The Last Mile by David Baldacci – Book Review

The Last Mile by David Baldacci - Book Cover

I bet you’re here too because you thought how great the first book in the Amos Decker series, “Memory Man” was. And why was it good? Well, because although beneath the surface it was just an average crime novel, how unique was that 130-kilo, grumpy, eccentric protagonist who REMEMBERS EVERYTHING that ever happened to him in life, down to the second. Plus, he also had to avenge his family. How good was it? About 8.5/10. And that’s saying something, considering I swore off Baldacci’s books like 10 years ago because he’s such a terrible writer. Okay, fine, but then I couldn’t resist the blurb of “Memory Man.” In short, Amos catched his family’s killer, that rotten scumbag, and joined the FBI as an external consultant, just like Patrick Jane did in the last season of “The Mentalist.”

Now, the FBI doesn’t mess around: Amos has an FBI boss, an FBI colleague, the journalist girl from the previous book, and the psychologist lady on his team. Too much for you? Yeah, it’s a good thing they didn’t recruit Aunt Maggie from the B stairwell into the team because she’s good at solving crossword puzzles. They need a separate bus just to go to a crime scene. Do you think anyone shades these characters? Hell no, except the FBI colleague, who stands out from the rest of the team just because he keeps giving Amos a hard time. The others believe absolutly EVERYTHING he says.

Do you think that’s smart? Hell no! Fatass Amos decides to go on a diet, which he needs, I admit, but he overdoes it, poor bastard, depleting his glycogen stores, which is not good for his BRAIN. This is just my guess, it might be something else, but it definitely targets his BRAIN. Brain tumor or something, I don’t know, but the point is, the guy’s losing his mind.

For example, they kill a witness because of him. Oh well, uh, sorry, says Amos, I didn’t think that would happen. Amos’s only luck is that everyone else in the group is just as imbecile, and in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, so even with reduced brain function, he manages to move forward.

Yet the „The Last Mile’s” perpetrator comes up with the most elaborate plan to escape his pursuers. Such a complex plan that it keeps him busy for decades. He gets innocent people into prison, whom he has to free again in the end. And he has to keep eliminating people to make everything go according to plan. Meanwhile, Amos, throwing all common sense aside, charges ahead like a happy-go-lucky rhinoceros in a china shop. All his plans fail, he keeps getting duped and made a fool of, while endangering others. And you, watching from the sidelines, keep sighing: Amos, damn it, no! Come on, seriously, don’t, old man!

And do you think it helps when ANOTHER PERSON joins their team? (Yes, you heard that right, now there are six of them on the case!) Hell no. This sucks especially because even if you’re naturally naive, easily influenced, and gullible – just like the author of these lines – you can still mostly see all the plot twists coming. There are two HUGE surprises in it, both of which I figured out as soon as I saw them appear.

So why the hell can’t Amos, this FAT, RETARDED, STUPID IDIOT figure them out, huh?! You know why? Because David Baldacci publishes two books a year. It’s completely inconceivable to publish two books a year that actually make sense. Baldacci has probably become as much of a franchise as James Patterson, where there’s a whole team behind a name, churning out books in multiple genres. So „The Last Mile”, the second book in the Amos Decker series was probably entrusted to the gawky, least skilled member of the team.

That’s why there are such unlikely absurdities in the „The Last Mile”, like Amos making a breakthrough in the investigation with a simple Google search! Or that he, with the same determination as Jack Reacher (see: Die Trying by Lee Child), revealing all his cards (the most worthless hand imaginable, mind you), pisses off his powerful enemies – and then discovers he’s definitely going to get killed for it. And what does he do then? What? He starts whining like a dumbass and waits to be rescued.

4.5/10 (45%)

The Last Mile (Amos Decker #2) by David Baldacci
644 pages, Hardcover
Published in 2016 by Grand Central Publishing

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