Memory Man, David Baldacci

memory manThis book is the first in a new series about Amos Decker, a tall and bulky hulk of a man. Amos was a college football star, but in his first game in the pros, he was tackled by an opposing player, and he received a catastrophic injury leaving him with a condition called synesthesia. After an extensive stay in a facility for those with cognitive disorders, he married, became a cop and then a detective. He loved his job in police work until the day his family was brutally murdered. Over the following 15 months after their deaths, Amos loses all interest in life and descends into the depths of poverty, even to the point of living on the street. Finally, he pulls himself somewhat together, moves into a Residence Inn and takes odd Private Investigating jobs. In all this time, there has been no progress in finding the murderer of his wife, daughter and brother-in-law. Suddenly, one day, a man walks into the police station and admits to their murders. This rouses Amos from his stupor, he cleans himself up, rudimentarily, and he schemes his way into the jail cell to talk to the man who says he murdered them simply because Amos somehow offended him. With his cognitive issue, all of his memories are permanent and cannot be forgotten. He is sure he will recognize the man if his confession is, in fact, true.

Baldacci has a gift. He can keep the reader riveted to the story, even when the story is a bit contrived and often unrealistic. This mystery fits that bill. It is interesting but some of the time the narrative is overly detailed. There is no shortage of brutal murders for those who like that kind of action. There is no shortage of dysfunction either. Throw in a bit of sexual dysfunction, teenage love gone awry, and a sideline budding adult love story, and all the bases are covered. There are few likeable characters, and even those that might fit the bill of being likeable are flawed. As a detective, without a portfolio, Decker is superb. He finds clues in places everyone else misses them, he puts clues together to discover facts that no one else seems to discover. Although the book is exciting, it is not very memorable as the story is pretty thin. It can be summed up this way: man’s family is murdered, man loses it, man tries to catch murderer, man reforms somewhat, man may find romance again… end of story.

Take this book on vacation, on a plane trip or a cruise and you won’t be disappointed. It requires very little cerebral effort and it genuinely entertains as a diabolical murder mystery unfolds.


About omasvoice

Who am I? I am you. I am everyone out there who loves to read and discuss and voice an opinion!
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