david baldacci

Review of ‘No Man’s Land’

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John and Robert Puller were just kids when their mother, Jackie, disappeared.  Thirty years later, their father, legendary three-star general John Puller, now suffering from dementia, is accused of killing her. John, a chief warrant officer with army CID, with the help of his brother and an enigmatic secret agent, Veronica Knox, determines to solve his mother’s case–even if it means implicating his father.

At the same time Paul Rogers, in prison for 17 years for manslaughter, is paroled. Rogers had been in the same place as Jackie Puller at the time of her disappearance.

The paths of these two men cross with a bang in David Baldacci’s No Man’s Land. Classic Baldacci, it keeps you guessing until the end, and doesn’t fail to entertain the whole way.

I received this book as a gift.  I give it five stars.


Review of ‘The Last Mile’

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Amos Decker has been hired by the FBI to become part of a special task force. The bureau wants him for his special ability, after a football injury his brain was rewired and he now has total recall. He can also see colors associated with numbers and emotions. On his way to Quantico, Virginia to join his new team, he hears a story on the radio about Melvin Mars, a man who has been on death row in Texas for two decades, convicted of killing his parents; and on the day of his scheduled execution, a prisoner on death row in Alabama confessed to the crime. Decker decides that he and his new team must look into this case; partly because he knew the young Mars when they were in college (Mars in Texas and Decker in Ohio), and played against each other, but mainly because of the similarity in their situations. Decker’s family was also killed, and much later someone confessed to the crime, and turned out not to be the real killer.

The Last Mile by David Baldacci is, in my view, Baldacci at his best. He follows Decker and his team from Virginia to Texas, and then on a whirlwind journey across the south in search of the truth. Decker believes that Mars was wrongly convicted, but he’s not convinced that the confessed killer in Alabama is guilty either. The question then becomes, if neither of them is guilty, who is? And, why did they let Mars rot in prison for twenty years only to save him at the last minute? And, why is someone gunning for Decker and his team?

Baldacci knows how to weave a tapestry of mystery and intrigue that will suck you in like a Kansas tornado, and then spit you out gasping in astonishment when the mystery is solved. The hero, Amos Decker, is not your usual thriller he-man. He’s getting old, overweight, and battling demons in the form of memories of finding his entire family slaughtered and being unable to forget even a single detail.

After reading this book you won’t have the power of the Memory Man, but I guarantee that you’ll never forget it.

I received this book as a gift.

I give it five stars.

Review of ‘The Guilty’

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Will Robie is a government assassin who is facing a crisis—his skills appear to have vanished, and he no longer has the confidence to carry out his missions. When he learns that his estranged father has been arrested and charged with murder, he realizes that he must solve the problems of his troubled past in order to bring his present into balance. Back in his small Mississippi home town, Will finds that little has changed, except that now his life is in jeopardy, from the most unexpected quarter.

The Guilty by bestselling author David Baldacci is a story that must rank among one of the author’s best. A tense thriller, it also explores the depths of interpersonal relationships and personal angst, and will keep you turning pages until the explosive and totally unexpected ending. You will find yourself inside Will’s skin as he confronts his hard-nosed father, his own guilt, and a social system that has resisted much of the change that has taken place in the rest of the world.

It’s tempting to try and read this book in one sitting—don’t do it. Savor it; let the author’s words wash over you. This is Baldacci at his absolute best. I received this book as a gift, and the donor is now forever on my A-list.

Review of ‘Memory Man’

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The only person from his hometown of Burlington to ever make it to the NFL, high school football star Amos Decker’s pro career ended after one play. A lucky hit during his first regular season game caused him to momentarily die, but when he was revived, his brain had been rewired. He is now unable to forget anything, and that results in his second ‘death,’ when, after he becomes a successful police detective, his family is brutally slaughtered, sending him off the deep end.

Now, derelict, almost homeless, and grossly overweight, Amos works bottom-feeder cases as a PI. His life changes one day, though, when another apparently homeless man walks into the Burlington police station and confesses to the murder of Amos’s family. While he’s processing this news, a gunman enters the high school which Amos attended and slaughters several students and teachers. Amos is hired as a consultant on the school shooting case because of his ‘memory’ talents. His uncanny memory discovers a connection between the school shooting and his family’s murder—a connection that leads inexorably back to him and something from his past that he cannot remember, and for a man who can’t forget, this is most troubling of all.

Memory Man by David Baldacci is a departure from his usual thrillers. If you like the flawed character, the unlikely hero, you’ll love Amos Decker. Pulse-tingling suspense, gut-wrenching drama—this story has it all.

I received this book as a gift. And, I give it five stars.