks, mystery BookTuber!

Acceleration is the short tale of Duncan, who lives in a low rent apartment block in Toronto called "The Jungle" and has secured, for the long hot summer, a job rooting through the lost and found objects of the Toronto transit authority.  Among the assorted and unexpected detritus left behind on subways and city buses, Duncan uncovers the diary of a man who Duncan supposes is a serial killer, or at least about to become one.

Faced with police that don't seem to care and a desire to atone for the last time he failed to be a hero, Duncan feels a responsibility to seek out the author of the morbid book.  As the summer wears on, Duncan and his friend Vinny embark on an ill-advised quest to find the near-felon that has haunted Duncan's thoughts ever since he laid eyes on the book.  In the end, of course, Duncan gets much more than he bargained for when he decided to take the law into his own hands.

The first thought I had upon finishing Acceleration is that, in a world where a lot of YA seems to cater to a female audience, Acceleration is definitely a book that would hold a strong appeal for boys.  It's a short, quick-reading mystery populated with well-written and believable male characters out to prove their worth in a world that doesn't promise much to them.  For me, it required a bit more suspension of disbelief than I had to offer, but for its target audience, there is more than enough realism to satisfy.

Acceleration is also a great book for all the Criminal Minds fans out there.  McNamee, it seems, wrote an interesting mystery about profiling serial killers before profiling serial killers became big entertainment.  Along with offering a fast-moving story, McNamee introduces the basics of criminal profiling in a way that is instructive without being boring.  While Acceleration probably won't be in the running for my favorite book of the year, Duncan's world, for one summer at least, is vivid and dangerous and makes for quick, enjoyable reading that is still highly recommendable. 

1 comment:

  1. What a unique premise. This sounds good to me!