The sole protagonist, Amos Decker, must be growing on the author, as this novel is the seventh in the Decker series. Most of the author’s other stand alone protagonists make it to five or six novels before cessation, not even guesting in other series.
Amos Decker, on the other hand, is quite unique. A special consultant to the FBI, he carries many physical and psychological injuries: a permanent brain injury from his youthful NFL days, he is an ex-cop and detective whose wife and daughter were slaughtered by a past convicted felon. In the earlier novels, he was an overweight loner, barely managing to keep his hyperthymesia and synesthesia from permanently overcoming him. The FBI assigned him a partner and a team to solve cases, ending with a perfect record of 100 solved cases.
In Long Shadows, Amos’ partner and team members have been promoted to other field offices or retired. He is on his own but assigned to the murder of a federal court judge and her bodyguard in Florida. A privileged gated community, it’s a locked room mystery which Amos, with his unique talents, should be able to solve quickly, had his brain not started glitching. Assigned a new partner and with the help of the local police, this crime twists and turns more than usual, leading off into several seemingly unrelated events before pulling together in the end.
A treat: there are not one but two separate murders, with separate motives.
Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Murder and Crime Reading Group