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Amos Decker #4

The Fallen

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Listening length: 11 hours, 56 minutes

The closer Amos Decker comes to the truth, the deadlier it gets in David Baldacci's latest #1 New York Times bestselling Memory Man thriller.

Something sinister is going on in Baronville. The rust belt town has seen four bizarre murders in the space of two weeks. Cryptic clues left at the scenes--obscure bible verses, odd symbols--have the police stumped.

Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are in Baronville visiting Alex's sister and her family. It's a bleak place: a former mill and mining town with a crumbling economy and rampant opioid addiction. Decker has only been there a few hours when he stumbles on a horrific double murder scene.

Then the next killing hits sickeningly close to home. And with the lives of people he cares about suddenly hanging in the balance, Decker begins to realize that the recent string of deaths may be only one small piece of a much larger scheme--with consequences that will reach far beyond Baronville.

Decker, with his singular talents, may be the only one who can crack this bizarre case. Only this time--when one mistake could cost him everything--Decker finds that his previously infallible memory may not be so trustworthy after all...

429 pages, Audiobook

First published April 17, 2018

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About the author

David Baldacci

252 books115k followers
David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.”)

David published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; the feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 46 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for younger readers.

In addition to being a prolific writer, David is a devoted philanthropist, and his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family’s Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy programs in the United States.

A lifelong Virginian, David is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,608 reviews
Profile Image for Baba.
3,504 reviews736 followers
November 15, 2021
2021 read Amos Decker, book 4, yet another top drawer FBI detective thriller - this one features photographic memory FBI consultant Amos Decker and his (female) partner Alex Jamison who on vacation stumble across not one, not two, but three double homicides; a fading former manufacturing town dying at the hands of the Opioid crises; and lots of secrets from the past, and in the present! This book gives such an illuminating look at the impact and effects of the Opioid Crisis and the accompanying crime waves...yes, waves plural.

I've asked myself why, of the countless super-bestselling thriller / crime fiction / forensics American writers do I always return to Baldacci? Well for one he has well thought out interesting protagonists; two, it's their FBI training that empowers them and not ridiculous over the top physical prowess; and three, death matters! When people die and/or murdered in his books, their deaths mean something, often to the books' protagonists, and are not just a prop to further his stories. If you choose one mega-bestselling short chapters, large text writer to go to - choose Baldacci! 8 out of 12.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,618 reviews12.8k followers
May 10, 2018
David Baldacci’s latest Amos Decker novel touches on some timely material while keeping the reader enthralled throughout. While vacationing in rural Pennsylvania, Amos Decker and his partner, Alex Jamison, seek to unwind with Alex’s sister. When Decker stumbles across a murder scene, he is unable to divorce himself from his sleuthing ways. Two men are found murdered in a home presumed to have been abandoned. This is not the first murder in Baronville of late, which has seen half a dozen bodies piling up over the last few months. While Jamison is happy to let the locals handle things, Decker pulls her into the middle of the investigation as his mind races at light speed. It would appear that someone does not want them poking around, as they are caught in a situation that leaves Decker’s mental abilities tarnished. When tragedy befalls Jamison’s family, she is happy to set the case aside, but Decker is determined to get to the bottom of everything going on, including trying to learn more about the town pariah, a man whose family has influenced the community since its inception. As Decker investigates, the dire the consequences of the opioid crisis come to the surface, where towns across America are being destroyed by new and lethal drugs on a regular basis. When Decker makes a solid connection between these drug deaths and someone in town, he will stop at nothing to reveal the full picture, even if it costs him everything. Baldacci has another winner with this novel, which keeps the reader guessing while addressing some of the poignant topics making their way into news headlines around the world. Recommended to series fans and those who enjoy a well-paced thriller that has a little of everything.

I have long enjoyed Baldacci’s work, which is as varied as his handful of central characters. He has the ability to place his protagonists in interesting predicaments while also pulling news from the headlines to make the novels even more relevant in a genre that seems supersaturated with books. Paring down the series characters, Baldacci focuses on Decker and Jamison, allowing both to develop some more of their backstories/personal sides and offering the reader something on which they can relate. It would seem that the opioid crisis is an ongoing hot button issue and Baldacci finds a way to spin it in a unique fashion to offer his own perspective without getting overly preachy. Baldacci’s subtle use of characters to portray opinions permits the reader to feel at ease throughout this controversial topic. With chapters that keep the narrative flowing effectively and keeps the reader wondering what’s coming next, Baldacci has another winner with this novel in an established series. Perhaps not the best of the novels, but still one well worth the time to read it, I can only wonder what else Baldacci has in store for his fans.

