Memory Man (Memory Man series) Info

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This "impossible to put down" #1 New York Times
bestseller introduces Amos Decker, a gifted police detective with a
perfect memory who must solve a mystery he wishes he could forget: his
family's murder (Washington Post).

Amos Decker's life
changed forever--twice.
The first time was on the gridiron. A
big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of
Burlington ever to play in the NFL. But his career ended before it had a
chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet
collision knocked him off the field forever, and left him with an
improbable side effect--he can forget nothing.
The second time
was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker
returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare--his wife,
young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.
His family
destroyed, their killer's identity as mysterious as the motive behind
the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible
night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the
police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking
piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.
But over a
year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the
murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to
its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation.
Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his
family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his
remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He
must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to
make the ultimate sacrifice.
Memory Man will stay with
you long after the turn of the final page.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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102787 Ratings

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for Memory Man (Memory Man series):

2

Jul 26, 2016

1 1/2 stars. What is extremely impressive about this book is how David Baldacci has managed to convince thousands of readers that this kind of shit is not only good, but something shiny and new.

First of all, Amos Decker is a *gasp* "memory man", meaning that an injury gave him the ability to never forget ANYTHING! You got that, right? He remembers everything he has experienced. Literally everything. Isn't that completely unique and never heard of before? So weird how no mystery/crime author has 1 1/2 stars. What is extremely impressive about this book is how David Baldacci has managed to convince thousands of readers that this kind of shit is not only good, but something shiny and new.

First of all, Amos Decker is a *gasp* "memory man", meaning that an injury gave him the ability to never forget ANYTHING! You got that, right? He remembers everything he has experienced. Literally everything. Isn't that completely unique and never heard of before? So weird how no mystery/crime author has thought to do this!

Okay, I'll stop.

But the big selling point of this novel is a character who forgets nothing and, let's be honest, this is pretty common in the genre. Sherlock Holmes, one of the most famous fictional detectives of all time, has a photographic memory (slightly different from Decker's hyperthymesia, but mostly the same). The fact that this is pretty much the extent of Decker's characterization and it is somehow supposed to be shocking - well, that kind of fell flat instantly.

There are many things in this book that I suspect we are supposed to exclaim dramatically at and be impressed by, but we've either seen them before or they're flimsy at best. For example, Decker is supposed to be the absolute best at his job because of his memory, and yet rather than being wowed by him, I got the impression that everyone else in the book was dumbed down to make him look better. He would make a fairly obvious deduction and all the other agents' mouths would gape open in awe. Seriously, I could have told them that.

Backstory goes like this: Decker left the police after discovering his wife, daughter, and brother-in-law murdered in his home. The murderer was never caught. But he now finds himself pulled back into an investigation of a school shooting, because he is just so damn good that they need him on the case. Nobody else can figure this out. What's more, a guy called Sebastian Leopold confesses to his family's murder and gets taken in - but some things just don't add up.

The story is full of plot holes - the detectives ignore key pieces of evidence to prolong the mystery, instead looking into other dead ends. They mostly do nothing, anyway, and just stare googly-eyed at Decker, waiting for his instruction. As a reader of fairly average intelligence, I definitely don't like to feel I could conduct a murder investigation better than trained detectives. I did here.

Also, the "motive" did not make any sense to me. I do not think the reasons given in this book added up to the sum of the crimes at all. It seemed like Baldacci had a random idea for a crime and a random idea for a "reveal" and simply stuck the two together, even though they didn't fit. The answers to the mystery are kind of ludicrous, throwing more mess into an already convoluted plot.

I'd even go so far as to say the conclusions add some disturbing implications, and I don't mean in a good way. (view spoiler)[The use of a crazy murderous genderqueer character leaves a bad taste. Perhaps it would not have been quite so bad if LGBTQIA persons had received some other kind of representation in the novel. As it was, however, it had the same effect as a black murderer in an otherwise white novel would have - i.e. not a good one. (hide spoiler)]

The rating gets rounded up only because Baldacci knows how to keep you interested and turning the pages. His writing has a certain easy-to-digest charm that makes me think I should try his other books. This one, though, was clearly not a good place to start.

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3

Jul 01, 2019

This was my first Baldacci book. I have several friends who recommend him highly - one specifically mentioned this book. I am nervous to go back and tell them I only gave it 3 stars!

It was an okay mystery and I stayed interested throughout. My problem is that I didn't believe any of the motivations of the characters. I know part of fiction is suspending your belief, but I need it to not seem completely unreasonable and unbelievable. I will put it to you this way: would you go and drop a nuclear This was my first Baldacci book. I have several friends who recommend him highly - one specifically mentioned this book. I am nervous to go back and tell them I only gave it 3 stars!

It was an okay mystery and I stayed interested throughout. My problem is that I didn't believe any of the motivations of the characters. I know part of fiction is suspending your belief, but I need it to not seem completely unreasonable and unbelievable. I will put it to you this way: would you go and drop a nuclear bomb on the house of someone who bullied an acquaintance of yours in second grade? After reading this, I think Baldacci might!

Another thing that bugged me - and this is not an issue with the book itself - was the audio production. I have listened to some before where they switch readers during the book and they were fine. This one was a bit distracting and confusing. Also, every 15 minutes or so it would start playing background music. It was very strange! So, I can say I don't recommend this one on audio!

