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Memory Man Paperback – September 15, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
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"It's big, bold and almost impossible to put down...Decker is one of the most unusual detectives any novelist has dreamed up...I called this novel a master class on the bestseller because of its fast-moving narrative, the originality of its hero and its irresistible plot....Highly entertaining."―Washington Post
"David Baldacci has written another thriller that will have readers engaged from the first page....Baldacci is a master storyteller...MEMORY MAN works because Amos Decker is an amazing character. Reading how Decker journeys from hitting rock bottom to finding ultimate redemption is nothing short of rewarding."―Associated Press
"Perennial bestseller Baldacci unveils an offbeat hero with an unusual skill set and tragic past who takes on the evil mastermind behind a devastating school shooting..[Decker] proves a quirky, original antihero with a definite method to his madness...Readers will want to see Decker back on the printed page again and again."―Kirkus Reviews
"[A] strong first in a new thriller series from bestseller Baldacci....Baldacci supplies a multitude of clever touches as his wounded bear of a detective takes on a most ingenious enemy."―Publishers Weekly
"Compelling...David Baldacci has definitely hit a home run with MEMORY MAN."―Crimespree Magazine
"Baldacci weaves a suspenseful story right up to the climactic face-off between these complex and compelling characters. Highly recommended for all thriller fans who love elusive, taunting criminals and the slightly bent but always determined detectives who pursue them."―Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Baldacci makes it feel fresh."―Booklist
"Baldacci's novels always have an emotional component...But MEMORY MAN stands out among his thrillers for its deeply felt - and earned - sense of catharsis and healing...Baldacci's last few books have been among his best, and it's a pleasure to see him produce emotionally and dramatically intense work at the height of his maturity as a novelist."―Richmond Times-Dispatch
About the Author
David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at www.davidbaldacci.com and his foundation at www.wishyouwellfoundation.org.
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Top Customer Reviews
I won't provide a plot description as this can be gotten from the Amazon Book Description above. Rather, I'll provide some of my feelings about Memory Man which, hopefully, will be of help in deciding if it is a book you'll want to read.
Overall, there several key positive aspects that far outweigh what I consider to be its one, but not insignificant, key flaw.
On the positive side, Baldacci writes in a brisk narrative style and composes dialogue that is realistic for the characters speaking it. The plot is multi-faceted, interesting, fast-paced and has an above-average amount of twists and turns. And, perhaps, most importantly, Baldacci's main character and more secondary "good guy" characters are pretty well-developed and likeable enough to make me interested in going along with them on their next case. Further, you're not likely to forget a villain in this book anytime soon.
For me, these aspects override a number of the actions of Amos Decker and some of the motivations of a villain that I consider to be far-fetched enough to almost push me to the very edge of my ability to suspend belief. This flaw resulted in my deducting one star from my overall rating.
If you can accept a plot that while fun and interesting has some credibility issues, than I think Memory Man is a book worthy of your consideration. I, for one, found Memory Man to have enough merit to make me interested enough to read the second book in the Amos Decker series, called The Last Mile.
The main reason I rated this four-stars and not five is that I couldn’t relate with the main character. I didn’t find him endearing. I barely felt empathy for his loss of his family. Other than his freakish memory, I’m not sure what redeeming qualities he had. The other reason for four-stars was that I was a bit disappointed by the conclusion. After fifty-plus chapters of a gripping story, I thought the ending was weak - I just expected more to it than there was.
I noted one glaring technical error. In Chapter 38, the main character describes other people he knew who had “gifts.” He said one “could divide any prime number in his head no matter how large.” Prime numbers are defined as those that can only be divided by itself and one. There is no “gift” to dividing prime numbers no matter how large.
The story is a little unusual for Baldacci, because there are no military or political themes in the novel, although Decker is a former cop. Nevertheless, the story itself is compelling; I would find that more time had past while reading than I thought, I was that wrapped up in the book. Despite my best intentions, I lost sleep. The characters are well-crafted and believable as is the plot. There are a number of twists and puzzles throughout and the resolution is unexpected, but satisfying.
I have only two fairly minor complaints. While the book starts with a bang, the story abruptly slows way down for the next few chapters. We are provided Decker's background, which is the crux of the whole story, in choppy, dragged out bits. This doesn't last for too long, but it was long enough that I worried that the whole book would be comprised of random chapters that hopped around dropping facts in a disjointed manner. However, even though there are necessarily times when Decker must look into the past, after the choppy start, the story is thankfully presented in a reasonably linear fashion.
My second complaint is that the story periodically slows down, frequently so Decker can go eat, in order for Decker to contemplate his life. It does provide a fuller insight into his character while emphasizing his metamorphosis into an antisocial person, but it became a tad tiresome.
Regardless, these negative bits did not ruin my overall delight in the novel. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys police procedurals, crime fiction, or just a really good story.