Four stars (of five)
Another new Baldacci series, as fresh as many of his past collections. Amos Decker has suffered much in his four decades but steered himself away from disaster. A football accident left him with a number of neurological conditions: razor-sharp mental acuity, photographic memory recall, and grapheme synesthesia (less glamorous than the run-of-the-mill superhero). While conditions proved somewhat helpful during his time as a police officer, it also hindered him socially, akin to those with Asperger’s. Arriving home one night to find his family slaughtered, Decker detached from all he knew and blended into the world of the homeless. A man’s confession to the murders gives Decker some hope of closure, however faint, while the rest of the force handles a school shooting. Issues with the confession leave Decker wondering if there are others behind the murders, using this man as a pawn. His time on the force remembered, Decker helps piece together some key aspects of the shooting, whose randomness disintegrates the more Decker explores. Leading the team across the country, Decker soon learns that both sets of murders may be interconnected and that he may know the killer, without knowing how. A powerful new thriller series that tackles neurological issues and medical anomalies, Baldacci finds new ways to refresh his writing and keep readers wanting more.
Baldacci has had a productive career, penning numerous thrillers which have climbed the bestseller lists around the world. He is a fan of series writing and seems to know just when to choose the road not taken, before his characters get stale and the readers turn away. With the introduction of another series, readers can look forward to some fresh ideas and angles of approaching similar cases. Amos Decker brings a flavour I’d most likely find in one (or two) of the Camel Club members, rejuvenating one of Baldacci’s earlier and highly successful series. The writing style is fresh and the humour as dry as ever, with a few teachable moments to leave the reader a little smarter when all is said and done.
Kudos, Mr. Baldacci for your wonderful addition to the mystery and thriller genre. I look forward to seeing what Amos Decker has in store in the years to come.