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Memory Man (Amos Decker Series #1)

Memory Man (Amos Decker Series #1)

4.1 266
by David Baldacci

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With over 110 million copies of his novels in print, David Baldacci is one of the most widely read storytellers in the world. Now he introduces a startling, original new character: a man with perfect memory who must solve his own family's murder.


Amos Decker's life changed forever--twice.

The first time was on the gridiron. A big,


With over 110 million copies of his novels in print, David Baldacci is one of the most widely read storytellers in the world. Now he introduces a startling, original new character: a man with perfect memory who must solve his own family's murder.


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 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.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This strong first in a new thriller series from bestseller Baldacci (The Escape) introduces Amos Decker, the memory man, whose unique abilities are the result of a vicious hit he suffered as a 22-year-old NFL rookie that ended his football career. The injury induced hyperthymesia and synesthesia in Decker—he forgets nothing, and he “counts in colors and sees time as pictures in head." Years later, the murders of his wife and daughter left him too grief-stricken to continue working as a cop in what may be Burlington, Vt. At age 42, the grossly overweight Decker is barely scratching out a living as a PI. The arrest of Sebastian Leopold for the slaughter of his family and a mass shooting at a local high school combine to put an unwilling Decker back into the game with temporary credentials as a policeman. Rusty but still brilliant, he rejoins his former partner, detective Mary Lancaster, in investigating both cases. A startling discovery links the school killings and those of his family. Baldacci supplies a multitude of clever touches as his wounded bear of a detective takes on a most ingenious enemy. Agent: Aaron Priest, Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Mega-best-selling author Baldacci hits a milestone with his 30th adult novel, at the same time launching a new series. His hero, Amos Decker, has hyperthymesia—no, not a disease but the ability to remember everything. With a 500,000-copy first printing. Look for Baldacci as honorary chair for National Library Week in April 2015.
Kirkus Reviews
Perennial bestseller Baldacci unveils an offbeat hero with an unusual skill set and tragic past who takes on the evil mastermind behind a devastating school shooting. Amos Decker went off the rails 15 months ago when the Burlington police detective returned home from his shift to find someone had cut his brother-in-law's throat, shot his wife, Cassie, in the head, and strangled his 9-year-old daughter, Molly. The case still hasn't been solved, and in his grief and despair, Decker leaves the police department. After a bout with homelessness, he settles in as a small-time private investigator operating out of the hotel room in which he also lives. The 42-year-old Decker is overweight and out-of-shape, but he was once a professional football player. During his time in the NFL, he took a hard hit, and the traumatic brain injury induced a rare condition known as hyperthymesia—he can't forget any detail about anything he experiences. When his former partner, Mary Lancaster, tells him a man named Sebastian Leopold has confessed to killing his family, Decker lies his way into the jail to see the guy. At the same time, a bloody school shooting takes place at his old stomping grounds, Mansfield High School, leaving many dead. The FBI shows up and the BPD brings the obese ex-cop in as a consultant. But could everything be connected? Once Decker starts unraveling the threads, it begins to look like it, and soon he's following trails that no one but he can see, much less interpret. The killer's motive seems tenuous, at best, and the killer's trail is difficult to follow, but Decker, who has no discernible social skills and a tendency to abruptly disappear, proves a quirky, original antihero with a definite method to his madness. Although the crimes and their perpetrators are far-fetched, readers will want to see Decker back on the printed page again and again.
From the Publisher
"Robie and Reel are complex characters, and anything they do is a pleasure to follow...Baldacci knows how to get readers to turn the pages, and he's in top form here."—Associated Press on The Target

"Brilliant use of language...vivid supporting characters and numerous sudden and unexpected plot twists...[Baldacci] doesn't let the action sag at any point...In [Chung-Cha], Mr. Baldacci has created one of his most memorable characters."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on The Target

"Baldacci has been on a hot streak for the past few years, and The Target continues the trend. This isn't a garden-variety thriller or even a garden-variety Baldacci. It's among his most exhilarating books yet."—Richmond Times-Dispatch on The Target

"Baldacci has crafted another terrific tale with two great protagonists. Just when the story line seems to veer into familiar areas, Baldacci steers it into another shocking direction. This is the best book yet in the series."—Associated Press on King and Maxwell

"David Baldacci's latest thriller is not only highly relevant, it is also well timed. And the details seem so real that it's hard not to wonder if the author is an insider; the tone is that authentic. An absolute page-turner, King and Maxwell is Baldacci at the pinnacle of his game."—BookReporter.com

"Its pace is relentless, and Baldacci's reworking of his perennial theme - absolute power corrupts absolutely - gives the book a sense of urgency and cultural relevance that many thrillers lack."—Richmond Times-Dispatch on The Hit