Anyone have any other good Baldacci recommendations? ...more
2

May 03, 2015

There seems to be no shortage of the troubled hero who's family are brutally murdered in the worse way. Yes, these characters make for an interesting story... at first. It's no secret that this hero can often be redundant, boring, and overdone. David Baldacci attempts to break this mold by introducing us to Amos Decker with an unusual ability to remember everything. I mean EVERYTHING!

Memory Man begins with Decker, then a detective, stumbling upon the brutal, senseless murder of his There seems to be no shortage of the troubled hero who's family are brutally murdered in the worse way. Yes, these characters make for an interesting story... at first. It's no secret that this hero can often be redundant, boring, and overdone. David Baldacci attempts to break this mold by introducing us to Amos Decker with an unusual ability to remember everything. I mean EVERYTHING!

Memory Man begins with Decker, then a detective, stumbling upon the brutal, senseless murder of his brother-in-law, wife, and daughter. After this devastating time, Decker slowly tries to begin his life again as a private detective. Long gone are the days on the Burlington police force... that is until a man named Sebastian Leopold confesses to the murder of his family.

As if that isn't enough, there seems to be new murders and massacres that all point to having something to do with Amos Decker. There seems to be a cat and mouse game the the other players in this novel can't keep up with. Honestly, I couldn't keep up either. Memory Man is a fast moving title, but it also seemed a little too fast and under developed.

Before I get into what I didn't like about this novel, I will say that I consider myself a fan of David Baldacci although I've only read one other novel by him. I was especially excited to begin reading Memory Man. It begins in graphic detail of a heinous murder which is always a plus. It also provides insight into the mind of a man who has decided to choose between life and death after his world is taken away from him. For the first few chapters I was engrossed in Amos Decker's story.

Baldacci gave the tortured hero more depth than others. Sure, he's socially awkward, emotionally detached, and pretty much struggling to hold things together. What's remarkable about Amos is that after being a delivered a career-ending blow to the head in the NFL, he "suffers" from hyperthymesia. For those who wonder what that is here ya go: It's a near-perfect recall of one's personal or autobiographical past. Imagine never forgetting a thing that happens to you. Like Monk says, it's a gift and it's a curse.

Yes, Amos Decker is interesting but not interesting enough to ignore that the other characters in this novel, besides the maniac on the loose, are totally forgettable. They struggle to keep up with Decker and it's painfully obvious. While Decker deciphers clue after clue (yes I know they were intended for him), it is so annoying that no one else can provide much insight. They just seemed to be going along with the motions and following Decker's lead. Since it seems this is the beginning of another recurring series, I want more of a reason to continue to invest my time in this series. This novel did none of that. I expected way more from Baldacci.

In conclusion, I wasn't too impressed with Memory Man but it wasn't awful. I would definitely read more by David Baldacci but I need more from his characters in the next Amos Decker novels. I understand there was a need to lay down the foundation for this tortured soul, but... if memory serves me correctly, I know Baldacci has better in him.

Copy provided by Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley ...more
4

Feb 26, 2018

Classic Baldacci and a wonderful start to the Decker series. On to the next book.
4

Apr 20, 2015

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

4 Stars!

This ended up being a book that I liked quite a bit but I didn't love it. I have never read any of David Baldacci's work which is actually quite surprising since I have been a big mystery thriller reader for a very long time. Even though I had a hard time getting into the story initially, this book really kept me guessing. I must admit that I tried really hard to figure out the direction the story was going. There was a lot of This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

4 Stars!

This ended up being a book that I liked quite a bit but I didn't love it. I have never read any of David Baldacci's work which is actually quite surprising since I have been a big mystery thriller reader for a very long time. Even though I had a hard time getting into the story initially, this book really kept me guessing. I must admit that I tried really hard to figure out the direction the story was going. There was a lot of excitement packed into this story.

Amos Decker is an incredibly interesting character. His uniqueness really drives the entire story. Amos spent about half a minute as a professional football player. He was hit so hard by another player in his first play that his heart stopped and his brain was forever changed. Amos cannot forget anything. His ability to interact with other people has also been altered so he doesn't always behave as you would expect.

Amos's ability to remember every detail and every moment helps him solve crimes in a way the other detectives cannot. He was an excellent detective until his family became the target and his life fell apart. He is called in to help as a consultant on a school shooting in his town. Amos is able to help connect the pieces of the puzzle together as the story takes one twist after another.

I think that this book did a lot of things really well. The characters were interesting. I found myself wondering how difficult it would be remember ever detail of my life. Everyone has things that are best forgotten. All of the characters were flawed which made them seem more realistic. The pacing of the story was perfect. I found that I had a very difficult time setting the book aside at some points because I just had to know what happened next.

The main issue that I had with this book is that some of the plot twists were unrealistic. I like to try to figure out how the pieces fall together every time I read a mystery. I had no clue with this book because some of the twists ended up being rather improbable, at least in my mind. Everything did end up fitting together in a rather exciting and interesting manner so this is really a minor concern for me.

I would recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers. This is a smartly written novel that sets a wonderful basis for a new series. I definitely plan to continue with this series and would like to read some of David Baldacci's other books in the near future.

