Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Postcard

The Postcard by Tony Abbott, published by Little, Brown Young Readers, 2008.
I was captivated by the way this book switched back and forth from being a mystery to being a contemporary coming of age novel. Jason is coping with his father’s drinking, his parents failing marriage and the death of a grandmother he never knew.
While helping his father pack up Grandma’s Florida home, Jason stumbles upon a 1940s magazine with the first chapter of a hard-boiled detective story. Chapters of this Chandleresque story are interspersed with the modern story and seem to mirror real events. This proved to be an interesting technique. I wondered at times if the “adult” story was something the author had written previously and recycled.
At times, Jason and his new friend Dea appear to be in real danger, this provides a lot of tension in the story. But in the end we learn those who were following them never really intended to hurt them.
This book is a finalist for the Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America.

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