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Long Shadows: A Memory Man Thriller


Long Shadows: A Memory Man Thriller

David Baldacci has created one of the most unique and interesting characters to ever grace the pages of a thriller. For those who are uninitiated in the ways of FBI consultant and “Memory Man” Amos Decker, you are in for a treat.

To begin with, a horrific football injury on the first play of his extremely brief NFL career has left Decker with a rare condition. He suffers from both hyperthymesia (or perfect recall) and synesthesia, which causes him to associate certain things with unlikely colors. For instance, when he comes upon dead bodies like he did when he discovered his murdered wife and child, he saw them in the color electric blue. The loss of his family has devastated Decker, which has led to his bullheaded recklessness and ability to speak freely without any filter at all times.

"LONG SHADOWS is yet another solid Memory Man thriller, and readers should be eager to spend more time with Amos Decker on his next mission."

LONG SHADOWS presents Decker with another tragedy in the first few pages. He receives a phone call in the middle of the night from one of his ex-partners on the force, Mary Lancaster, who is dying rapidly from early onset dementia. Before he hangs up, Decker will hear Mary take her own life with a gunshot to the head.

As Decker is dealing with Mary’s horrific death and is being called upon by her family to explain her passing to her young daughter, he is contacted by the FBI about an assignment in South Florida. This time, he will be working not with his regular partner, Alex Jamison, but with Special Agent Frederica “Freddie” White, a diminutive African American woman with multiple martial arts belts who is nearly as fearless as he is.

Judge Julia Cummins has been murdered in her home, along with her personal bodyguard, Alan Draymont. Decker and White are teamed up with Special Agent Doug Andrews, whom they do not immediately trust. Upon inspection of the crime scene and the ensuing investigation, Decker believes these may be two separate homicides. Draymont was found downstairs shot and with a ton of Czech currency shoved down his throat, while Cummins was stabbed in her upstairs bedroom. The different locations and weapons signal to Decker that something else is going on here and this will not be a straightforward case.

In the midst of all of this, the Cognitive Institute in Chicago informs Decker that his own condition is worsening and deterioration is still occurring in his brain. He tries to put any concerns about that aside and focus on the task at hand. Unfortunately, key people are starting to disappear and later turning up dead. Someone (or several someones) is going out of their way to silence anyone who could shed light on this case, indicating that those responsible for the murders mean business and have something much bigger to hide.

Decker will find out soon enough that his stubbornness and refusal to stop moving forward might be getting him into deeper trouble than he realizes, making himself a potential target for elimination as well.

LONG SHADOWS is yet another solid Memory Man thriller, and readers should be eager to spend more time with Amos Decker on his next mission.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on October 14, 2022

Long Shadows: A Memory Man Thriller
by David Baldacci

  • Publication Date: August 22, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1538719800
  • ISBN-13: 9781538719800