By David Baldacci
WHAT WOULD IT be like to have perfect memory, especially if your wife and child have just been murdered?
Amos Decker was involved in a helmet-to-helmet collision while playing college football. The result, he cannot forget anything. Two decades later he comes home to find a gruesome scene in his house and after a period of grieving he sets out to find the killer or killers.
David Baldacci is a master at creating interesting characters to build a story around. Amos Decker, overweight and despondent, is an unlikely hero, but the author leads readers to first feel sorry for the retired police detective and then feel frustrated with him as he runs into a host of dead ends. What is the connection between the murder of Decker’s family and the more recent killing of several students at the local high school?
“Memory Man” is a smart book. Readers must use their own brains to try and follow the story through the mind of Decker. The challenge is to solve the mystery before the main character does. This is the stuff of good fiction suspense, the pull to get inside the head of the one pursuing the leads. In this case the head is full of pertinent recollections which must be sorted and prioritized.
The author has provided a wealth of good thrillers over the years, such as “The Hit” and “The Target.” Usually the main character is endowed with smarts and special physical abilities. Amos Decker is big and strong but far too out of shape to exploit his physical strength to overwhelm his enemies. This man who forgets nothing must think his way to victory. This is certainly not easy when the foe is intelligent and clever, as well as sinister.
This novel is about a man who is down on his luck, resigned to defeat, but who finds inside himself the gumption to push ahead. So much has been written and shown concerning sports related head injuries. Usually the result is loss of memory. Baldacci speculates as to the result of the opposite, gain in recall. It does not require a Mensa mind to stick with this story, only a keen curiosity and some personal pluck to not let the bad guys win. This novel is well worth some time spent in the head of Amos Decker.
Emerald Isle Books