After reviewing dozens of mystery novels by David Baldacci and probably reading as many more, I am in the unfortunate position to say Baldacci really drops the ball with the seventh Amos Decker Memory Man thriller, Long Shadows.

For those unfamiliar with this series, Amos Decker is a not quite FBI agent who, after a professional football injury, has a perfect memory. This perfect recall helps him to solve crimes. Here, it is more of a neat literary trick for Baldacci to move the plot along when he needs to.

A judge and her bodyguard are killed in Miami. Washington agents Amos Decker and his new, unwilling partner Frederica White. Why these two agents in particular are sent to Miami to solve a crime when there are plenty of FBI agents in Miami is a very minor plot point.

Decker and White are soon convinced the bodyguard and the judge were killed by two different people. People around the judge disappear and are also killed which puts the pressure on.

The bodyguard was found with old Slovakian currency stuffed in his mouth and this leads them to a private security company. The owner of that company asks Decker and White to help her find out what happened when her father disappeared a few years ago. Now, they have two official cases and an unofficial one.

David Baldacci`s Long Shadows is an unnecessarily complex mystery novel. As agent Frederica White says, “This is getting to be the messiest case I’ve ever been involved in.” No kidding. Baldacci does wrap up things neatly in the end but not after trying the reader and some of the solves are on the weak side.

Things do pick up in the last fifth of this Memory Man thriller but the effort put into this mystery is not really compensated by the ending.

There are many excellent David Baldacci mystery novels out there, we have included links to some on this page. This Amos Decker thriller is for acquired fans only.

The Long Shadows
David Baldacci
An Amos Decker Mystery
Grand Central Publishing 2023
458 pages

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