Kudos, Mr. Baldacci, for another wonderful book. I know you have plans for new and exciting series in the fall, but I hope you will not forget this series, which has been gaining momentum since its inception.

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:
http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,115 reviews1,975 followers
July 12, 2018
Probably not my favourite of the series so far but still good. Amos Decker maintains his personality and weird little quirks despite a few doubts creeping in from time to time.

Parts of this probably overlong book are slow - never boring but slow. There is a fair amount of unnecessary detail and the introduction of an awful lot of characters. On the other hand the murder count is huge and varied and Decker himself is nearly murdered at least three times.

Decker's character seems to be developing now that he has partner and is part of a larger unit. He shows a lot more empathy than before and there are some lovely exchanges between him and Jamison's six year old niece. He seems to be beginning to come to terms with the loss of his own wife and daughter.

Now I am wondering if there will be an Amos Decker #5. I seriously hope so but the ending of The Fallen had a certain air of finality about it. We shall see.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,299 reviews4,829 followers
August 9, 2020


In this 4th book in the 'Amos Decker' series, the FBI consultant and his partner Alex Jamison investigate a series of bizarre murders. The book can be read as a standalone.



Background: Amos Decker, 6'5" tall and over 300 pounds, was a professional football player until a massive hit ended his career and left him with hyperthymesia and synesthesia. The hyperthymesia gives Decker a permanent detailed memory of everything he's ever seen or experienced - like a combination photo album/video in his head. And the synesthesia makes Decker see things in false colors - like death scenes glowing blue. Unfortunately, Decker's hyperthymesia doesn't allow him to dim the memories of his dead wife and child, who were murdered a few years ago.

On the upside, Decker's phenomenal memory helped him in his career as a police detective, and he now works for the FBI.....on a team that investigates crimes. Decker's FBI partner is Alex Jamison, a woman who understands his problems and has his back.

*****

FBI consultant Alex Jamison decides to use her vacation time to visit her sister Amber, brother-in-law Frank Mitchell, and 6-year-old niece Zoe in the rural town of Baronville, Pennsylvania.



Alex convinces her workaholic partner Amos Decker to come along, hoping he'll get some needed rest.

On a rainy evening soon after the partners arrive, Decker is on the porch chatting with young Zoe, when odd sounds disturb the evening. An unoccupied house on the next block is giving off crackling sounds, accompanied by scraping noises in the street. Decker hurries over to investigate, and finds the bodies of two murdered men, one hanging and one shot.



And that's the end of Amos and Alex's vacation!

Decker and Jamison are soon helping the Baronville police investigate the homicides, and learn that the dead men are John Does, unknown to the authorities. The FBI consultants are also told that two local residents were murdered recently, a banker and a woman who lost her job at J.C. Penney.

It turns out that Baronville is suffering from massive unemployment because coal mining and related industries have dried up. Moreover, the opioid epidemic has hit the town hard. Many Baronville citizens are addicts, and overdoses are common.



All this puts the populace in a dark mood, and most people blame John Baron, the last remaining descendant of the town's founder. The populace believes John's grandfather, a mean-spirited scrooge, let the town die, and they resent the only remaining family member.



When Decker goes into a bar, he meets John Baron, who's living on a shoestring. It seems the family fortune was squandered decades before, and Baron makes do with a small income. Decker takes a liking to the personable man, which impacts later threads of the story.



The one economic bright spot in Baronville is a huge fulfillment center (FC) where orders from online vendors are packed and shipped. In fact Alex Jamison's brother-in-law Frank recently moved his family to Baronville, to become a manager at the FC. The FC provides hundreds of jobs, and is planning a sizable expansion.



Following Decker's suggestion, the two John Doe bodies are identified, which brings the DEA into the investigation. The murder inquiries are now being conducted by three agencies:

- Baronville police detectives;



- DEA agents;



- and Decker and Jamison from the FBI.

The authorities make slow progress, though, and more deaths follow. In fact Decker and Jamison come close to being victims themselves, and are lucky to be alive.

