Book Review: Memory Man by David Baldacci

Memory ManI gave up on David Baldacci’s book a few years ago. I don’t remember why. My husband still reads him, however, and his discussion of Baldacci’s new series convinced me to at least read a few chapters. My husband said I’d really like the main character.

Amos Decker was a professional football player when he experienced a severe head trauma. When Amos came to he discovered that his memory, and his life, had changed forever. From that point on Amos had complete recall of every event and detail in his life. He also had to drop football.

Amos got on with his life, eventually becoming a husband, a father, a cop and then a detective. Although his superb memory was a good asset for a cop and a detective, it also made him a bit awkward in social situations. His wife helped in that area. And then one day his life was altered again. A year before the story began, Amos’s wife, daughter and brother-in-law were brutally murdered in his home. The police were never able to find the killer.

Amos was the one who discovered the bodies. The details of those murders stayed with him. They became front and center in his memory, haunting him every day. The memories began to disrupt Amos’s ability to function. He lost his job and his house. As the story opens, we see him living in a room at the Ramada Inn, barely surviving with odd jobs as a private investigator.

The police were never able to find the killer, but now someone has come forward to confess to the crime. Almost at the same time a mass shooting occurs at the local high school. Amos’s old boss asks him to help investigate. Between the two incidents Amos finds himself totally absorbed in the details. His “gift” of observing and remembering all the details along with exceptionally good investigatory skills make him a great asset to the team. Soon the FBI is also involved and the whole case becomes mega-complicated.

My husband was right about Amos Decker. I did like him a lot. I have a soft spot for people who are a little nerdy – the ones who don’t quite fit in with what most people consider normal. My heart certainly went out to him for the loss of his family and what that nightmare cost him. I liked being inside Amos’s head as he examined crime scenes or observed the smallest details of the people around him. (Did you notice how real Amos Decker seems to me?)

The good news is that Memory Man is the beginning of a series featuring Amos Decker. I’m waiting for my name to come up at the library for the second book. The third book is set to be published next Spring. I wasn’t able to find out how many books are planned, but I hope to stay with them until they no longer become believable. I suggest you give this one a try.

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