“Yesterday’s Thief” by Al Macy
Published by Al Macy on February 11, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Length: 217 pages
Description: It’s the year 2020, and Eric Beckman is a mind-reading detective.
Although he reads only the conscious thoughts of the people he interviews, it usually gives him enough of an edge to overcome his inexperience as a PI. But mind reading is hell on relationships. Trusting comes hard when you know what people are really thinking.
The case of his life lands in his lap when a beautiful woman materializes during a televised baseball game. She floats in midair, then drops to the ground, comatose.
Beckman is at her bedside when she wakes up. From the moment she opens her eyes, she has him under her spell. He vows to figure out where—or when—she came from, even if it kills him.
The stakes increase when she disappears without a trace. Worse, she holds the key to a worldwide energy catastrophe. If Beckman can’t find her and unlock her secrets, economies will collapse, and the world will spiral down into chaos.
“Yesterday’s Thief” by Al Macy is a young adult, sci-fi novel about a private investigator named Eric who can read minds and attempts to solve crimes. What Eric doesn’t anticipate is trying to solve the mysterious appearance of a naked woman in the middle of a televised baseball game – and so the time traveling plot thickens, developing into a fairly cute love story.
It’s always interesting to see and read about how someone envisions the future. In Al Macy’s case, it’s a bleak world with a major energy crisis taking place in San Francisco circa 2020. While area power shutdowns may not be anticipated by 2020 in our current state, it isn’t such a far-off idea.
From the first chapter, we find out that Eric is different – he can read minds – and the only one who knows is his friend, Craig. While this is a convenient gift for solving mysteries, I was left wondering about how and why this came about. Although Eric said he didn’t know of anyone else like him and was afraid of being turned into a lab rat for the FBI, the ability itself seemed kind of plopped into the story as a twist that didn’t quite fit. However, being able to read minds was the driving force to push the plot along.
Eric’s fascination with Viviana, the enigmatic apparition from another time, was woven throughout the entire story, but the relationship felt forced and the characters continuously jumped into the next step without a smooth transition. Craig and Stan, Eric’s best friends, provided some comic relief with witty one-liners and semi-inappropriate, but funny jokes. The characters were all likable (even the criminals were endearing!) and definitely appealed to readers, but they were a little underdeveloped and it seemed like, as readers, we were just being rushed to the finish line.
I won’t discuss the end in depth so as not to give away any spoilers, but having read the author’s short bio, I had hoped for a bigger twist. Perhaps I set myself up for disappointment, or perhaps the twist was that I wasn’t expecting such an anticlimactic end – which also set the book up nicely for a sequel. The story itself was interesting and had a lot of potential, but I just didn’t feel invested in the tale.