To say more would spoil the step-by-step revelations, but I will say that - like previous Amos Decker mysteries - this one has a convoluted plot. In fact it's so intricate that parts of the book are not believable (in my opinion). Still, this is a good story that demonstrates the softer side of Decker, especially when he shows a fatherly side to little Zoe.

Amos Decker mysteries are always entertaining, and I'd recommend the book to readers who enjoy thrillers, especially Amos Decker fans.



You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Skip.
3,226 reviews394 followers
May 14, 2018
Seemed like a Jack Reacher novel to me. Amos Decker and his FBI partner Alex Jamison take a vacation to Baronville to visit Alex's sister, brother-in-law to celebrate her niece's sixth birthday, only to discover two murdered people in a neighbor's abandoned house. Baronville is a broken town, with its original factories shuttered, and some hope from a huge mail-order shipping warehouse. Amos figures out the identity of the corpses and learns there are been four other recent unsolved murders, which eventually are pinned on John Baron, the despised descendant of the town's founder and scion. Dogged as ever, Amos keeps digging and discovers a truly rotten core and some despicable people. The highlight of the book is Amos's relationship with Alex's niece, Zoe, with whom he makes a special connection.
Profile Image for Tim.
2,084 reviews192 followers
May 5, 2018
Another mediocre story that barely earns a passing grade from the Baldacci factory. 3 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,864 reviews262 followers
May 15, 2018
*https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com
David Baldacci, author of some 35 plus novels, definitely needs no introduction. He is the bestselling author of the Memory Man series. The Fallen marks the fourth and latest chapter in this popular set of novels, featuring enigmatic lead Amos Decker. The Fallen is a thrill ride from start to finish and I guarantee this book will draw appeal for loyal fans of the series and newcomers.

Amos Decker is supposed to be on a short vacation with FBI partner Alex Jamison, in the small town of Baronville, situated in Pennsylvania. However, as quickly as the two agents try to relax, their holiday plans are derailed. A murder investigation begins in the town where Alex and Amos are holidaying. It seems both agents can’t help themselves, they soon become embroiled in the murder case. With a rising body count, it is a race against the clock to help solve these murders. The more Amos and Alex search for the truth, the more shocking the revelations involving the small town of Baronville becomes. Amos draws on his unique memory skills to try to crack this case. But even this hardened and wise team may not be able to solve the case unscathed. It is a fight to the death to stop any further murders from taking place and to try and save the desperately crumbling town of Baronville from further despair.

The Fallen, the latest novel from international bestselling author David Baldacci, was one exhilarating thriller that kept me completely engaged for the entire novel. It is my first outing with Mr Baldacci. I’m not sure why it has taken me until now to experience his writing and enjoy his books. Anyhow, I hope to rectify my gap in Baldacci’s works and The Fallen was a great start.

For those who are long standing fans of Baldacci’s work and the Memory Man series, I am confident that The Fallen will not disappoint in any shape or form. For freshman to the series and Baldacci’s work, I can attest to this novel being a great place to start your David Baldacci journey. If you do have the opportunity to catch up on the previous novels in the Memory Man series, I would suggest going in this direction as it will enhance your reading experience of The Fallen. However, as I am pushed for reading time, I was satisfied with the amount of back detail Baldacci provides to new readers of the Amos Decker series. From very early on the piece I had a good grasp of Amos, his partner, tragic background and the unique gift that he brings to his investigations.

What I loved most about The Fallen was not just the richly layered narrative, which contained plenty of tangents to keep the reader on their toes. Rather, I found The Fallen to be a fine ode to small town America. Baldacci uses The Fallen as a vehicle to highlight the issues at stake in small towns such as Baronville, which are dotted all across the US. With a downturn in manufacturing and production, resulting in significant job losses across these towns, the future is bleak. Many of these so-called ghost towns, provide the breeding grounds for unsavoury activities to spark. In Baronville’s case, the employment deficit has resulted in a huge rise in the drug trade. With the increase of the drug trade, the conditions prove fertile for other negative activities, such as murder and violence. Baldacci ties this in expertly within his novel and illuminates a country-wide problem very well within The Fallen.

