Memory Man by David Baldacci (a book review)

This book has the makings of a new book series. The hero is Amos Decker, a middle-aged, 6’5”, 350-lb., former police detective whose mind is like a DVR. A football accident that happened during his first college football game as a freshman resulted in giving him more than a concussion. His brain somehow got knocked in the right places to give him the ability to recall all his memories at will. His size is metaphorical of the heaviness of life events that will follow later. One of such events is the inexplicable murders of his wife, daughter, and brother-in-law. The murders go unsolved and his life spirals down until many years later he is roused from his lackluster existence.

What I like about David Baldacci’s stories are the action and suspense that makes you want to read his book nonstop. Like Decker in Memory Man, his heroes/heroines tend to go through so much suffering that they become alienated from others. Most also possess a special talent or extraordinary intelligence that make them stand out from their peers and receive grudging respect from their opponents. Expect lots of conflicts and setbacks along with some breakthroughs here and there, and finally the major reveal. He has the thriller genre down, and the formula continues to work well because of good writing and story lines.

Memory Man is truly suspenseful to the end. It keeps you wondering who did all the killings, of which there are quite a lot. I don’t want to give away any more about the story other than to say not all the characters are one-dimensional.

David Baldacci typically has four different book series underway at one time, in addition to the standalone books, with Memory Man being one of them. Although I’ve read all but one of his books, I list below only the standalone ones. When he writes a new book for each of the series, then I will add those to the list. The titles below are published in the order they came out (excludes his other books for children).

Absolute Power
Total Control
The Winner
The Simple Truth
Saving Faith
Wish You Well
Last Man Standing
True Blue
One Summer
Memory Man
The Guilty
No Man’s Land
The Last Mile


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