Author : David Baldacci
Publisher : Pan Macmillan
Genre : Thriller
Source : Publisher
Rating : 4 Stars
Summary : Amos Decker, David Baldacci’s unique special agent with the gift of a remarkable memory, returns in The Fallen. Small towns which have seen better times are not unusual. But the mysterious events in Baronville, Pennsylvania, are raising the highly-tuned antennae of agent Amos Decker and his FBI partner, Alex Jamison. What was supposed to be a relaxing vacation turns into a murder investigation when two bodies are found in a nearby deserted house. With the body count rising, Decker and Jamison dig deep to uncover a sinister truth in Baronville, which could be the canary in the coalmine for the rest of the country. But even the duo’s skills and Amos Decker’s infallible memory may not be enough to save this town, or them, from becoming the next victims.
The story is about a small town that has seen far better days but which is suddenly in the grip of a lot of murders. The two protagonists are there for a holiday but when weird things start happening, they jump headfirst into the investigation. The sheer number of murders here is mind boggling. While some of them look accidental and some others look obviously like murders it is enough to confuse any reader (in a good way) and definitely enough to confuse the investigators.
It also tells us a bit about the people after whom the town is named. The feelings the people in the town have for them is palpable in the writing and it keeps you constantly second guessing the person or people you suspect. The author takes us through a roller coaster ride of faux suspects and crazy crimes in a sleepy town that might be put on the map for all the wrong reasons.
WHAT I LIKED
The story is fast paced, although it slackens a bit in the middle but manages to pick up the pace again, keeping the reader engaged. And the writing is so vivid that you can almost smell the fungus and mould from all the shuttered houses in the town.
It was gripping, mad gripping. It’s been a long time since I read a book without putting it down. And while you think you found out who did it each time you do, he brings in something that makes you doubt yourself.
WHAT I DISLIKED
Like in most thrillers the main investigator, in this case Amos Decker, is a know it all. He knows what is happening, how it happened and it makes it rather cliché and unbelievable. I mean, no one wants to read about a bumbling investigator (unless it’s a comedy) but it would be nice if Mr.Decker shared once in a while and didn’t make everyone else look small and insignificant. Yes, I know, he has an awesome memory and all that, it was still a bit annoying.
David Baldacci is a master, and as one expects from a master, the writing is vivid, the characters well etched and the environment easy to visualise. Combine that with a fast pace and a thrilling plot and I’ll say you have a must read book on your hands.