Mystery, Thriller+Suspense

Thriller on Your Mind? Pick Memory Man by David Baldacci

After a bit of a reading slump, I needed a fast-paced book to get me going. I picked up David Baldacci from the local library here last weekend. It was my first Baldacci, and the first book in Baldacci’s Amos Decker series (there have been four so far in the series). Amos Decker is the detective at play, solving mysteries and murders. Having suffered a head injury that ended his football career, the trauma induced a condition called hyperthymesia and synesthesia. The result of this- is never being able to forget anything! Weird as the condition may sound, it is this ability that gets him to crack cases and get behind those involved in some heinous crimes.

The case in the book

As Decker returns home one evening, he finds his wife, young daughter and brother-in-law, brutally murdered. His family destroyed, and the identity of the killer being a mystery, Decker’s world comes crumbling down. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the streets. But a little over a year later, all of a sudden, a man turns himself up to the police, confessing to the crime. It is around the same time, a high school shooting rocks the town, where innocent lives are snuffed out. Decker has to jump in, as he realizes that the school incident is related to the killing of his family. Plus, Decker is sure that the man who surrendered is not actually the one behind it all. There is someone else. Decker has to uncover this stunning truth before it is too late. In a constant chase of clues, Memory Man is a thriller that you would not want to put down. Fast-past and an edge-of-the-seat kind read, it will keep you hooked right till the end.

What scored for Memory Man?

He knows how to keep you interested in the book. And that according to me is Baldacci’s strongest point. His narration isn’t something over the top. It is crisp and lucid. The thrill elements are well placed, and spread across the book. So there aren’t any moments where you would want to really skip those pages. And if an author can achieve this in a thriller, half the job is done. In over twenty years, starting with “Absolute Power” in the year 1996, Baldacci has had a significant number of bestsellers. That’s not to say all his books are a must read. I have read reviews where the critics have pulled down his books for being absolutely bizarre in its plot. But the Memory Man, proved to be entertaining as well as interesting.

And what failed in Memory Man

Yes, I would stress again on the fact again that the book had me hooked. But that didn’t stop me from overlooking the plot holes. There seemed to be a lack of analysis of the key evidences just to prolong the mystery. That got onto my nerves for some strange reason. Further, Amos and his medical condition of never forgetting ANYTHING seemed far too bizarre. The motive of the perpetrators also didn’t quite sum up to all the crimes committed. Thus, the end failed to live up to the thrill that was built up from the very first page.

Nevertheless despite the quirkiness of Decker and his condition, Baldacci has a hero here. Read it just for the thrills, with a murder or two at every juncture, and a psycho killer at large. 

8 Comments

  • Soumya Prasad

    I have a couple of books from Baldacci but never read them yet. I have heard a lot about the Amos Decker series and only good things. Most of his blurbs sound so fast paced and intriguing. I will get to reading him soon.

    Meanwhile, this goes on to my TBR.

  • Lata Sunil

    I have read many of Baldacci’s books. Some are brilliant, some are terrible, some I couldn’t read beyond a few pages. His stories/plots become predictable over time. I just gave up reading his books after that.

  • Vidya Sury

    I’ve read most of Baldacci’s books and I am a big fan. I have the whole collection. One thing that’s always guaranteed is edge-of-the-seat excitement and unputdownability. Throw in a psychological thrill and yeah, perfect. And if there are flaws that come to mind later, they really don’t matter! 🙂

  • RamyaRao

    I haven’t read David Baldacci yet. The plot sounds good. But I have the feeling this book will be one of those where the start will be amazing and end will be a disappointment. Will check it out. ☺️

  • Rajlakshmi

    I love David Baldacci’s books mostly because they are unputdownable… Loved your review. The story line sounds awesome. Although I do agree with your loopholes comment because sometimes few things in his books just don’t make sense. But still I will pick his book anyday 😊

  • Shilpa Garg

    I have never read David Baldacci, though I do have one of his books – Stone Cold.
    If a book is entertaining and interesting, I wouldn’t mind picking it up despite a few flaws. Thanks for the recommendation. Will check out Memory Man and pick the one on my shelf too!

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