Review: MEMORY MAN by David Baldacci (Grand Central)

BaldacciD-AD1-MemoryManUSAn engaging new thriller with an interesting new detective

Amos Decker’s life changed forever — twice.

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.

I have reviewed many of Baldacci’s novels on CR, and loved pretty much all of them. I’ve read all of his novels since The Camel Club, and have also read almost all of his earlier ones. Each new series, each new character has been distinct from previous protagonists. Up until now, though, they have all been very much in the same mould: heroes, strong characters, some might say All-American. In Memory Man, Baldacci has tried something new — and successfully so. This is a very interesting mystery. Continue reading