Bestselling author David Baldacci offers the fifth thriller in his best-selling series featuring beloved Detective Amos Decker, the “Memory Man.”
In Redemption, Decker discovers that a mistake he made as a rookie detective may have led to deadly consequences.
While visiting the graves of his wife and daughter in his hometown of Burlington, Ohio, Decker is approached by a man named Meryl Hawkins, a convicted murderer. In fact, Hawkins is the very first killer Decker ever put behind bars. Hawkins claims he’s innocent and has been granted a compassionate release from prison because he’s suffering from terminal cancer. Hawkins maintains that having Decker clear his name is his dying wish.
Decker is shocked by Hawkins’ claim because the case was open and shut. The jury convicted Hawkins on the basis of rock solid forensic evidence.
But when Hawkins’ body is discovered in a local hotel — a bullet in his head — Decker begins having doubts. Could he have really gotten it wrong all those years ago? Decker is determined to uncover the truth, no matter the personal cost. But the case went cold a long time ago, so solving it now may prove impossible.
Soon it is clear that someone doesn’t want the case reopened. Someone who is willing to kill to keep the truth buried, and hide a decades-old secret that may have devastating repercussions.
Redemption is another compelling installment featuring familiar characters from acclaimed author David Baldacci.
Decker is a unique character, known as the “Memory Man” because he has hyperthymesia which is the ability to remember everything and the inability to forget anything. He suffered a traumatic brain injury as a young professional football player. When he emerged from a coma, he found that, in addition to having attained perfect recall, his personality was altered. Suddenly, he had trouble expressing emotion and dealing with people. He misses social clues. Additionally, the injury caused him to have synthesthesia. He sees colors associated with things like death and numbers.
In the course of his career as a homicide detective, Decker also sustained the most devastating loss imaginable, the murder of his cherished wife, Cassie, and their young daughter. Decker has never even considered remarriage, mourning the loss of his family each and every day. Decker explains that at one time he “had everything. A wife who I loved beyond anything I‘d ever felt before. And a daughter who I would have sacrificed anything for. Now I don‘t have either one.” But “[m]emories don‘t keep you warm at night. And they don‘t make you laugh, not really. . . . But they can make you cry.” From the perspective of his partner, Alex Jamison, Decker “survives with more guilt on his shoulders than any person has a right to bear.”
Hawkins’ appearance further complicates Decker’s life, causing him to question his judgment, motivations, and the decisions he made when he handled his very first case as a homicide detective. Self-doubt about something so critical nearly breaks Decker. After all, the case seemed straight-forward at the time. Fingerprints and other forensic details placed Hawkins at the scene of the murders. Decker never questioned the conclusions to which the evidence appeared to clearly point.
“Finding killers is my only job. Wherever they might be.” ~~ Amos Decker
But now, in light of Hawkins’ insistence that he was wrongfully convicted — and his subsequent murder — Decker questions whether he was “so eager to get a conviction on my first homicide investigation that it didn’t strike me as odd” that Hawkins would have committed the crime in the way Decker believed at the time. Worse, Hawkins had never previously been in trouble with the law. Decker was so convinced by the forensic evidence that he never questioned that Hawkins could go from “never having a parking ticket to four homicides [which] is like going from hopping over a rain puddle to leaping across the Grand Canyon. It should have set off warning bells.” But it didn’t.
Baldacci takes a determined Decker on a dangerous journey to the truth in an intricately and meticulously plotted, and deeply moving adventure that keeps readers guessing right up to the very end. Along the way, Baldacci reveals the emotional torment that Decker experiences at the prospect that he could have been responsible for sending an innocent man to prison. Decker is highly principled and committed to justice. Some members of local law enforcement perceive his commitment to solving the case as encroaching on their authority and jurisdiction. But Decker will not be dissuaded. He cannot be. No matter the consequences.
In signature Baldacci style, Decker encounters a plethora of quirky and nefarious supporting characters. And danger.
Redemption is a fast-paced, and thoroughly engaging thriller, as relentless in its unexpected plot twists and surprising developments as Decker is in his quest to discover the identity of the real killers. As the number of dead bodies rises, so does Decker’s consternation, along with the story’s dramatic tension. Decker returns to places he never thought he would see again and confronts old demons in his search for the truth and, ultimately, redemption for the mistakes that were made so many years ago.
Will Decker find the redemption he seeks? Learning the answer to that question is what makes Redemption so intriguing, emotionally satisfying, and entertaining.