According to the foreword in his latest book, David Baldacci has written almost 40 novels and is described as one of the world’s best selling authors. With 130 million copies in print and his books translated into 45 different languages, his popularity could not be questioned!
His novels feature a wide range of different principal characters whose story he writes and his latest book, THE FALLEN, features Amos Decker, an investigator endowed with the unusual attributes of living with synesthesia and a memory which has total recall.
The book begins with a family visit to the sister of his partner, FBI agent Alex Jamison. The family lives in a dying township called Baronsville, named after its founder, John Baron, who made his fortune there – a fortune lost over the generations. His only descendant, also John Baron, lives a life of near poverty in the family’s run-down mansion, and is despised by the locals, who blame his family for their impoverished situation.
Decker and Jamison’s plans for a quiet holiday are shattered when Amos becomes aware of strange happening in the neighouring house, one of only three still occupied in the street. Investigation leads to the discovery in the house of two dead bodies, each of which met death in a bizarre fashion.
And this is just the first in a series of deaths which involve local police and FBI agents sent to investigate the proliferation of drugs, both illegal and prescribed, and the deaths they have caused in the community.
A gentler note is introduced when Amos forms a caring relationship with Jamison’s niece when her father is killed in what appears to be a workplace accident during Amos and Jamison’s visit.
For generations there have been rumours of a mysterious treasure hidden long ago by the original John Baron, but despite the signs of many having searched, it has never been discovered.
This is a complex plot, full of action and with red herrings liberally sprinkled along the way! Of course Decker becomes involved in the investigations and his uncanny extra-sensory gifts play a role in solving this tangle of death and drugs and hidden treasure.
It is an action-packed read and one does need to suspend belief to enjoy it.
It is a long book of over 400 pages and I am sure it will delight committed Baldacci readers. I found it rather too improbable and too complex and I will remain true to my own investigative hero…Harry Bosch!
Producer/Presenter of The Good Life on 3MDR 97.1 FM
PUBLISHED: Pan Macmillan