Thursday, September 3, 2015
Memory Man by David Baldacci
Amos Decker made it to the NFL, but suffered a hit in his first game that killed him; twice. He was revived and forever changed. His second career was as a police detected. That career nearly destroyed his life when his family was murdered, and Amos ended up in the bottle and on the street. Just starting to put himself back together and working as a freelance PI, Decker is called back to help the Police after a man confesses to the murder of his family. Is it a lie, or can Decker finally learn the truth?
The opening chapter is wonderfully written yet excruciatingly difficult to read. Baldacci perfectly balances both the horror and the pain of protagonist, Amos Decker. He draws a painfully accurate picture of a person hitting rock bottom, and then working to survive and rebuild.
Decker is a strong protagonist and a memorable one, both for his perspective…”How can killing so many people ever make sense?” she said hotly. “It doesn’t have to make sense to us. Just to the ones who did it.”…and for the conditions of synesthesia (seeing people as colors) and hyperthymesia (being able to recall almost every day of their lives in near perfect detail, as well as public events that hold some personal significance to them) with which he now must live. Although they help him in solving crimes, it’s hard to imagine trying to live with them.
It is fascinating watching the way Decker tracks the motive of the case back into the past. Baldacci likes plot twists. One finds oneself thinking you know where he’s going, and he may go partway where you expect, but it’s a tease as he doesn’t quite go there. The result of the twist at the end is definitely not expected.
No matter what else, the climax is brutal, yet unexpected and very well done. The final chapter is touching the very gratifying.
“Memory Man” has great characters, well done suspense, excellent plot twists and leaves one anxious for the next book.
MEMORY MAN (PI-Amos Decker-Burlington-Contemp) – VG+
Baldacci, David – 1st in series
Grand Central Publishing – April 2015