Acceleration (Teen)

By Graham McNamee

9 copies

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-Seventeen-year-old Duncan is haunted by the fact that he was unable to save a drowning girl a few yards away one fateful afternoon the previous September. This summer he has a job working underground at the Toronto subway lost and found where he uncovers, amid the piles of forgotten junk, an opportunity to exorcise his own guilty demons. When business is slow, Duncan spends his time rummaging through dusty shelves and boxes of unclaimed items. During one of these sessions, he uncovers a strange, leather-bound book that turns out to be the diary of a would-be serial killer. Unable to tear himself from the gory descriptions of tortured animals and arson, he discovers that the writer has started to stalk women on the subway. When the police seem disinterested, the teen takes matters into his own hands, and with the aid of his two best friends, tries to track and trap the murderer before he can strike. This chilling page-turner is all thrills, and the author cleverly manipulates readers' sense of disbelief by eliminating the possibility of police help or parental understanding. What results is one teen's self-conscious yet fast-paced journey into the mind of a cold-blooded killer, and the resulting manhunt will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. "Acceleration: escalation of increasingly destructive aberrant behavior," the stuff that serial killers are made of. That's what teenage Duncan finds out after he begins investigating a shocking journal that turns up in the Toronto subway lost-and-found where he works. When the police refuse to take it seriously, Duncan enlists the aid of two very different friends to help him find out the identity of the diary's author, who has apparently graduated from eviscerating animals and setting fires to tracking human prey. McNamee smoothly integrates snapshots from Duncan's escapades with a new buddy and his wild best friend, who lives teetering on the edge of the law, with information plucked from the diary. He never overexploits the sensational potential of the subject and builds suspense layer upon layer, while injecting some surprising comedy relief that springs from the boys' friendship. Less convincing is Duncan's guilt for a death not of his making, which is presented as the raison d'etre for his need to find the sick killer. Characters are more than stereotypes here, though it's the mystery and the boys' repartee that give the novel its page-turning punch. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved  

From Amazon Books 10/30/11

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