Baldacci balances the personal issues of his leads well within a compelling narrative. Baldacci reveals just enough of the personal side of each of these characters, so that we develop quite the attachment to these leads. The use of Amos Decker’s memory skills, where Baldacci works to highlight the pitfalls, as well as the positive points of this impairment, made for an interesting read. The Baronville case the duo work to solve is a complicated one and it certainly got my brain ticking away the whole time I spent with this book. I do like books that make me think hard and this is one of those novels. Baldacci knows a thing or two about action scenes and The Fallen is a perfect example of Baldacci’s ability to present a solid action-thriller based novel. This was one heart pounding thriller, where Baldacci issues surprises his audience right up until the end of the novel. The sense of mystery also runs right through the very core of The Fallen.

Overall, I was impressed by my first David Baldacci novel and I am tempted to explore the previous novels in this series, along with other works by this author. It amazes me that Baldacci can balance out his writing so well and pen so many different characters. Spreading himself across a range of different series and genres is no easy task, but it seems Baldacci has it down pat. I found The Fallen, Baldacci’s latest, an entertaining read and a novel that I would not hesitate to recommend. If you are already a fan of Mr Baldacci’s work I’m sure you will agree The Fallen is one action packed new episode of the Memory Man series.

*I wish to thank the publisher, Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
906 reviews164 followers
May 15, 2018
This Baronville is one messed up place. This was an incredible, fast-paced book with so many different criminal aspects going on, along with a messed up supporting cast. Seriously, some of these people were train wrecks of human beings. Even though some are what you would usually say are no likeable, it actually does not even cross your mind because you are too busy being amused by these messed up human beings to even consider liking them or not. The plot has a personal touch to it and also has Decker going through different changes with his head injury, but really it was the criminal activity of this book that has you wondering what the hell is wrong with this town and its citizens. I really was trying to predict who was behind everything but in the end is was futile because there were so many a-holes running around the pages of this book.

My quick and simple overall: awesome and intriguing read with one hell of a supporting cast.
Profile Image for Jordan.
31 reviews
May 3, 2018
I hate to give this a bad review, as I like the Amos Decker character, but this book was all over the place. It was scattered, poorly written, and the characters were undeveloped. I was disappointed.
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,367 reviews755 followers
May 11, 2018
What can I say about this book besides it's another stellar entry into an already great series? Honestly, not much except that this is the fourth featuring former police detective Amos Decker, who landed a spot on my Top 10 book "heroes" list right from the first. That's partly because he's an Ohio boy (I've been a proud Buckeye State resident most of my life) and a football standout - that is, until he took a nearly deadly hit on his first play as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

He didn't die, obviously, but he did end up with some rather unusual after-effects - most notably being hyperthymesia, or the ability to remember every single moment of every single day and call any one of them up at will. He also acquired synesthia, or the association of colors with people and objects. Particularly in his career as a detective, those rare abilities usually are extremely helpful, but in his personal life, not so much. There's no escaping, for instance, the years-ago horror of the brutal murder of his beloved wife and young daughter. He's also a bit emotionally challenged, in that for the most part he's unable to express his feelings. Those qualities make him a unique character - the biggest reason I'm a big fan.

These days, Amos and his partner Alex Jamison work with the FBI (another personal "connection" since my late mother's maiden name is Jamison). As this story begins, they are in small-town Baronville (located in northwestern Pennsylvania not far from the Ohio border - another fun coincidence, since I live in northeastern Ohio not far from the Pennsylvania line). They've come to visit Alex's sister Amanda, her husband Frank and their daughter Zoe, who not long ago relocated in Baronville when Frank took a job at a huge new distribution center. Still another coincidence; the area in which I live - just off Interstate 80 - is a hot spot for distribution centers as well.

Amos and Alex are hoping for a few days of down time, but that changes quickly when Amos notices some strange sights and sounds at the house behind the one they're in. Unable to resist checking things out, Amos finds two dead bodies. Poking around results in another serious head injury - one that has mind-altering potential. Further investigation, with help from local cops, reveals other recent murders - far more than would be expected in such a small town. Among the suspects is the hermit-like descendent of the town's founding father, who was a highly successful industrial magnate believed to have caused the town's steep economic decline and, not inconsequentally, the opoid addiction that's running rampant in and around the community.

