Book five; Redemption, of the Amos Decker series starts, ominously enough, with the lead character reluctantly returning to his home town in Ohio USA, to honor the birthday of his deceased young daughter. Before the end of the first chapter, the body count has already commenced and, due to a captivating, complicated story line, more bodies pile up. Amos joins forces with his former police detective partner and, more reluctantly, with the town’s police force (his old squad) to crack the case. Yet the body count increases and his FBI team mates arrive swiftly to join him as the case takes on a vastly more sinister aspect.
Whilst the author might be dismissed by some readers as writing ‘airport fiction’ his novels are hugely popular globally and it may be due to his gift of creating believable, fragile yet courageous characters. Amos Decker is one such: an overweight man, blessed (or cursed) with a head injury from college football which left him with perfect recall. He doesn’t make friends easily yet has the highest crime solving rate around (earning the gratitude of the US President in a previous book). This latest instalment (and we hope there will be another book written soon) carries more plot twists and turns than previous books, making it a very satisfying read. This reviewer particularly loves the Amos Decker series and admits to reading a fifth of the book each day, to make it last for the week. It’s probably best to start this series from the first book Memory Man as it introduces the characters most thoroughly and describes the great tragedy that almost broke Amos Decker at the beginning.
Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Mystery and Crime Reading Group