I picked this book up a while ago but it got added to my to read pile, which has slowly become my to read bookcase. I wanted a crime story and was hoping to start a series I could really get into, so I picked this from my shelf.
I liked it but I didn’t love it.
Amos Decker is a Police Officer and a good one by all accounts. Early on we see that something horrific has happened to him, and he has lost his job, his life has spiralled and he is now living on the streets, and taking small PI jobs to earn a bit of money. The awful event that made his life spiral, his family: wife, daughter and brother in law were brutally murdered.
To add to this sad tale, Decker also had an accident when he was younger, as a school football player. He collided with another player and it caused changes to his brain, he was left with Synesthesia and Hyperthymesia. I didn’t realise these were real things, and I spent a good long time googling them, they are very interesting to read about.
A tragic event occurs at the local school which draws Decker back into the policing game, just as someone also steps forward to confess to his family’s murder. Is all of this linked to Decker, or just a huge coincidence? Is he somehow connected to everything and this is all a revenge plot? Will Decker overcome his personal issues and work out the mystery surrounding all these events?
Unfortunately, I’m not sure the brain issues add to much to the story in this case, I just couldn’t connect with him, I felt bad for him with the murder of his family and as a crime story I think it could have been great, but somewhere it fell flat. I don’t think I was drawn into the world or the characters enough to really feel the story.
For me, having the family die before the story really starts means I don’t really get to love/sympathise and connect to the character. So it’s hard to understand and see where all the characters emotions and feelings are coming from.
I liked how we went through how the stories were connected, and I really liked how we got a clear view of the school and how everything is linked and viewed. He described really well and I could imagine the old abandoned army base and the connection to the school. The crime part of the story, was really good. I just struggled to connect with Decker.
I think David Baldacci builds up Decker to be this awesome detective who just had an awful time and it lead him down this path, but from what we see, the other characters don’t act too much like he is this great detective and if I’m honest, I couldn’t see it myself either.
I really enjoy other David Baldacci books so I honestly wanted to love this, but if I’m honest I struggled. It hasn’t put me off though.
I think I’d like to read the next in the series to see how he grows, and what he does next, as I did enjoy it somewhat, but I don’t think it will ever be a favourite and I won’t be running to buy the next one anytime soon.
Overall, it was a good plot for a story, the linking of the crimes and how it came together sounds like it could be an awesome read, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite live up to what could have been.
⭐️⭐️⭐️3/5 stars I’m not rushing out to buy the next one but I will be trying it. I would recommend to crime readers if they like stories with a twist.