Monday, September 12, 2016

THE LAST MILE by David Baldacci

Publisher:     Grand Central
Published:    September 13, 2016
ISBN:        978-1455586462
Genre:       Thriller, Suspense
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


After losing everything—his family, career and almost his life, Amos Decker is about to embark on a new chapter if not a new life. He’s on his way to Virginia, Quantico Marine base to be precise as part of a new unit within the FBI.  Made up of agents and civilians alike their job is to solve cold cases.

Amos does not believe in coincidences. He believes in facts.  A head injury during his first pro-football game left him with the ability to remember everything in precise detail.  Not exactly a blessing, he cannot forget anything – especially the day his wife and child died.  Now the FBI is hoping to use that ability.  During his drive he hears the story of a former football player on death row in Texas.  It is not lost on Amos how similar this man, Melvin Mars’s story is to his own. Amos is determined to find the real story behind Melvin’s arrest and subsequent incarceration.  With the other members of the team they begin that search and what they uncover reaches further than any of them could ever have imagined.

I read book 1 of David Baldacci’s latest series, MEMORY MAN and initially I wasn’t very impressed.  In fact, I was ready to put it down but plodded on.  It seemed to spend more time than was necessary ruminating about Amos’s situation, his losses, his mental abilities.  I got it after the first 5 or 6 times.  But about half way through the story gripped me and I couldn’t put it down.  Book 2, THE LAST MILE, picks up where MEMORY MAN left off and takes off from page one.  From there it becomes a non-stop page turner that had me up late at night unable to put it down.  Amos is more fleshed out as a character.  Less attention is paid to his mental abilities and more on telling Melvin’s story – and what a story it is.  The sad thing is, much of what happened to Melvin, at least leading up to his journey to the death chamber, has happened all too frequently in our judicial system.

There are a few new characters including Melvin—who I hope readers will see again.  He changes, grows and becomes such a fascinating character as his story unfolds.  FBI agent Bogart is fairly stable throughout the story, but with his new team and pending divorce things with him could get very interesting in future books and I can’t wait to see what Baldacci does with him.  Likewise, Alex Jamison has some wonderful aspects as well as keen intelligence and a reporter’s quest for knowledge—she too has some great potential and while the series is considered the AMOS DECKER series, I don’t see what she couldn’t take the lead in a book or two.

The crime Melvin is accused of his horrendous.  The reality behind it is jaw dropping—and unfortunately close to things that have happened in our history.  There are fantastic twists and turns in this can’t put down page turner. 

You do not have to have read book 1 to thorough enjoy book 2.  I’d almost say pass on it except there is some good background on Amos in it.  You do not, however, want to miss book 2.  It is a super read.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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