In his number-one New York Times best-seller Memory Man, David Baldacci introduced the extraordinary detective Amos Decker-the man who can forget nothing. Now, Decker returns in a spectacular new thriller...
THE LAST MILE
Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution--for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier--when he's granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.
Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars's case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men's families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.
The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars--guilty or not--a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?
But when a member of Decker's team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger--and more sinister--than just one convicted criminal's life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed.
©2016 David Baldacci (P)2016 Hachette Audio
"David Baldacci's latest thriller is not only highly relevant, it is also well timed. And the details seem so real that it's hard not to wonder if the author is an insider; the tone is that authentic. An absolute page-turner, King and Maxwell is Baldacci at the pinnacle of his game." (BookReporter.com)
"Its pace is relentless, and Baldacci's reworking of his perennial theme - absolute power corrupts absolutely - gives the book a sense of urgency and cultural relevance that many thrillers lack." (Richmond Times-Dispatch on The Hit)
"One of the most compelling characters in David Baldacci's thrillers is John Puller, a crackerjack investigator of military crimes...Twists and turns come fast and furious in the best Baldacci tradition. The Escape is much more than a thriller. It's a moving tale of two military brothers and their father, a retired Army general and fighting legend now suffering from dementia. Emotionally intense, The Escape is Baldacci's best to date." (Associated Press)
"Brilliant use of language...vivid supporting characters and numerous sudden and unexpected plot twists...[Baldacci] doesn't let the action sag at any point...In [Chung-Cha], Mr. Baldacci has created one of his most memorable characters." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on The Target)
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
I've struggled to separate the story from the narration performance of The Last Mile. My conclusion is that The Last Mile is a better story than Memory Man (Amos Becker Book 1). I rated the Memory Man 4 stars for the story. The Last Mile deserves 5 stars because it is a great story.
Narration is the next issue. Orlagh Cassidy's relatively small part of the female voices deserves 5 stars as usual for her. Kyf Brewer did the male dialog and the reading of the non-dialog text which is the probably 95% or more of the words in the novel. Kyf Brewer did a great job of narrating The Guilty which is Book 4 of Baldacci's Will Robie series, but his narration of The Last Mile is so bad that it is a major distraction from the superb story. Ron McLarty played exactly the same narration role in Memory Man that Kyf Brewer plays in The Last Mile. Frankly, I believe that this audiobook of The Last Mile should be withdrawn from the market to be recorded again with Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy narrating (or either of them alone). The bottom line is that I am awarding 1 star to the narration due to Brewer's performance. That is unfair to the incredible Orlagh Cassidy, but her role in the performance is small.
The overall rating presents another issue. Specifically, how much to penalize the author's story for the narrator's poor performance. This is an audiobook and the performance is important. I decided to rate overall at 3 stars because the quality pf narration is so poor that it detracts from enjoyment of the story.
Copies of all of David Baldacci's audiobooks are in my Audible library. He is one of my top 25 favorite authors. This is the lowest overall rating I have given to a Baldacci audiobook.
The first book and narration was fantastic and I had a certain visualization of Amos based on the voice the narrator used. Apparently Brewer didn't listen to the first book because the voice he gives Amos makes him sound like a 14 year old boy. This audible version of the book was a complete waste of my money because I had to stop listening before the character I really loved was turned into someone who was grating and annoying. I ended up buying the Kindle version and reading it so I could put the original narrator's voice in my head.
No, I spent to much time wishing Amos Decker's real voice would return. Kfy was a poor substitute for Ron McLarty.
I would have never put the two together. Ron McLarty has a strong and powerful voice. Kfy is a good narrator in his own right, but not the voice to replace Ron. Why would a writer allow for different narrators for the same character.
Let me start by saying I don't usually attack reviews. I don't understand why so many people had problems with the narrators, I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Enough said about that.
