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.