I’d like to pretend that I scheduled my review of The Last Mile by David Baldacci today on purpose. But alas, it’s mostly coincidence that (according to Facebook) – it’s a year ago on this very day – I posted my review of Memory Man, the first book in Baldacci’s new series featuring the quirky Amos Decker.
I adored that book and fell a little in love with Amos Decker. And neither he (nor Baldacci) have done anything in this second outing to diminish my affection.
The Last Mile
by David Baldacci
Series: Amos Decker #2
Published by Grand Central Publishing
on April 26th 2016
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 144727783X, 9781447277835
Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution--for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier--when he's granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.
Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars's case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men's families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.
The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars--guilty or not--a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?
But when a member of Decker's team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger--and more sinister--than just one convicted criminal's life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed.
I’d recommend checking out my earlier review in which I explain Decker’s condition… hyperthymesia – the result of a football injury meaning…. he cannot forget ANYTHING.
The combination of his amazing memory, death of his family and subsequent breakdown and brief life on the streets means Decker’s (ahem) quirky. His interpersonal and social skills suffered, so he’s still getting used to being around others and playing nicely. His affinity (however) for former-footballer Melvin Mars, means that he comes out of his shell this time around. At lot. He’s still very task-focused but is starting to make an effort.
Melvin’s a likeable addition to the plot and Baldacci ensures we engage with him early. So we’re invested in his outcome.
Baldacci’s introduced a couple of new members to the newly formed FBI team, but this novel is really all about Decker – his abilities, his insightfulness and his idiosyncrasies.
Again the book’s well written and keeps a steady fast pace, offering up lots of twists and turns. There are a couple of ‘leaps’ in deduction that I’m willing to forgive and a layer of complexity that probably wasn’t entirely necessary, but this was hugely entertaining and highly addictive nonetheless.
The Last Mile by David Baldacci was released in Australia via Pan Macmillan on 26 April 2016.
I received a copy of this book for review purposes.