As usual David Baldacci has written another winner. The character is spot on. I have listened to every book written by Baldacci. As is the norm, there are many twists and turns. If you are a mystery/thriller fan, I highly recommend this book.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
IT WAS BUCKETING OUTSIDE
Going on vacation, I needed something that both my wife and I could agree on. She is not a fan of horror or science fiction. Baldacci had been read by both of us and we both like him. Both of us felt it was a four star book and we both felt it was entertaining throughout. You will not get bored listening to this book. The story itself had a few holes and was little forced, but it was typical Baldacci. My wife already read, Memory Man, I had not, but I did not find that a problem. This is a must for Baldacci Fans. If you have not read him, it would be okay to start here, but his best is Absolute Power.
I have nearly 100 audible books in my library, and this is the first time I have ever heard two narrators used this way. It is HORRIBLE! Brewer's text narration is okay, but he makes Decker's dialogue sound like a 14 year old kid. And then, out of nowhere, we have a woman speaking the female parts. Why???? It is BEYOND distracting. I can see using two narrators when you have two separate point of view characters, although with a really good actor at the helm, it's not necessary. But this is ridiculous.
The story grabbed me from the beginning, but I'm not sure how far I'm going to get into it. I totally agree with another reviewer who requested a re-recording. This one is terrible. Just terrible!
Decker is working with the FBI as part of a new task force taking on cold cases. The one they choose first quickly becomes very, very hot. Melvin Mars is a wonderful character. He gradually shows you that he doesn't fit the stereotypes, and ends up being one of the more fully-fleshed characters in the story.
The first quarter to third of the book makes you think Baldacci must have just seen The Green Mile, but after that it gets back to being Baldacci standard quality. The other characters are much more than just a foil against which Amos Decker tells us the story (as in Memory Man). Two of the three women are still very unnecessary; we could have done the story with just Decker, Mars, the Feebie, and the lawyer against all the bad guys. When the shrink disappeared, we didn't even miss her. Neither did they. The women are one dimensional, and with Orlagh Cassidy, they all sound the same. The lawyer (or was it the shrink?) was especially weird--Orlagh couldn't decide on an accent, switching between New York Jewish, Boston, and Alabama. Kyf Brewer did a great job on the main narration and the men's voices, so eased the pain of listening to Cassidy.
But after we get over the Green Mile, the book is really good, with lots of developments and complications. There was no longer the need to lecture us on hyperthymesia or synesthesia so the story was able to move along more smoothly. There are a lot of questions to think about: could you atone for a really bad mistake, like killing someone, through a lifetime of good deeds? Or should you still go to jail? What is a satisfactory recompense for someone who was wrongly imprisoned for 20 years? What can you do with your life after spending your prime years in prison, and then being released? How do you live with horrible memories when you can't forget anything and time cannot dull the memory? Decker's answer to this question is touching and worth considering.
Now I hope there will be more of Amos Decker.
This author was not on my *must* read list until the first Amos Decker book. I really liked the character, and that makes up for a lot of other failings. This story didn't live up to my expectations.
Don't get me wrong, it's a good story most of the time. There are a few things that just don't work--plot wise--and that detracts. The bad guys keep showing up unexpectedly and no explanation is ever given. Some of the plot twists are so apparent that I grew impatient waiting for the heroes to finally figure it out. Some of the things that happen are incomprehensible, and the writer blames it on the bad guy's stupidity. (Reading about stupid bad guys is not interesting! I could read the news for that.)
The narration wasn't awful, but it didn't add to the story. The male narrator's voice is too young for the character. The female narrator is just irritating. Not that she's bad--she's not. Just that a female voice stuck in there for a line or two is jarring.
If you like Baldacci, you'll like this. If you aren't a Baldacci fan, this book won't change your mind.
long, drawn out story that didn't feel Baldacci-esqe. It felt like a poor attempt at a story about racism where revenge wins in the end, but one of my least favorite books of his by a lot.
This book was great. I was sucked in from the beginning to the very end. Very descriptive. I felt like I was there at times.
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