Amos has to work to win the confidence of the local police, and gaining traction in that area puts him and his partner in the crosshairs of the bad guys. Murders keep piling up, and it's clear that someone is intent on adding Amos and Alex to that stack. Can they find out what's really going on and who's behind it before they become victims as well? Ah, but that's for me to know and other readers to find out. The only thing I'll pass on is that this is another winner - highly recommended!
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,164 reviews884 followers
June 19, 2018
Amos Decker and Alex Jamison are on vacation, enforced for Amos who tags along with Alex as he has nowhere else to go. She’s visiting her sister in Baronville, Pennsylvania to celebrate her niece’s upcoming 6th birthday. On the first night, Decker stumbles upon a double murder next door in the middle of a storm. Instead of low-key downtime, Decker and Jamison are drawn into the investigation to assist local law enforcement because this is no typical case.

The story tackles a contemporary issue, the raging opioid crisis which seems to have impacted this small, dreary industrial town that is trying to emerge from economic downfall. The case morphs into something bigger when it appears to connect with another group of murders that happened earlier. It’s a large cast of suspects and some of it is easy to connect but the underlying motive is more elusive. What distinguishes this story is Decker’s apparent self identity crisis brought on by events associated with his involvement that even had me a bit concerned. He’s also challenged to deal with emotionally charged situations, especially those involving Jamison’s niece, Zoe. Their relationship was truly special, giving us insight into what lies within this complicated man.

I really liked this story, particularly Decker’s inner turmoil. I’m excited to see this character evolve, even if it’s only small steps. The case was compelling and often exciting, especially the climax. The narration duet has finally found its rhythm and it added drama and reality to my reading experience. I love this series and can’t get enough of this unusual character.

(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,911 reviews763 followers
November 9, 2018
Amos Decker and Alex Jamison are visiting Alex sister in Baronville, Pennsylvania. They are there to celebrate Alex's niece's birthday, but they hardly get there before Amos sees something amiss in the house next door. Then, everything goes to hell!

That is all you need to know about the story that and that there will be dead bodies, lots of secrets and the most important thing of all, never trust anyone!

THE FALLEN is an action filled book that thrilled me from the beginning until the end. There is a deep dark mystery hidden in Baronville and all Amos has to do is figure out it all, and keep himself and those around him alive. I loved the setting in this book, this once glorious town that now is filled with junkies and forlorn people. There is definitely something wrong with the city, but what? One thing for sure, and that is some people will regret that Amos Decker decided to tag along with Alex...

Personally, did I find this book to be hard to put down, then again that's what I expected from this book since Baldacci always writes heart-pounding, page-turning thrillers. THE FALLEN is book four in the Amos Decker series, but they are all stand-alone so you can without any problems read this without having read the previous three books.

I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews281 followers
June 11, 2019
Amos Decker is by far one of the best book characters EVER!! David Baldacci has done it again!! It started off with a boom and ended the same way. Can’t wait for the next in this series.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,801 reviews454 followers
May 31, 2018


The Fallen is a fast-paced thriller with a great plot!

Ales Jamison and Amos Decker are on vacation. Alex takes Amos to visit her sister's family in Baronville, PA. Alex's sister, her husband, and their young daughter Zoe have moved recently to Baronville due to a promotion.

On the first night of their vacation, Amos sees something in the house closest to them. He goes immediately to investigate it. His search yields two dead bodies. When the cops get there, Amos learns this is not the first murder. There are six more unsolved murders. Despite being on vacation, Amos can't walk away for them. He needs to find the truth about the murders. His instinct is telling him they have to be related and that Baronville is hiding many dark secrets. In the center of it all is the Barons and their latest descendant, John Baron.

In The Fallen, David Baldacci gives us many new characters to enjoy. However, I'm not going to lie, I missed the rest of the team. From the new characters, I liked John Baron. He had an intriguing personality. He was astute, well spoken and had learned to defend himself. He had a rotten deal just by born into the Baron family.

In The Fallen, everything was much more personal for Alex. She was trying to protect her family from harm while helping Amos solve the crimes. Amos also had some questions about his own memory and what could happen to his abilities in the future. Amos' behavior could still be odd at times but he was able to forge a connection with Zoe, Alex's niece.

As for the plot, Baronville is like so many other ghost towns in America where drugs like opioids have become a real issue taking the lives of so many. I love how Amos was able to connect the dots and find the culprits to these horrible crimes and bring justice to the small town of Baronville.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Jim.
542 reviews78 followers
June 9, 2018
This is the fourth book in the Memory Man series and while not my favorite it was entertaining and timely.

