Saturday, March 5, 2011

Book Review: R.A.C.E. by Mobashar Qureshi

Title: R.A.C.E.
Author: Mobashar Qureshi
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: 01/01/2011

RACE (Radical Association of Criminal Ethnicities) is a dangerous and violent group on the verge of creating an illegal drug.

Parking Officer Jon Rupret wants desperately to move up from handing out parking tickets. An impulsive act from his past throws him into Operation Anti-RACE—a unit set up to stop RACE. He is partnered with veteran detective, Phillip Beadsworth, a mild mannered Brit who doesn't much like Rupret and knows more than he reveals.

Along the way Rupret encounters Mahmud Hanif, a qualified engineer, who drives a taxi to pay his bills; DJ Krash, the second best disc-jockey in the world; Cal Murray, the owner of the House of Jam, the hottest club in Toronto; and of course, his mother, a grade school teacher in Guelph, who thinks Rupret is a financial advisor working on Bay street.

RACE is a compelling mystery and a humorous look at Toronto through Jon Rupret’s eyes.

I had to kind of mull this book over in my mind for a while before writing this review because overall, this wasn't a bad book. It just wasn't a great one, a novel to end all novels.

The author has an easy style of writing to him that really suited Rupret's narrative. I found the main character to be a fairly easygoing person that I could connect with at the beginning. I saw him as a sort of bumbling Seth Rogen kind of character that was occasionally endearing. I have to admit, his initial antics at the beginning couldn't help but make me smile & draw me in.

Unfortunately that pace just wasn't ultimately kept up here. The general story idea is a good one & the author does his best to keep us interested, but I just felt like it took a while to get where it was trying to go. I really wish that certain things (such as details about the leader of the operation, Zee) were more spaced out in the book. I was a bit surprised about the twist at the ending, but I couldn't help but feel like it was just a teensy bit overly complicated. It came across as something that would work better if it was more spaced out or had a little more development earlier in the story.

I'm aware that this was the author's first novel & that comes through in this book, so I'm optimistic that further novels will be a little less green than this one was.

Final diagnosis: It's not a bad book but it just felt a little unfinished at times. Since it's only $2.99 on the kindle, I'd recommend it as a purchase for a breezy weekend or holiday/vacation read.

(Reader copy provided by author)

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