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review 2018-10-14 17:15
Forget Me Not...
Memory Man - David Baldacci

I was recently introduced to the work of David Baldacci by my Dad, who has enthusiastically devoured the Amos Decker thrillers in quick succession. This first in the series introduces the gruff and unlikely hero - ex NFL player and police detective, decimated and made destitute by the collapse of his private world some fifteen months before. However, what makes the rather tragic character of Decker so unusual and compelling is his experience of ‘hyperthymesia’ (excessive autobiographical memory/perfect recall). On the one hand, it does seem like a convenient way of giving ‘superpower’ to a detective, but the narrative actually describes the burden equally as a curse, for the man unable to erase some haunting memories. Still suffering under the weight of his loss, Decker is barely functioning, but is drawn back into his painful past when a man hands himself in and confesses to the murder of Decker’s family. And so the blue touch paper is lit on an explosive tale of murder, intrigue and a battle of wits to prevent further killing and seek justice for the growing number of victims.


Despite being a brilliant detective, Amos Decker is an emotional shell, no longer able to process as he once did. Yet, as well as a triumph of complex plotting, the author’s skill lies in his ability to make the reader care about how it turns out for the flawed main character. Former police partner, pushy journo, FBI special agent are all excellent supporting characters and each realizes Decker is the key to the case and prop him up along the way, recognizing his vulnerability.

 

It is a masterful example of the genre. Perhaps, the fact that, like my Dad, the final page had me seeking out the title of the sequel is testament to this book’s impact as a ‘page-turner’. Quite dark, the rattling pace is maintained, despite the convoluted twists and turns and in an interesting symmetry the criminals are as unusual as the pursuer. Well worth a read.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-18 02:17
Amos Decker solving small town murders
The Fallen (Amos Decker series) - David Baldacci

Amos Decker was on vacation.

 

He has nowhere he has to be, so he followed Alex to visit her sister who just allocated to a small town, Baronville. 

 

Amos, not being the most sociable person, was taking a break in the backyard with his beer. He also get the chance to talk to Alex's niece, reminded him of his daughter. 

 

With that he discovered the first two dead bodies. 

 

The two dead bodies might be linked to four other dead bodies found recently in this small town.

 

That should have alert the police and other law enforcement agency as there is not enough manpower to handle six deaths. The ME is not that good either.

 

So why didn't the local police asked for help?

 

Amos has the rule not to trust anyone unless proved otherwise.

 

Good that he did. 

 

The sidestepping on the story of the loss of shopping malls when people go online to shop. And that make facilitation plant a big business. Alex brother-in-law worked at the local plant.

 

Baronville also has a drug addicts population. 

 

The story created a lot of big city problem in this small town.

 

Add one legacy to the mix. John Baron, the grandson of the founder in this town. John was not rich and neither were his parents who had died when he was still in university. Now he lived in his big house and selling off most of the asset to get by. 

 

Amos investigate the murders, just because he knew about it. Turned out the two dead bodies found were DEA agents. 

 

So DEA got involved with hours when FBI sent out search for identities. 

 

DEA is on point. And bossy. 

 

Amos had done the typical way of his investigation. Interviews everyone and see who lied to him. Then chased after those liars and found out the truth. 

 

And of course, the killers would want to kill him.

 

Amos and Alex were at the trailer belonged to one of the dead bodies when someone locked the doors and set it on fire.

 

The action part is good. And this give a bit more dimension to the character when Amos was injured with a concussion, again.

 

He could no longer recall perfectly. And his color association with death is gone.

 

Amos was unsure of himself. He has gone through a lot of change. From professional athlete  to cop to homeless, then FBI. From father and husband to widow and childless. From normal to have total recall.  

 

That's a lot of changes for one single person. 

 

The side story of John Baron being bullied in a bar when Amos stepped in is good. Amos befriended John and that provided clue for his investigation.

 

Then everything comes together. 

 

Amos did the traditional reveal. 