Amos Decker and his partner Alex Jamison are visiting Alex's sister and her family and in Baronville, Pennsylvania. It is a former mill and mining town with a crumbling economy and rampant opioid addiction. They have only been there a few hours and Decker is out on the rear deck of the house talking with Alex's niece when he notices flickering lights and then flame in the window of the house across the way. When he goes to investigate he discovers two bodies. He then learns that there have been a series of recent murders in the small town. Cryptic clues have been left at the murder scenes ... bible verses, mythological symbols. The next murder strikes close to home and Decker vows to find out what is going on in Baronville.

Actually there are a lot of different things going on that will keep the reader guessing at the truth. There are the drugs but there also appears to be an insurance scam. Toss in a rumor of hidden treasure to keep things interesting. As other reviewers have pointed out there are a lot of bad guys and gals. You really don't know who you can trust or believe. Perhaps too many bad guys for a small town but with the drug addicts and dealers this isn't Mayberry.

As I mentioned earlier this isn't my favorite book in the series but David Baldacci is a good story teller. It was heartwarming to read the parts where he interacts with Alex's niece. As readers of previous novels in the series know Decker lost his wife and daughter. As I was reading this novel I found myself wondering where Baldacci is taking this character. He seemed to be evolving and changing. What does the future hold for the Memory Man?
October 2, 2019
1Star - I did not like it -DNF@53%

From my activity reports:
David Baldacci - Amos Decker #4 - The Fallen
Audiobook - 11:57 Hours - Narrators: Kyf Brewer,‎ Orlagh Cassidy
@27%:
Although my three previous "Amos Decker" listens all ended up with 2Stars reviews, I decided to have another crack at this series written by one of my favourite authors. After 27%, I haven't heard anything to indicate #4 will be any better than #1-#3😒"
@53%:
Nope ... this is definitely the last Amos Decker book for me. At times the narrative seemed banal, as did the narration, for that matter🙄!
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,016 reviews556 followers
January 13, 2020
So the thing is, I’m not really buying in to this Memory Man series. I know I’ve set about reading these in reverse order (this is book 4 and I’d previously read the latest episode, book 5) and that can’t help, but I really don’t think it would have made much difference if I had read them in sequence. I do like Decker, but it’s elements of the narrative and some of the detail that I really have a problem with. But I’ll come back to that.

For those not already familiar with Amos Decker, the short catch-up is that he works for the FBI and following a head injury, sustained in his first (and last) professional football match, he has effectively developed photographic memory. The memory thing is, in fact, an accepted medical condition, though I really don’t know whether it ever takes the precise form Decker benefits from. I say benefits, but there are drawbacks too – his family were brutally murdered some years ago and images of the aftermath haunt him to this day. So far so good, as the fact that he has perfect recall short-cuts lengthy backtracking amongst police files etcetera and does keep the story bouncing along.

In this tale, Decker is holidaying with his FBI partner and close friend, Alex Jamison, when he spots what he thinks is a fire in a neighbouring house. His subsequent discovery starts a murder enquiry which causes him to abandon all thoughts of a break and leap neck deep into helping the local police force track down the killer(s). The interactions between Decker, Jamison and the local cops is really well executed, I think, with parochial possessiveness on the part of the police officers gradually giving way to begrudging acceptance of the offered (pushed upon) assistance. At this point the wider picture becomes known and it’s clear that the police face a bigger problem than just this case, there are strange things going on in this town – very strange things. It’s not yet clear whether there is a pattern created by this case and other unsolved murders, but Decker is convinced there is a link and he means to find out what it is. So full marks from me for the set-up.

The problem for me from this point is three-fold:

1. I was irritated by three separate characters iterating the abbreviation ‘FYI’. Not ‘for your information’, just the acronym. Now maybe this is common form for FBI employees but when a third person slipped it into a conversation it was just too much for me. Yes, I do get upset by little things.

2. The plot quickly becomes too tangled, too unlikely and far too over-engineered for my personal taste. I prefer things kept simple, or at least simpler.

3. I’m not going to give away the detail but there’s a clue here, a piece of deduction from Decker based on something he spots – partly due to his gift - that also plays out in book 5. The self same thing gives away a secret that allows him to crack a case. Now, come on!