I received a copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review. ...more
5

Jul 24, 2015

My first ever David Baldacci book and what a good one it was! I sat and read it all in one day because it was basically unputdownable. The main character who is an ex cop is made extra interesting in that he is a savant and has the ability to remember everything. This of course is a great asset in a murder enquiry and by the end of the book our ex cop is looking forward to much greater things. This is marked as book one in a new series and I look forward to reading the next one. I also intend to My first ever David Baldacci book and what a good one it was! I sat and read it all in one day because it was basically unputdownable. The main character who is an ex cop is made extra interesting in that he is a savant and has the ability to remember everything. This of course is a great asset in a murder enquiry and by the end of the book our ex cop is looking forward to much greater things. This is marked as book one in a new series and I look forward to reading the next one. I also intend to make time to read a lot more of this author's books. ...more
3

Sep 26, 2015

Whew…this was pretty intense!!

Memory Man is the 1st book in David Baldacci’s new thriller series and introduces one of the most offbeat characters, Amos Decker, whose injuries suffered in a football game ended not only his career but also resulted in him developing hyperthymesia and synesthesia disorders, which gives him the ability to see time as pictures, able to count in colors and to forget nothing in his head.

Coping with these abilities as best he can, his life is shattered when his wife Whew…this was pretty intense!!

Memory Man is the 1st book in David Baldacci’s new thriller series and introduces one of the most offbeat characters, Amos Decker, whose injuries suffered in a football game ended not only his career but also resulted in him developing hyperthymesia and synesthesia disorders, which gives him the ability to see time as pictures, able to count in colors and to forget nothing in his head.

Coping with these abilities as best he can, his life is shattered when his wife and young child are brutally murded for no apparent reason. Unable to deal with his grief and desolation, he resigns from the police force, living in the streets and barely making a living as a private PI, not caring about his appearance…grossly-overweight, disheveled, lonely and heartbroken, living day by day.

When a man confesses to the murder of his family, Amos Decker is determined to get involved. Within a few days following the confession, a mass shooting and massacre at the local high school that he had been one of the students, he’s asked to help in the investigation by his former partner, Detective Mary Lancaster, who is in charge of both investigations. An unexpected breakthrough links both of the killings of his family and the school.

The information of Amos side-effects from his injuries, which I had never heard about, made some interesting reading. How he processed his thoughts and findings in his head was riveting stuff. Although there was a lot of repetition about it which I skimmed over a few times. Pretty scary when we watch how Amos deals with everyday things in his life…he almost lives in a world of his own! One minute he and Mary are discussing something and he stops and walks away without saying a word to her.

The story moves pretty fast, from one place to another, finding people connected to Amos’s life…because we soon find out that both the crimes have something to do with him. I also found some parts of the plots and some of the characters, especially who the villains turn out to be, a bit far-fetched and tad unbelievable.

I enjoyed this book but I felt it was a bit too long. And I am certainly going to read the next in the series. ...more
1

Apr 13, 2015

I couldn't wait to sludge through this redundant, murderous, sorrowful written drivel of muck. There is nothing redeeming. After the second time a gun is put to the head, I wanted to put one to my own for being sucked into this quagmire of crap. Despicable and awful. 0 of 10 stars!
3

Apr 27, 2015


3.5 stars

Burlington police detective Amos Decker spiraled into despair when his wife, daughter, and brother-in-law were brutally murdered 15 months ago. He quit the police force and became homeless before moving into a cheap motel and becoming a private detective. Once a football player, the 6' 5", 350 pound Decker is seriously out of shape.



He has a unique ability, however, acquired after a massive hit ended his football career. Decker sustained a brain injury that gave him hyperthymesia - a
3.5 stars

Burlington police detective Amos Decker spiraled into despair when his wife, daughter, and brother-in-law were brutally murdered 15 months ago. He quit the police force and became homeless before moving into a cheap motel and becoming a private detective. Once a football player, the 6' 5", 350 pound Decker is seriously out of shape.



He has a unique ability, however, acquired after a massive hit ended his football career. Decker sustained a brain injury that gave him hyperthymesia - a complete, detailed memory of everything he's ever seen or experienced.



As the story opens Detective Mary Lancester, Decker's old partner, tells him a homeless man named Sebastian Leopold has confessed to murdering Decker's family. Decker, posing as an attorney, manipulates his way into the jail to talk to Leopold.



The homeless man, who appears to have mental problems, claims he killed Decker's family because the detective dissed him at a 7-Eleven. Just when Decker is sneaking into the jail to speak to Leopold a mass shooting occurs at local Mansfield High School, killing a number of staff and students.



Because he was an excellent detective Decker is asked to consult with authorities on the Mansfield High School murders. He uses his extraordinary memory to help the cops and FBI search for the high school shooter and to look into Leopold's bogus-sounding confession. Decker uncovers one clue after another in the mass shooting case, which turns out to be an intricate plot that has a connection to the murder of Decker's family. Along the way Decker, a socially inept loner, has some hostile interactions with an FBI agent and a newspaper reporter who want his cooperation. Eventually, though, Decker manages to work with others on the investigations.



