Reviewed by Keith Mitchell
The Last Mile by David Baldacci is the new Amos Decker (book #2) thriller. Decker was an American footballer who got a head injury causing him to have a perfect memory. He then became a detective and his memory enabled him to become a meticulous investigator. He became a recruit for a special team of investigators for the FBI working with some agents and others like him from civilian roles drawn in to the team. Their remit is to investigate old cases to ensure there was no miscarriage of justice.
Decker is intrigued by the case of Melvin Mars, a black college football star from his past born to a mixed-race marriage, destined for the very top who was convicted of the murders of his parents some twenty years before. All the evidence says Mars was guilty and he was in his last hours on death row before execution when he got a reprieve. Someone else had confessed to the murders knowing details that only the killer would know. An open and shut case you would think.
Decker persuades the rest of the team that the Mars case should be looked at by them. A clever plot ensures that the team have to work hard to get Mars out of jail. So now Decker looks at the new killer, or was he? Even the victims might not be who they are thought to be. Mars gets out of jail and joins Decker and the team searching for the truth. Slowly but surely Decker unravels more and more mystery. Plenty of pressure keeps being applied to the team and he appears to be always one step behind the truth. Layer upon layer is untangled with people in high office involved in cover ups and blocking the investigation. Violence towards him and the rest of the team is never far away. Every time you think you have an inkling where the story is heading another bit of information sends it in another direction, but still heading generally towards the truth. Racial tensions of a bygone era are exposed as Decker and company near the real truth behind what happened and lies expose others involved
Power, money, bigotry, murders and betrayal all form the substance of this novel. The twists and turns in the sub plots keep you thinking and engrossed. The fast pace of the story ensures you are kept wanting more. I found this an excellent storyline. The characters and sub plots believable and complex without ever becoming too convoluted. A cracking good read that flows easily along, extremely well written, as expected from David Baldacci. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone.
RRP: £16.99 (Hardback) / £7.99 (Paperback) / £4.74 (Kindle)
Available to buy from Amazon here.