On the upside, I do think Decker is an engaging and interesting character (though I find Jamison somewhat irritating) and I think if you’re looking for a bit of fun and escapism there is far worse material out there. But judging Baldacci on this form against, say, Michael Connelly or John Sandford, I’m afraid he comes up some way short. Will I track down books 1 – 3 at some point? I doubt it. But on the other hand if I’m struggling for find material from my favourite crime scribblers I just might. Any port in a storm, I guess. It's three and a half stars for this one from me.
Profile Image for Archit.
823 reviews3,227 followers
August 24, 2018
"I'm wondering who's going to die next."

- Amos Decker

A whole scam of a town, a racket - described phenomenally.

Decker's head injury had provided him with phenomenal memory skills. He can remember hundreds of numbers by just looking at them, in the same order. As they say, memory is a blessing as well as a curse. Following the dangerous profession that he is in, he cannot forget what happened with his family. In a blink of an eye, they were gone from his life and there was no way they could come back.

Seeing people die has certainly become a routine for the protagonist.

He is visiting his FBI partner Alex Jamison's sister and her family in Baronville. A town that has a history of its own. The citizens detest the Baron family that established major industries and rendered employment to the needy. Once they were a bunch of respectful people and deteriorated gradually, with no money in hand. And it definitely is going to be a roller coaster ride for these two.

Alex's niece is a sweet little pumpkin who captures your heart since the beginning and preventing yourself from feeling her innocence in your own heart will fail you. A series of murders that keep coming your way makes you turn the pages rapidly.

The plot is complex and gripping. A page turner indeed. Murders involving one or two victims are everywhere but this time, David Baldacci has involved the whole city of Baronville. To the end of the book, the reader is left eager to know who are the murderers and what happens to the survivors.

Reading about people with photographic memories has always fascinated me. This one was no exception. Hooked to the characters, the writer simply made it impossible to trust any of them. Anyone could have been the criminal, sitting and chatting next to you. Yet, you could never know what they were plotting.

This is what made The Fallen an enthralling read.

Recommended for David Baldacci fans. It won't disappoint you.
Profile Image for Paris        (kerbytejas).
770 reviews126 followers
February 19, 2021
The Fallen (Amos Decker, #4) by David Baldacci is a great, engaging, and well-written story. The plot is like a slice of "today's" America, town's that have lost their luster now that the primary businesses have shut down, the influx of drugs and its effects on the people, corruption within the ranks of law enforcement, and people struggling to make ends meet.

What starts out as a vacation trip to see Alex Jamison's family, turns into a complex murder mystery, but by the last page of the book, all loose ends are neatly tied up in a logical fashion.

This is a must-read for fans of David Baldacci's Amos Decker series.
Profile Image for Adrienne.
510 reviews117 followers
March 4, 2020
Another wonderful Amos Decker story. Love the writing, the plot, the good characters. Terrific. Unputdownable.
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,184 reviews124 followers
December 23, 2022
“He let out a deep breath, and kept hold of Zoe’s hand”. They “sat there, while both life and death revolved around them.”

David Baldacci introduced Amos Decker in MEMORY MAN as a wannabe NFL star stricken with the rather bizarre combination of synesthesia and hypermythesia (an indelible memory) in a serious injury that derailed his football career only moments after it had begun. In THE FIX (#3 in the series), Decker, still toting a full complement of emotional baggage, returned as a skilled FBI consultant up to his armpits in a baffling case in which he witnessed (and foiled, of course) a byzantine and tortuous domestic terrorist attempt to update the 9-11 attacks. And now, THE FALLEN sees Decker and his female partner, Alex Jamison, full FBI agents, visiting the home of Alex's sister in Barronville, a small town in western Pennsylvania deep in the doldrums of an economic downturn. When Decker investigates some flashing sparks in an empty house next door suspecting a possible fire, he finds, not only the clues that demonstrate attempted arson but a pair of very deceased bodies. Sherlock’s proverbial game is afoot and Decker and Jamison are up their FBI necks in a nasty conspiracy that extends across the country and even around the globe. Barronville is definitely the tiniest tip of a very, very large criminal iceberg.

While THE FALLEN never suffers from being tedious or, God forbid, boring, some readers (myself included) will definitely accuse it of lacking the usual breakneck, compelling pace of Baldacci’s thrillers. So, while it may seem to be somewhat slower than a reader might hope it to be in places, THE FALLEN also does a yeoman job of advancing Amos Decker’s character as he seems to be coming to grips with the devastating, almost crippling grief that he experienced at the loss of his wife and daughter. Decker is also portrayed as passing that growth on in some very heartwarming conversations with Jamison’s precocious eight year old niece on the topics of death and dying and dealing with grief and loss. Insofar as the case itself is concerned, Baldacci’s idea for one possible mechanism for national distribution of fentanyl, the fuel of the USA’s current opioid crisis as well as rogue cops and a dastardly insurance fraud scheme make for a very workmanlike FBI investigative procedural.