This is a well-written, engaging, fast-paced mystery that kept my attention as the actions and motives of the perpetrator were exposed. My biggest problem with the plot is that both Decker - and especially the FBI - seem too slow on the uptake in unraveling some of the clues. Without giving away any spoilers I'll just say that, in real life, the FBI would probably have exposed/understood some clues well before Decker had his 'aha moments'. This may be necessary for the story's plot but it doesn't ring true. Moreover, given the motive, I would have expected the perpetrator to do some things quite differently.

Still, the book kept my interest from beginning to end and I would read more books about detective Decker's exploits. I'd recommend Memory Man to mystery fans.

You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/ ...more
4

Sep 08, 2019

This is the first book in the Amos Decker series by author David Baldacci and after completing it I immediately purchased the other four books in the series. I always enjoy reading Baldacci's books and on completion always promise myself to read more of his books, this happened again after this one.
The Memory Man, is Amos Decker who is a detective in a small town in the Midwest who returns home one night to find his wife and nine year old daughter brutally murdered. The story is set sixteen This is the first book in the Amos Decker series by author David Baldacci and after completing it I immediately purchased the other four books in the series. I always enjoy reading Baldacci's books and on completion always promise myself to read more of his books, this happened again after this one.
The Memory Man, is Amos Decker who is a detective in a small town in the Midwest who returns home one night to find his wife and nine year old daughter brutally murdered. The story is set sixteen months later, Decker has quit the police force, lost his house and car and working as a private investigator, living in a motel. The police notify him that a man has confessed to the murders of his family and he naturally wants to know more. Around the same time an intruder murders eight students and teachers at a local school and Decker is asked by the police to assist them. On investigating Decker finds evidence that the latest killings may be linked to that of his family.
The killer starts leaving messages that taunt Decker.
Amos Decker is no ordinary person and due to a football injury caused by a severe head trauma now has one of the most exceptional brains in the world. His injury left him with total recall, hence the memory man.
This is an interesting concept and ideal to carry over to other novels using this character. I loved this book and rarely put it down until I had finished it.
...more
3

May 11, 2019

This is my first book by Mr. Baldacci as I had heard he was quite formulaic which is not something that I care for, but I decided to give it a try.

The story was o.k. and I think the plot flowed along well enough but only really our main character is very well developed. I understand that this is typical for series books which I don't usually read. We are assuming we will get to know the other characters in the subsequent books.

What I really wasn't a fan of was the audio with only two voices, one This is my first book by Mr. Baldacci as I had heard he was quite formulaic which is not something that I care for, but I decided to give it a try.

The story was o.k. and I think the plot flowed along well enough but only really our main character is very well developed. I understand that this is typical for series books which I don't usually read. We are assuming we will get to know the other characters in the subsequent books.

What I really wasn't a fan of was the audio with only two voices, one for the females and one for the males. I know that this is the way it was written and I think it would work better in a physical read where you could imagine their voices. The whole "Then Decker said . . . . . ., then Bogart said, . . . "then she answered" format was a bit confusing in the beginning, because the voice was used for several male characters it was a bit hard to keep everyone straight.

All in all it was a good read with some very serious subjects touched upon, murder, rape, terrorism, hermaphroditism and other sexual and mental abnormalities and there are some graphically violent sections of the book.

Read this through Overdrive from my public library! ...more
4

Apr 26, 2015

I'm loving a good thriller these days. With so many thrillers out there I'm spoils for choice. This was definitely one of the best I've read yet.

This had me gripped from the start. The main character, Amos, is unique in the fact that he can remember everything. You'd think that detective work would be easy with this but it is still challenging for him. Memorable side characters, strong plot and excellent writing.

I will be reading more Baldacci very soon.
5

Dec 14, 2016

Wow!!! Amos Decker is the man!! Riveting from beginning to end. I must move on to the next book in this series.
5

May 01, 2018

This book was so entertaining! I actually went ahead and put the rest of the series and also the Will Robie series on hold at my library to pick up tomorrow. I was so into this book that last night I didn’t want to stop reading to go to bed, but had to. I could not predict the way this book would unfold, which I love in mysteries. Amos Decker is an intriguing character with a great supporting cast. I hope this series continues to be as interesting as this first book. So cannot wait to go get to This book was so entertaining! I actually went ahead and put the rest of the series and also the Will Robie series on hold at my library to pick up tomorrow. I was so into this book that last night I didn’t want to stop reading to go to bed, but had to. I could not predict the way this book would unfold, which I love in mysteries. Amos Decker is an intriguing character with a great supporting cast. I hope this series continues to be as interesting as this first book. So cannot wait to go get to the library to get the other books and another Baldacci series!

My quick and simple overall: loved this book. It was intriguing and not predictable like so many other mysteries and thrillers.
...more
1

Apr 22, 2015

Reads like it was thrown together over a long weekend and phoned-in with stretched out scenes and cartoon-like characters jumping the literary shark in a "been there, done that" serial killer hunt. I liked the authors' last book "The Escape" very much but this book #1 of a new series read like it was written by someone else entirely.
2

Jan 15, 2017

2.5

The book blurb sets the scene. As a young man, Amos Decker suffered a colossal blow to the head when playing gridiron; he died; he was resuscitated; his brain rewired itself so that not only does it remember everything, it can replay memories for Amos to re-experience, whether he wants to or not.