"The best Baldacci novel in years...What makes The Hit live up to its title is the payoff at the novel's end. By then, Baldacci has planted an emotional hook that remains long after readers have turned the last page of the book."—Associated Press on The Hit

"Another fast paced page turner that will keep you glued to the couch...by an author who continues to standout in the increasingly crowded thriller field."—Examiner.com on The Forgotten

"Baldacci is a master when it comes to writing about small-town conspiracies and a lone hero who fights against all odds to clean up corruption. The narrative moves slowly, so the reader has a chance to solve the case along with Puller. It might seem straightforward, but the final reveal will surprise even hardcore thriller junkies."—The Washington Post on The Forgotten

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Amos Decker Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at www.davidbaldacci.com and his foundation at www.wishyouwellfoundation.org.

Brief Biography

Northern Virginia
Date of Birth:
August 5, 1960
Place of Birth:
Richmond, VIrginia
B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986

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Memory Man 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 266 reviews.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
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.
MarGig More than 1 year ago
I love this new character, Amos Decker. I love Baldacci and have every book he has published. I consider this one up in the top five. Read it in two days because I could not put it down. I cannot wait for the sequel. Thank you David Baldacci for always catching my interest and keeping it real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read! I absolutely couldn't put it down. The cast of characters was wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The premise of the story was very interesting, but there seemed to be a few too many twists & turns that began making things less & less believable. I think there was a lot of repetition about the main character, Amos Decker, repeating his gifts and enumerating how they were not always positive. The book could've been about two-thirds as long with that repetition removed. I look forward to future books with Amos Decker. I think he has potential to be a great character.
Aelius More than 1 year ago
A new hero with an unusual condition . A shocking beginning. A tale of redemption and revenge. Some interesting characters. Some interesting developments. Unfortunately the plot does not jell and the "surprise" ending falls flat. Still Baldacci is Baldacci (or his team) and there will be a sequel. Who knows, it could be better.
wayneroc More than 1 year ago
A good book but not as good as the rest of his books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a die hard baldacci fan i have read every single book he has written most twice, but this book is soooooo boring im on page 194 and i have to make myself push on page after page.
karen014 More than 1 year ago
While I'm probably one of the veryfew that did not like this book, it did not grab me like all the rest of this very talented authors previous novels! SO SORRY!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So many unrelated events so intricately related in the end
HillbillyLill More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting story, but definitely not one of Baldacci's best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love David Basilocci. However, this novel was a huge disappointment!! It left too many questions (at least in my mind) unanswered at the end. I hope he will do better in the future.
Linda__ More than 1 year ago
Baldacci has done it again - he's created a great new character in Amos Decker and the beginning to a wonderful new series. Amos can remember everything.....whether he wants to or not. What's sounds like a blessing has a very real downside. Amos is a very flawed man that you somehow love and care about. This book gradually picks up speed until you just can't turn the pages fast enough to see what happens next. A must read. Thank you to Netgalley for providing a complementary ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave this book a five star rating. Compared to other authors books released this year, Memory Man is a five. A very serious and sad topic but it does hold ones interest. In fact it has been awhile since I couldn't wait to have a few free moments of time to sit down and continue reading. David Baldacci describes real people as far as looks go. Not everyone is young, blond and twenty and rich. They are every day people. Of course I am referring to the detectives and reporters, not the bad guys. I look forward to Amos Decker returning.
Blackorwhiteandnogray More than 1 year ago
This is the worst book I ever read... It should have been 200 and not 406 pages.... That's how many times David repeats the same thing.... The Camal Club series was the best...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Taking us from unassailable facts with his own brand of Sherlock Holmes characters, the reader can simply enjoy a well told story or immerse oneself in discovery. You know what to expect as the reader joins the investigation but it is fun to see if you are Watson or Sherlock. Insread of one novel you will wish this was a series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as good as his previous books.. maybe his way of introducing Decker before book #2 in the series.
fabulousgoldfish More than 1 year ago
I do not like this book. I've read almost all of David Baldacci 's books including Absolute power and this book is a deviation from his usual highly entertaining novels. This book is so slow that I've stopped reading it. I've been trying to read it for over a month. I'll psyche myself to eventually complete this book just to find out who the culprits are. So boring. Very disappointed.
angelsrus More than 1 year ago
once I got into the story I could not put it down, the characters are so real & believable. The story is a GRIPPER as I call it. What a breathtaking read. AWESOME! David Baldacci has done it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book tedious. While Decker's character was convincing , I found it not so with the plot and the situations .
Anonymous 23 days ago
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Anonymous 26 days ago
Enjoyable. Every time time I went to put it own. I said let me read another chapter.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
Very disappointed in this book. Wonder if Baldacci is running out of ideas.