MEMORY MAN, David Baldacci

Memory Man
David Baldacci

The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything.

The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.

His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.

But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Memory Man will stay with you long after the turn of the final page.

Richard’s comments
Fascinating…Amos Deckers memory affliction is fascinating in that people with that memory actually exist. Mary Lou Henner is one of about a dozen people in the world who have this kind of memory. The character, Decker, has it, a legacy of a tremendous professional football tackle. However, rather than lamenting the condition, Decker puts it to good use as he solves crimes with the assistance of this incredible memory tool. It makes for fascinating reading as he flips through his memory and recalls event, incident and fact long buried in his memory. It is as if he has a mental database which he can search at will.

The story itself is also captivating as it deals with people with medical issues which are very unique, bordering on freakish. The perpetrator of the crimes are tracked down step by step as Decker recalls another past incident. Suspense is developed as the perps know decker and are pursuing him with vindictive vengeance. Poor Decker begings his story with a horrendous crime that affects him directly. His wife and daughter are killed in their home and the clues left by the perpetrator are revealed with each new crime and each taunts Decker cruelly.

Baldacci knows how to hold a readers attention, doing so by manipulating scenes, describing characters in the plot and tantalizing readers with new revelations in each chapter.

As said with my previous Baldacci book review, his newest books are too ‘boiler-platish,” reading as if they have been developed by a group of writing professionals who act as a corporate in-house writing team. Sticking with his older books will satisfy Baldacci fans much more than the newer publications.

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