Years later, he’s a cop with a wife and daughter who are brutally slaughtered along with his brother-in-law (mistaken identity)? At the same time, someone shoots a bunch of people at Decker’s former 2.5★

The book blurb sets the scene. As a young man, Amos Decker suffered a colossal blow to the head when playing gridiron; he died; he was resuscitated; his brain rewired itself so that not only does it remember everything, it can replay memories for Amos to re-experience, whether he wants to or not.

Years later, he’s a cop with a wife and daughter who are brutally slaughtered along with his brother-in-law (mistaken identity)? At the same time, someone shoots a bunch of people at Decker’s former high school and steals his old trophies. Clearly, he is the target.

Baldacci sets the scene as Amos thinks to himself.

“I am Amos Decker. I’m forty-two years old and look at least ten years older (on a good day, of which I haven’t had one in four hundred and seventy-nine days), and feel at least a century older than that. I used to be a cop and then a detective but am no longer gainfully employed in either occupation. I have hyperthymesia, which means I never forget anything. I’m not talking about memory techniques where you can teach yourself to remember things better, like the order of a pack of cards using association tricks. No, with me it’s just a turbocharged brain that has somehow unlocked what we all have but never use.”

A blessing and a curse. He has superpowers he doesn’t really know what to do with. He can’t stop replaying the bad stuff, but he can scroll back through years of memories and replay specific conversations word for word.

An interesting premise. But there was a problem. I've explained more in the spoiler at the end.

There is (supposedly) a crucial clue in a conversation that we’re privy to early in the book, which Decker says later that he misunderstood or misheard. He reckons his memory did a kind of auto-correct of the grammar.

So I did my own super-sleuthing and went back to the original conversation and there was nothing suspicious about it. The word Decker thinks was wrong isn’t there, so it’s not a clue. Of course, publishing and printing being what it is, perhaps my library ebook had an auto-correct of its own, in which case, Baldacci should sue the so-and-sos!

Another time, when Decker replays real CCTV footage over and over and finally sees what seems odd about it, he shows it to an FBI guy, but we never “see” the action in detail, so we aren’t given any clues.

For example, if he’d been watching a person seemingly wave his arm in the air and assume he’s signalling someone, we might be content to assume likewise. OR we might think, hey, maybe he’s tossing something somewhere or maybe he’s shrugging something back up his sleeve, or anything.

I like something to suspect!

All in all, disappointing. When we were given clues, I guessed enough that it stopped being fun, and when things are just pulled out of the blue (or plucked from a memory bank), that’s not fair.

Long, repetitive and possibly trading on the author’s past reputation.

I know Baldacci has a lot of fans, and I’m sure one disgruntled reader isn’t going to be a great loss.

(view spoiler)[
In my Kindle version, at 39%, Decker sits at a bar with Sebastian Leopold, and Baldacci writes:

“Leopold picked up his drink and took another sip. ‘I don’t really drink. But this is good.’”

At 82%, Baldacci writes that Decker is telling the FBI agent that they should search international databases for matches. When asked why, Decker says:

“’ Because I remembered something wrong. And now I just remembered it right.’

Decker put his phone away. ‘I don’t really drink. But it’s good.’

An American would say that all the time. But no American would say, ‘I don’t really drink. But is good.’

In fact, Leopold might have actually said, ‘ist good.’ (hide spoiler)]

I've quoted both sections from my edition, but I’d certainly appreciate if other readers have something different in theirs.
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5

Apr 27, 2015

I opted to start this book without first reading the premise so I won't summarize it here. It begins with one shocker and doesn't really let up throughout the entire story.

There are several events that are seemingly unconnected but logically should have some relationship. Amos Decker, a man who has an unfailing memory, is assisting the investigation and all you can do as a reader is follow along and try to keep up. This was one of the few times where I failed to figure out the villain and the I opted to start this book without first reading the premise so I won't summarize it here. It begins with one shocker and doesn't really let up throughout the entire story.

There are several events that are seemingly unconnected but logically should have some relationship. Amos Decker, a man who has an unfailing memory, is assisting the investigation and all you can do as a reader is follow along and try to keep up. This was one of the few times where I failed to figure out the villain and the motivation.

Decker isn't your conventional private investigator and his history is pretty rough. You may not like him but you'll be fascinated with him. I'm definitely signing up for the next book in this series.

Two narrators were used to handle all characters, separated by gender. I'm normally used to transitions only for changes in point of view. Here the narrators switched whenever their characters had dialogue. Initially it was awkward as it seemed as if they recorded their roles separately. It took a bit to adjust but eventually I settled in. I also loved the dramatic emphasis using music from time to time. It made it feel like a live performance.

I really enjoyed this story, the mystery, suspense and Amos Decker. The audio performance, though different, enhanced my reading experience. This is a strong start to what promises to be a very good series. 4.5 stars

(I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review) ...more
5

Aug 17, 2015

I have read books by David Baldacci that I hate and books by David Baldacci that I like greatly. This one falls into the latter category. While the slightly contrived ending almost caused me to go down to 4 stars I decided that the book over all is a 5. I like it.