 

The skill of the writer is to bring the reader through the scene of the story without being too obvious, yet provided a good atmosphere for the storytelling. 

 

Good book. Looking forward to the next one. 

 

5 stars read. 

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text 2018-05-17 02:10
Reading progress update: I've read 334 out of 432 pages.
The Fallen (Amos Decker series) - David Baldacci

The ability to fall asleep quickly or the inability to stay awake even when the reading light is on is the only thing that kept me from finishing this book.

 

Amos Decker is being thrown into a mystery by just being there. 

 

He interviewed a lot of persons living on the street. 

 

And that give him some clue on the sound he heard on the night he discovered two dead bodies across the street. 

 

Also the fact that there is floor plan found in the house of Alex's sister give us a possibility that the facilitation plant is related to all the other dead bodies found.

 

John Baron is now being framed for the murders. 

 

The atmosphere built here is really good. Small town, people being mean to John Baron just because he is the grandson. 

 

Amos is becoming more human after the recent concussion. Although his perfect memory is not as perfect. 

 

There is a big illegal drug operation going on. The murders might be linked to that. It is time to find out who is behind this operation and why do they want to kill all these people. 

 

 

 

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text 2018-05-16 02:18
Reading progress update: I've read 235 out of 432 pages.
The Fallen (Amos Decker series) - David Baldacci

Amos Decker lost his family not long ago. Now the niece of Alex reminded him so much of his daughter Molly. 

 

He is sad. And stuck in the state of mind that he think he is only good at one thing, solving murder.

 

The investigation continued. Finally found out who the identity of the dead bodies he found. His plan is for him to work on the murders and Alex to stay with her family.  Alex would not left him alone without backup.

 

Then they run into danger when someone tried to kill them. They got away with on sheer strength and Amos' ability to break thing, like door that block their way out from a burning house. Or in this case, burning trailer. 

 

Amos has another concussion and this affected slightly on his total recall ability. 

 

The ability for Amos to relate to people is limited. 

 

Amos is so relatable. Socialiabilty is just so difficult for some people, but that is a highly valued that put social anxious persons at a disadvantage. 

 

The murders he found is now related to four other murders previously happened in this small town.

 

Baron the fourth has a runin with the locals. They hated him just because his grandfather was rich and exploited the labours. Now he is not rich, yet still live in the old mansion his family left him.

 

Drug use is common as a form of escape from the harsh reality that the town is dying. 

 

The new logistic shipping compound is in town. Reflecting on the dying of the malls and moving the buy and selling online. So filling orders from various companies, however small, become big business.

 

What is loss is the many opportunities for human interaction. Now people talk to their family, many only if they have to. So called friends are just persons who click "like" or send "text" over devices. How humans move from being social to a virtual social plane without realizing they are actually isolating themselves and trusting computer run system. 

 

Really enjoyable read. 

 

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text 2018-05-14 03:38
Reading progress update: I've read 70 out of 432 pages.
The Fallen (Amos Decker series) - David Baldacci

Amos Decker is adorably miserable when he was ordered to take leave. He didn't have anywhere to go so he followed Alex Jamison and visit ther sister. 

 

So he was just hanging out. The thing I like about Amos is that he was like me, and prefer to hide or get out of the way of the party at a corner, or a balcony or at the back yard. That's what he did.

 

So he talked to a kid who is 6 and then at a flash caused, he saw something. Run across a quiet street and investigate. He crashed the door to go in because he thought he smell something burning and someone might be in trouble.

 

What he found is two dead bodies. 

 

And he called the police. 

 

Not very competent police. Instead of being an opinion from Amos or Alex, the scene was setup so that the cop almost shoot at an FBI agent because he is too trigger happy. 

 

Nice. Amos insert himself to the investigation as he is not confident that the local police could handle this. Even more so if this is not the first two dead bodies but number 5 and 6 in the last few weeks. 

 

Liking it. 

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