Definitely recommended … just not quite as enthusiastically as the first three entries in THE MEMORY MAN series. But I’m still a fan and I’m still looking forward to reading my copy of REDEMPTION (Amos Decker #5) and the continuation of a very successful series.

Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Gary.
2,554 reviews358 followers
February 15, 2020
This is the 4th book in the Amos Decker series by author David Baldacci.
In Baronville, Pennsylvania, agent Amos Decker and his FBI partner Alex Jamison are supposed to be taking a break by visiting Alex's family. But a supposed break is halted when Amos discover two bodies in a nearby house. The duo start to uncover secrets in Baronville and the pair are in danger of becoming the next victims.

This is another excellent addition to the memory man series and each book is consistently of an high standard. Great characters and excellent plots that are played out to perfection. The characters are continuing to grow with each book and hopefully the author plans to keep this series growing for some time yet. Looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Heather.
20 reviews1 follower
Read
November 1, 2017
Okay, I'm OD'ing on David Baldacci.....
Read all the Will Robie books, too - Yikes!!
Time to change the channel.
Profile Image for Vicki Elia.
431 reviews12 followers
April 29, 2018
A disappointing read from Baldacci. Amos Decker is a 1 dimensional character who solves a multi-faceted crime all by himself. 3 or 4 sub-plots finally come together in a mish-mash of a final conclusion, which is highly improbable. Sappy dialogue.

Audio read by both male and female leads becomes tiresome.
Profile Image for Sally Lindsay-briggs.
659 reviews28 followers
April 10, 2018
I get a lot of books from Goodreads Giveaways but this was one of the very best. Decker is a smart, savy and dedicated FBI agent, who is still investigating while on vacation. His partner, Alex knows him well and is great at backup. The story takes place in a very small, impoverished town in Pennsylvannia where nothing is as it seems. Strange sounds are heard, drugs are rampant and there are several murders that are initially hard to solve for anyone. There are several suspects, more than one thing wrong, and there is a long lost treasure. The plot moves quickly and the reader is engaged. I couldn't put it down. A phenomenal read!
Profile Image for Judy Churchill.
2,312 reviews22 followers
April 21, 2018
This wasn’t my favorite of Baldacci’s Memory Man series but it was still a good read. There were so many bad guys it was hard to keep all of them straight. However, it was endearing to see Amos Decker be vulnerable after another whack on the head. His interactions with six year old Zoe were very touching and therapeutic for both. Of course, they solved the nasty crime spree and murders which had paralyzed the small town.
Profile Image for Kris - My Novelesque Life.
4,626 reviews190 followers
May 26, 2020
RATING: 3.5 STARS

I love Amos, but I wasn't as engaged in this novel as I have been in the past. I debated between a 3-4 so gave it a 3.5 with a lean to 4 stars. I liked Amos fine in this novel but missed rest of the team. And I miss Melvin!
Profile Image for RM(Alwaysdaddygirl).
456 reviews68 followers
May 24, 2018
5 stars This hit close to home with grief. If I can I do a review, I shall. It still hurts to talk about. Sorry.
Profile Image for Terri Wino.
656 reviews59 followers
May 3, 2018
Well, this wasn't my favorite in this series, but then again, Amos Decker is my least favorite of David Baldacci's characters. I'm not even sure why; I just don't care for him these last couple of books.

Having said that, I also found the subject matter to be depressing. Probably because I live in a western Pennsylvania town that is experiencing much of the same problems that Baronville does in this book with being a former steel town that now has a lot of unemployment and multiple overdoses on a daily basis.

What bothered me most about The Fallen, though, was at times I felt like I was reading a Scooby Doo and the Gang comic, complete with the cranky, nasty old man that you could just picture gleefully rubbing his hands together to plot the demise of anyone who crosses him. Just certain events I felt were a bit overboard for this type of storyline.

So while this isn't among my favorites of Mr. Baldacci's work, it IS still a decent book worth the read.
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