So what do we have here? Our hero (Amos Decker) is a man who can forget nothing...really, absolutely nothing. Well, at least not since he was hit by another player in his first pro football game. He died twice on the field and when he I have read books by David Baldacci that I hate and books by David Baldacci that I like greatly. This one falls into the latter category. While the slightly contrived ending almost caused me to go down to 4 stars I decided that the book over all is a 5. I like it.

So what do we have here? Our hero (Amos Decker) is a man who can forget nothing...really, absolutely nothing. Well, at least not since he was hit by another player in his first pro football game. He died twice on the field and when he awoke he remembered everything and suffered from a form of Synesthesia.

Still it made him an exceptional police officer and then detective for years, until his family was murdered. Then he simply collapsed losing everything and becoming homeless after leaving the police department.

We will follow Amos through the twists and turns of his life as the unsolved crime of his family's deaths turns out to be tied in with a recent horrific crime.

Amos is an excellent character and I hope we see Mr. Baldacci write more about the character. Like the TV characters Monk or Robert Goren we have a man who doesn't function with the mass of humanity as "expected". Emotions don't register the same way, his brain works like a finely tuned memory bank and he makes connections others just...don't.

So, maybe a low 5 but a 5. I like it, recommended. ...more
4

Apr 29, 2015

What could be better than a new series by a favorite author? Answer: A little bit better story. Don't get me wrong, though; I enjoyed this one and absolutely will read the next one, and the next one, etc. But I was hoping for a WOW! kick-off, and it fell short (if only a tad).

The hero of the series is a big guy named Amos Decker, a former police detective and football star in Burlington. As with most characters like this, Amos comes with baggage - loads and loads of it, in fact. First off, his What could be better than a new series by a favorite author? Answer: A little bit better story. Don't get me wrong, though; I enjoyed this one and absolutely will read the next one, and the next one, etc. But I was hoping for a WOW! kick-off, and it fell short (if only a tad).

The hero of the series is a big guy named Amos Decker, a former police detective and football star in Burlington. As with most characters like this, Amos comes with baggage - loads and loads of it, in fact. First off, his glory days were cut short on the very first play he attempted as a member of the Cleveland Browns pro football team (I'm from Ohio and a big fan, BTW); he took a hit that curtailed his promising football career and very nearly left him dead.

He survived, but not without very unusual after-effects; he has become an "acquired savant," with hyperthymesia. More simply put, he is one of two handfuls of people who remembers every single moment of every single day and can call any one of them up at will (if you watched TV's "60 Minutes" show back in 2010 or the "Unforgettable" series starring Poppy Montgomery, you know what I mean). Decker's condition is even more rare, though, because he also has synesthia abilities - meaning he is able to associate colors with people and objects. Accompanying all this is the loss of much of his ability to connect emotionally with other people.

Those rare abilities may seem like a good thing - and they certainly can be helpful to a police detective - but for the most part they're a liability because there's no way to get the memories out of his head (seeing them in living color as well does nothing to improve the situation). But he manages to get by until a couple of decades later when he gets hit with a blow that nearly kills him again: The grisly murders of his wife, young daughter and his wife's brother in their home. The killer isn't caught, and Decker heads into a downward spiral that takes him to the depths of despair - homeless and living on the streets.

Just as he's beginning to put his life back together some 16 months after the murders, there's a major turn of events as a man turns himself in and claims to be the killer of Decker's family. Couple that with a mass shooting at the local high school, and local law enforcement officials call on Decker to help (working with his former partner Mary Lancaster).

In large part because he's forced to call up old memories he's managed to push below the surface of his brain (insofar as possible), Decker is a reluctant participant in the investigation - which, thanks to the school shooting, grows to include the FBI. But when it begins to appear that all the tragic events may be somehow related, the two cases take on even more significance and the rush to get to the truth becomes more of an all-out run.

And for the most part, it's a thrilling chase. If I have a complaint, it's that there is an over-abundance of repetition. Granted, given the nature of Decker's affliction, everything plays out in his head over and over and over; but reading it over and over bordered on the tiresome. Besides that, some of the details of how the school shootings were carried out seemed to cross the line of real-life possibility. Still, this book definitely set the stage for further development of this character, and I'm looking forward to the next installment.
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4

Aug 05, 2015

Wow. Baldacci has a knack for excellent thrillers/characters. His protagonist (Amos Decker) was a marginal pro football player, whose career ended on his first play when he was KO'd, literally scrambling his brain, resulting in perfect memory and synesthesia. He becomes a successful detective, but his family is killed, destroying his life. Then, there is senseless slaughter at the local school, and Decker is asked to help, only to find the same gun was used in both incidents. Decker is aided by Wow. Baldacci has a knack for excellent thrillers/characters. His protagonist (Amos Decker) was a marginal pro football player, whose career ended on his first play when he was KO'd, literally scrambling his brain, resulting in perfect memory and synesthesia. He becomes a successful detective, but his family is killed, destroying his life. Then, there is senseless slaughter at the local school, and Decker is asked to help, only to find the same gun was used in both incidents. Decker is aided by his former partner and an aggressive reporter to help solve the crimes. The big reveal is stunning and quite creative. ...more
5

