🎧 Just a Few Amos Decker Books I read (Pt 1)

Posted June 30, 2022 by Berls in Just a Few Books I Read, Review / 1 Comment

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This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books are all part of the Amos Decker Series I recently read with Anne. We read so many in a short period, I’ll be doing half the reviews today and the other half next week.

🎧  Just a Few Amos Decker Books I read (Pt 1)The Last Mile by David Baldacci
Narrator: Kyf Brewer, Orlagh Cassidy
Series: Amos Decker #2
Published by Hachette Audio on April 19, 2016
Genres: Mystery
Length: 11 hours 49 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

When a convicted killer is saved by another man's confession, Amos Decker, now an FBI special task force detective, must find the truth in this "utterly absorbing" #1 New York Times bestseller (Associated Press).
Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution--for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier--when he's granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.
Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars's case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men's families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.
The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars--guilty or not--a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?
But when a member of Decker's team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger--and more sinister--than just one convicted criminal's life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed.

I am THRILLED Anne (she also gave it 5 stars) noticed I had started this series and suggested it as an option for us to buddy read for the mystery readathon, because I had forgotten about it (as happens way too often with good series that I start for book club and then forget about, despite great intentions). I will definitely be catching up with this series this year, and I’m thrilled as I loved this book as much as the last.

I actually read Memory Man in 2019 – so not THAT long ago but I’ve recently learned I tend to forget a lot about books… so I was really happy when I very quickly remembered Amos and his story. I think some of that was the way David Baldacci left little clues to spark my memory along the way – thankfully without doing a full recap that is annoying when you do remember the details.

The Last Mile pulled me in immediately. Melvin is on death row for killing his parents – a crime he did not commit – and when we meet him it’s the morning that he’s scheduled to be executed – when he gets an unexpected stay of execution because someone else has confessed to killing his parents. After 20 years behind bars and losing his future as a definite star NFL player, he may be looking at freedom. How can you not get hooked by that? I know I did. And when Amos, a former NFL player who actually played Melvin in one game, hears the story on the radio, he’s hooked too. And thank goodness, because the case ends up being quite complex and needing Melvin’s unique brain to solve it and secure Melvin’s freedom.

The mystery is absolutely fantastic. I always love books where I actually have guessed and dismissed the correct solutions – it means the author did such a good job that I saw the possibility but there were enough other things going on to throw me off the track… and that happened with this book a few times. And when I looked back, it was clear as day. Amos is a fantastic character and I really enjoy the way we’re also seeing him develop as a person and the friendships he’s developing with his new FBI team. I think there’s lots of potential for future great books as well. And I hope we see more of Melvin too!

I listened to The Last Mile, narrated by Orlagh Cassidy and Kyf Brewer. I had forgotten how much I loved this narration, as it has a theatrical style. What I mean is that Kyf does most the narrating, voicing Amos’s POV and the male characters and then Orlagh steps in with the female voices. It’s an unusual style, probably because I would imagine it’s more challenging/expensive, but I find it really immerses me in the book that much more. My only complaint would be that there is also some music at weird junctures (perhaps CD changes from back in the day? When was this originally published? IDK) and it was meaningless and sometimes distracting. But not enough to diminish that I loved the book and the narration equally – 5 stars all around!

5 stars Flipping Fantastic

🎧  Just a Few Amos Decker Books I read (Pt 1)The Fix by David Baldacci
Narrator: Kyf Brewer, Orlagh Cassidy
Series: Amos Decker #3
Published by Hachette Audio on May 18, 2017
Genres: Mystery
Length: 11 hours 54 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

David Baldacci's remarkable detective Amos Decker - the man who can forget nothing - was first introduced in the sensational number-one New York Times best seller Memory Man. Now Decker returns in a stunning new novel....

The Fix

Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.

Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter - a family man with a successful consulting business - and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack.

Enter Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it.

But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security. Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government - or, worse, an international terrorist group - and an attack may be imminent.

Decker's never been one to follow the rules, especially with the stakes so high. Forced into an uneasy alliance with Agent Brown, Decker remains laser focused on only one goal: solving the case before it's too late.

Another brilliant addition to this series! So far – they’re all 5 stars for me! I love Amos and the relationships, but the mysteries are also really solid. Buddy reading with Anne and she is rating them equally high, with 5 hearts each.

This one I did actually partially figure out ahead of time, but really just barely and only partially – the clues were there for us, but there was a lot going on to distract as well. Which for me is exactly how a good mystery works – you should always be able to go back and realize you were capable of solving it if you’d paid attention to the right bits and pieces. And it’s super gratifying when you do manage to get close, like I did with this one. But Amos is just brilliant and honestly without his mind noticing things, I wouldn’t have a chance LOL!

I think the other real treat in this was the relationship development – particularly with Alex. They’re partners but there’s more – not romance exactly because of the way Amos is, but maybe someday? Anyway, their relationship is going through some growing pains and I love the way they interact and develop as partners and friends. I also really enjoyed seeing some of Melvin, along with new character Agent Harper Brown. I’m hoping we’re going to see some of these characters more in future books, as Amos starts to build this real family around him.

I continue to love this style of narration; it just brings the characters to life that much more. Kyf Brewer and Orlagh Cassidy have such a great rhythm together and I am thrilled to have them narrating this series in this way.

5 stars Flipping Fantastic

🎧  Just a Few Amos Decker Books I read (Pt 1)The Fallen by David Baldacci
Narrator: Kyf Brewer, Orlagh Cassidy
Series: Amos Decker #4
Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 17, 2018
Genres: Mystery
Length: 11 hours 56 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

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...

Oh this one was a bit depressing, but like in a really good story that makes you feel kind of way. In fact, it was a great story which I buddy read with Anne and with both gave 5 stars. (4/4 books in this series with 5 stars now!)

Amos and Alex are SUPPOSED to be on vacation when they stumble onto a murder investigation. They’re visiting Alex’s family – her sister, niece, and brother-in-law – at their new home in Barronsville, PA. It’s a sad town that’s fallen on very hard times – poverty, drugs, and (now) murder are running rampant. They’ve moved there because the town has a new facilment center that’s trying to breathe life into the town with new jobs… but it’s clearly failing since death is everywhere from drug overdose to murder. That’s the depressing part – these poor people. Yes, bad decisions. Lack of responsibility for their own lives. And yet, gah, what a miserable group of people (not Amber’s family but the town).

The investigation was gripping. I was twisted around a bit — had some good guesses and was right on some counts, but for the most part I was not as clever as Amos (anyone else not shocked? LOL). I found the mystery fantastic, but once again the relationship development with Alex and Amos was the highlight for me. And also some personal growth with Amos specifically. Some real tear jerker moments when he was talking to Alex’s niece Zoey.

Such a solid series, with really fantastic narration from Kyf Brewer and Orlagh Cassidy. The way they doing the voices separately for male and female characters just makes this so vivid. Can’t wait to read more!!

5 stars Flipping Fantastic

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 2 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 22 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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