Dream Town by David Baldacci is the third in the Aloysius Archer series featuring former soldier, turned inmate, turned private investigator. A couple of years (in book-land, one year in real life) have passed since we last met Archer in A Gambling Man and he’s obviously been honing his detecting skills under stalwart and old-school PI Willie Dash.
One of the first things you’ll be told as a budding writer is to ‘show’ not ‘tell’. Because apparently audiences (ie. readers) find it boring (or at least less engaging) and feel patronised. At least that’s why I’ve always assumed you don’t provide laborious detail in your prose.
David Baldacci very much breaks that rule in the beginning of his latest novel, Mercy, providing backstory on FBI Agent Atlee Pine and her sister, kidnapped three decades earlier. And I for one appreciated it because, even though I’ve read the entire series AND re-read my review of Mercy’s predecessor, Daylight, I was a bit murky on the details. So Baldacci’s summary – succinct yet informative – hit the spot.
I wasn’t a fan of David Baldacci’s Camel Club series* but have loved almost everything he’s published since. Indeed, his books take up quite a bit of real estate on my bookshelves. I particularly love his Amos Decker and Atlee Pine series but somehow I missed the first in his new historical crime fiction series featuring ex-con Aloysius Archer.
And I enjoyed this so much I’m going to be hunting down its predecessor, One Good Deed.
I’ve really been enjoying David Baldacci’s series featuring FBI agent Atlee Pine. Daylight is the third in the series and pairs her up with another of Baldacci’s regulars, Army CID officer John Puller.
Although the first two books in this series have also featured stand-alone investigations, they’ve been set against a backdrop of a mystery spanning thirty years and one driving Pine. She made some significant progress in the last book in this series A Minute to Midnight and she’s got time off to follow through here. Those who haven’t read any other books in the series need not worry however, as Baldacci recaps Pine’s backstory easily and most of this book is devoted to a new investigation.
I love Amos Decker. Aka the Memory Man. Walk the Wire is his 6th outing and he and his work partner, Alex Jamison contemplate here how far he’s come socially since they met.
Decades earlier—after almost dying—Decker developed hyperthymesia. Not only is he unable to forget anything but it kinda destroyed his social skills. The remainder of his will to live / ability to feel joy disappeared after the murder of his family.
The book ended up delving a little into conspiracies and spies and the like, so my excitement waned a little (as it’s not a topic of interest to me) but I really liked Pine and the support cast offered in the first of that series. There were a few changes to some of the key players in the new release, A Minute to Midnight, which I enjoyed more than its predecessor. I still loved Pine… and found the plot itself more engaging.
I’ve made no secret of my love for Amos Decker, a character created by David Baldacci four years ago via the first novel in the series, Memory Man. It was the perfect opener because that’s exactly who and what Decker is thanks to a football injury he sustained when younger.
It left him with hyperthymesia – the inability to forget anything, as well as seeing ‘colours’ around people. The first book opened 16mths after his wife and daughter had been murdered, when former cop Decker had hit rock bottom.
Vengeance, ahem, justice awakened him however and he’s been working with the FBI since, as part of a small task force – though generally given a bit of a free rein.
In almost every David Baldacci book review I write I comment on how much I love his Amos Decker (Memory Man) series, as well as the Will Robie and John Puller series. And I always mention I’m not a fan of his earlier Camel Club series. I’d say that I won’t do that this time around but I already have, plus it’s a little relevant.
Baldacci’s latest book is prefaced by a letter to readers, introducing his first female lead – FBI Agent Atlee Pine. Obviously he’s written other female characters but Atlee is the standalone lead and he comments that she’s one of the most unique characters he’s created. (This from the man who gave us Amos Decker and his hyperthymesia!) Obviously my expectations were high. I’ve read some AMAZING female leads – Candice Fox delivers many, and just recently I revisited Michael Connelly’s Renee Ballard. And on the character front Baldacci certainly offers up a wonderful new protagonist in Atlee (or Pine, as Baldacci calls her).
I happily admitted I fell a little in love with Amos Decker when I met him in Memory Man – David Baldacci’s first book in the series featuring the man who experienced a head injury giving him perfect recall (hence the title #obvs).
The Fallen is the fourth book in the series and probably my second favourite to the original as it’s very much about Decker and his investigation skills and there’s probably less workplace / territorial game-playing in the background.