David Baldacci’s new thriller a chance to appeal

David Baldacci’s new thriller The Last Mile.
David Baldacci’s new thriller The Last Mile.

DAVID Baldacci's 2015 Memory Man introduced Amos Decker - a former cop who hit rock bottom after the murder of his family.

New evidence on that case lured him off the streets and back into civilisation.

An old football injury left Decker with hyperthymesia, which means he has perfect recall. He cannot forget anything. Ever.

Decker's an eccentric character and unlikely hero. His "abilities", the death of his family and time living on the street mean he struggles to connect to others.

Baldacci tones his behaviour down a little this time around however, so he doesn't entirely alienate everyone around him.

Of course Decker's autobiographical memory is a handy tool when fighting crime and he's been co-opted on to an FBI team investigating cold cases.

His new boss has a long list, but Decker convinces his colleagues to look into a confession which has death row inmate Melvin Mars spared just hours before his execution.

Decker encountered the talented Mars on the football field two decades before and finds himself drawn to the cold case that ended Mars' dreams of football stardom - the murder of Mars' own parents.

Although he's protested his innocence since his arrest, Mars has failed to successfully appeal his conviction. Until now.

Decker believes in Mars and doesn't need to do much digging before discovering the former football star's parents may have had a good reason for shunning their son's limelight and remaining hidden from prying eyes.

We probably didn't see Decker's skills used quite as much this time around and The Last Mile fell a little short of the very impressive Memory Man, but it's an enjoyable ride and introduces some interesting new characters.

It'll also be interesting to see where Baldacci next takes Amos Decker and his colleagues.

The Last Mile by David Baldacci (Amos Decker #2), Published by Pan Macmillan Australia, RRP $29.99.

Topics:  books reading review

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