The first I knew of David Baldacci was after seeing the movie Absolute Power (Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris). And then I read the book, written by Baldacci from which the movie was adapted. Of course the book was better. I really liked it.
Then I read Saving Faith. I loved it. Then The Winner, you guessed it, I loved it. Then followed all of Baldacci’s books. I have followed his writing since 1997. And I have always been in awe of his writing, his character development, his plot twists and his ability to throw in a shocker ending.
And now I have finished reading his newest book, Memory Man. I was not prepared. It is fascinating. The character development with Amos Decker is one of the most intriguing and engaging portrayal of a character I have read in a while. He not only allows you to see Decker work, you get to know him. You believe in him. You worry about him. And you like him.
Ten years ago Amos Decker stepped onto an NFL football field for one play. One solitary play that would change his life forever. A hit that would cause the need for resuscitation twice and left him with a brain that was fully utilized, leaving him with both hyperthymesia and synesthesia. He cannot forget anything and numbers and feelings invoke colors.
So when Amos Decker arrives home after a grueling day of work as a police detective to find his brother-in-law, wife and daughter brutally murdered, it takes every ounce of strength he has not to take his own life.
A little more than a year later and Decker is barely hanging on, living in a hotel and only just existing, when a man walks into the police station and confesses to the murders. The same day a massacre takes place at the high school.
Somehow the two crimes are connected, but the man who confessed was in lockup when the murders at the school took place.
The FBI is brought in to lead the investigation and they are not so sure about the 350 lb, bearded Amos Decker. But his former partner and former chief know that Decker has to be brought back into the fold if these cases have any chance of being solved.
The ensuing story takes you in and out of the captivating mind of Amos Decker. And I think you will find yourself truly entranced and waiting impatiently for the next book in the series.
The audio book is, like most Baldacci books, read by Ron McClarty and Orlagh Cassidy. As noted in a previous posts (The Kitchen House and Wind in your face, past in the rear view mirror) she is one of my absolute favorites! True to form, this book is skillfully and beautifully performed.
Perhaps one of the reasons that I became so engrossed with Amos is because I, too, am a synesthete.
There. I said it. I hid that fact for years, because I was embarrassed by it. It’s weird, I admit it. And people don’t really believe you when you try to explain it. I only learned that it had a name about 5 years ago. I am not alone! 🙂 YAY!
Hubby recently started listening to the book and he asked me whether or not my number/color combinations were the same as Amos’ combinations. The answer is no. Every synesthete is different. So when he referred to his combinations, it was really strange for me. In my mind I was correcting him.
But that’s OK, because in every other way, Amos Dekker is close to being one of my all time favorite characters.
Please hurry, Mr. Baldacci. I miss Amos.
Any chance you could be a synesthete? Take the test from Synesthesia.org. But if you are, you already pretty much know it. At least now you know there are more of us! 🙂