Jun 27, 2015

The first criterion for a 5***** rating is whether I wanted to keep reading; I really wanted to keep reading this one. The 2nd is whether I cared about the main character, which I did, despite his many serious flaws. Amos Decker is fascinating, and several other characters were also quite interesting. The plot line is a little stretched, but generally holds up, with some surprises along the way. The main strength of the book, however, is how Baldacci portrays what goes on inside Decker's The first criterion for a 5***** rating is whether I wanted to keep reading; I really wanted to keep reading this one. The 2nd is whether I cared about the main character, which I did, despite his many serious flaws. Amos Decker is fascinating, and several other characters were also quite interesting. The plot line is a little stretched, but generally holds up, with some surprises along the way. The main strength of the book, however, is how Baldacci portrays what goes on inside Decker's seriously disturbed brain. Some reviewers objected to the repetition but I thought that was one of the main strengths of the book. ...more
5

Mar 03, 2015

Wow, where do I start? Amos Decker. A former pro football player, hit so hard by the other side that he died, twice! The results, a mind that can’t forget anything, no matter how trivial. He uses it to his advantage and becomes a cop, a detective and thrives tremendously. Gets married, has a child and then tragedy strikes. His family is murdered and he can’t forget it. Much like DVR playing over and over again. The emotions come with it, making his grief feel like it happened yesterday. He loses Wow, where do I start? Amos Decker. A former pro football player, hit so hard by the other side that he died, twice! The results, a mind that can’t forget anything, no matter how trivial. He uses it to his advantage and becomes a cop, a detective and thrives tremendously. Gets married, has a child and then tragedy strikes. His family is murdered and he can’t forget it. Much like DVR playing over and over again. The emotions come with it, making his grief feel like it happened yesterday. He loses everything, his house, his job, friends and almost his sanity. But the memories are still there, every little detail of his life after the hit.

Until someone comes forward and confesses to the murder of his family. Then a mass murder, a shooting at a school. Decker’s former partner has asked for his help and he realizes these two crimes are connected and he must find out who is playing this mastermind of a game with him. Countless clues are available to him but to connect them, he must use his DVR of a mind to connect the dots, solve the puzzle and follow the leads. The killer is two steps ahead of him, leading to more clues. It was planned, premeditated, knowing what he would do next.

Wow, interesting, and mind blowing crime mystery with clues that I would have never guessed. The suspense was killing me! I struggled with the name Amos Decker throughout the whole book but it didn’t annoy me enough to stop reading. Now why couldn’t the writer come up with a better sexier name? HUH? All the characters were awesome! The clues are remarkable and highly complex but I figured out a couple of them so it was quite fun to exercise my brain. I’ve read a lot of David Baldacci’s novels and I have to say, this one hits the charts! The right amount of everything and then some. I highly recommend it. Now if I can just get used to the name Amos Decker, I’ll fall in love with him just like I did with the Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter. Exceptional, creative, mind blowing, creepy, sick and awesome!! I just hope I don’t have nightmares. ...more
4

Sep 03, 2015

A great beach read, a thriller to get your sluggish blood rushing. The tale features Amos Decker, who got brain damage as a football and suffers a rare condition that makes it impossible for him to forget any experience. And what he most would like to forget is memory of coming home from his job as a police detective and finding his wife and daughter slaughtered. After nearly two years of a downhill slide into homelessness and poor self-care, he finally is back at work as a private detective. A great beach read, a thriller to get your sluggish blood rushing. The tale features Amos Decker, who got brain damage as a football and suffers a rare condition that makes it impossible for him to forget any experience. And what he most would like to forget is memory of coming home from his job as a police detective and finding his wife and daughter slaughtered. After nearly two years of a downhill slide into homelessness and poor self-care, he finally is back at work as a private detective. When he learns that someone has turned himself in with a confession to the murders, Amos can’t help getting in the middle of the case again, casting doubt on the person’s direct involvement. Soon his old captain gets overwhelmed with a mass shooting incident at the local high school and taps Decker as a consultant. Working with his old partner, Decker soon learns that the new murders are connected to that of his family and for some reason he is being targeted in multiple ways.

The characters are great, the pacing and surprises are well orchestrated, and the puzzles Decker solves are satisfying to experience. It was also a pleasure to behold his progression toward greater humanity, which is especially hard since the brain damage makes it harder for him to experience empathy or feel the sympathy of others. And having perfect memory does not make his a genius at inference and deduction like a Sherlock Holmes. He still has to stretch hard to interpret what he experiences or see through subterfuge of the enemy. His condition is a bit of a gimmick and the scheme behind the school shooting and the twistedness of his foe are a bit implausible, but I was more than willing to take the ride through all the surprising turns in this tale.
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4

Mar 23, 2018

Memory Man is the best serial killer mystery I have read after Silence of the Lambs, with which it shares common elements It has an excellent plot whose resolution I could not figure out until the end of the book. I was totally riveted till the end.
5

Apr 20, 2015

A special thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Top 50 Books of 2015 Best Audiobook (tie), Best Baldacci Novel to date, Best new series (Amos Decker).

David Baldacci is at the “top of this game”, with his 30th novel, delivering a riveting and absorbing new series. MEMORY MAN a flawed offbeat hero-Amos Decker, drawing you into his world of tragedy, loss, and complexity for hours of mind-blowing intensity.

With a mix of crime, cop A special thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Top 50 Books of 2015 Best Audiobook (tie), Best Baldacci Novel to date, Best new series (Amos Decker).

David Baldacci is at the “top of this game”, with his 30th novel, delivering a riveting and absorbing new series. MEMORY MAN a flawed offbeat hero-Amos Decker, drawing you into his world of tragedy, loss, and complexity for hours of mind-blowing intensity.

With a mix of crime, cop procedural, medical, psychological, and a multi-layered mystery thriller page-turner, you cannot put down--until you reach the words, “for just a little while.”

Amos Decker would forever remember all of their violent deaths in the most paralyzing shade of blue. He would never be free from it. The night when his life changed. Former Detective Amos Decker had been on a stakeout, driving home and walks in to his worst nightmare. Red. Blood. He discovers first a knife, second a gun; his brother-in-law, Johnny, throat split from ear to ear; his wife, Cassie, a single-entry gunshot in her forehead; and lastly, his precious daughter, Molly-not quite ten years old, death by strangulation. With nothing left. He cannot stay. His family is gone. He stares at his muzzle, ready to end his life, as he was not there to protect his family. As he stares at his muzzle ready to end his life, to die, and join his family; however, for some reason unknown even to him, Amos Decker does not pull the trigger and calls 911.

In the months to come, he loses the house to foreclosure, as they were barely making the payments with his and Cassie’s salary. On his paycheck alone it was impossible. He tried to sell it; however, no one would buy a house covered in blood. He lived in an apartment for several months, then a motel, a friend’s couch to a homeless shelter, to a cardboard box in a Walmart parking lot, when he reaches rock bottom. Cassie and Molly would be ashamed. So he cleans himself up with some odd jobs and moved into the Residence Inn and hangs out his PI shingle.

Amos has not had a simple life. A four-year-college football player, a professional for short stint, keeping fit as a cop and later a detective. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect—he can never forget anything. Amos Decker’s life changed forever—twice.

From that moment, Decker's brain shifted and he lost the ability to forget. The entire world became a myriad of colors and memories that he could easily access. With his new abilities, he's the perfect candidate to become a police detective. He can visit a crime scene once and walk through it over and over again in his mind, and he can remember verbatim testimony by a witness or suspect. Decker has hyperthymesia, an extremely rare condition that makes him unable to forget anything. Two decades after suffering the hit, the blow-- Decker's life is once again unraveling, with the murder of his wife, young daughter and brother-in-law.

Months later, no suspects, and no one had been arrested for the murders of his family. A trail grown cold, and the odds of solving the case and catching the killer had dropped to near zero. He had left the police force, as he could no longer push paper, when he cared about nothing, except for “one thing”. Their deaths had to be connected with what he did; after all, he had put hundreds of people away over the years and some were out of prison now and they could have found him for revenge. But there was no scrap of evidence. No trial, No execution. His fault, His guilt.

Now, fifty pounds overweight, a bum knee, and a soft gut. However, he has never been normal since the “hit” the only thing he had never remembered. Ironically, since it was the catalyst for his “never forgetting” anything else. And even the national news felt the need to document the violence done to him, on YouTube. All he had done to deserve the folderol of attention was to die on a football field, not once, but twice. He could have been written up in scholarly journals and there could have been media and money, but he had not seen himself as a prodigy. He had seen himself as a freak and no longer able to watch sports. He was just a machine and some prick was taunting him, the monster who killed his family and and now could they be turning their rage on Mansfield High School?

Three years later, Decker discovers a man has turned himself in to the police and confesses to the murders, and he comes up with a brilliant plan. (Loved this part). He pretends to be an attorney to get into the cell. He has talents and gifts and he will use them to uncover the truth. He has learn the truth - Is this the monster who killed his family? Too many holes in his story. This cannot be the man, but why is he confessing? In addition, at the same time another tragedy occurs in the same town of Burlington. A high school shooting.

What comes next is an intense fast-paced action mystery suspense of connecting the past, a football career, the time when he was recovering from the hit, a police career, a new school shooting, an army base - all of which may be connected to his family’s murders, and a decade-old plan of evil, murder, and revenge. Some awesome characters contribute for some added human dynamics with Decker’s former partner, FBI agent, a reporter, and a fellow cop.

Wow, I have read almost every Baldacci series: John Puller, Will Robie, King & Maxwell, The Camel Club, The Shaw Series, and his many standalones, each being unique; however, MEMORY MAN is captivating, from page one (My favorite). The author brilliantly sets up his character; he is humble, troubled, flawed, worn down, homeless and sharp. He can assist the authorities in ways no one else can. He had it all, and lost it all. Amos' tenacity, his gift, and his drive to find the killers, a humble hero on his journey to redemption – cleverly plotted.

Amos Decker is a stand-out character leaving fans anxiously awaiting a second book, (let’s hope), as this one is just too damn good to be a standalone. I literally dropped my other ARCs, planning to read this one for a few hours; did not stop until I reached the end.

Having already pre-ordered the audiobook, before receiving an advanced reading copy, had the double pleasure of enjoying both fascinating versions. As always, Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy delivers an outstanding performance!

If for some reason (cannot imagine), if you have never read David Baldacci, MEMORY MAN is a perfect place to start--your journey to being an avid fan, like the rest of us!

Can't wait for THE LAST MILE Amos Decker #2, Coming April 26, 2016.

Judith D. Collins Must Read Books
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