This is a perfectly fine mystery thriller, but in a way, it suffers from how good it's predecessor was. The plot of this book was fairly predictable, although there were a few twists here and there. By the middle of the book, you pretty much knew who was who and what was what. That doesn't necessarily make it a bad read. My real complaint about the book is the characters seemed way underdeveloped. Part of it is that there are way to many of them, so none really get their fair due. The other is that in the first Decker novel, so much time is spent getting to know Decker's mind, and in this novel, you don't really get to know anybody. Each individual seems like they've been put in place to fill the archetypes needed for a mystery novel. I didn't really care about any of them, and I wasn't afraid for any of them. So, it's a fun read, but Baldacci has done much better. This novel felt more like a script. You almost needed actors to exude emotion, otherwise, everybody either felt like they had none, or they were cartoonish. I think it would make a better movie than book.
I ran across David Baldacci's book "The Hit", a Will Robie novel, while planning a trip to Florida. I don't read often because I rarely find an author that keeps my attention. I didn't have any issues with this author. I finished The Hit in 3 days, went to a local store and bought "Memory Man", the first of the Amos Decker books. I finished that in another 3 days. Half-way in I decided to order The Last Mile because I didn't want down time in between books. I can't put these things down. It's like Jason Bourne meets Criminal Minds (though Amos Decker is far from Jason Bourne). The writing is just captivating. Every time I finish a chapter and want to maybe put the book down, I just immediately start reading the next chapter. I love how he writes in short chapters because it's so much more enticing to say "let me read these next 6 pages" and the next thing you know you are 60 pages in and hooked. I'm going to read every one of his books because I'm sure I won't find one I don't enjoy.
I believe Baldacci writes well, but too often. It is easy to create a premise that will draw readers in. It is more difficult to construct a series of believable events that explain the premise. This takes time and a good editor, neither of which are apparent in this book. For example, Baldacci has the protagonist sent to death row by his father who thinks this is the best way to protect him. In retrospect, the son would have been a high NFL draft choice and could have more hired more than sufficient security. Baldacci also has the son's car die right in front of a motel, but does not explain how this could be done--pre-Google. Then there is the house where a murder was committed that has sat untouched for twenty years. Perhaps Baldacci paid the property taxes so the house would not got to auction. If you read fast enough (Evelyn Wood x 10) that you don't notice the holes in the plot, you could enjoy this book. Last Mile proves that fast paced chapters do not necessarily make a good book.
I have read all of David Baldacci's books and this one is another winner. Amos Decker is such an unusual character that he completely fascinated me. After a head injury playing football, he can forget nothing which makes him an excellent detective. He is unusual in that he is obese, out of shape and socially awkward but a very likable character. The supporting characters were well developed and believable and the plot had so many twists that it made me dizzy. I couldn't put the book down and read it late into the night to see what surprise the next page would bring and was completely surprised by the ending. Loved it!
I highly recommend this book even if you haven't read the first book in the series, "Memory Man," as this one can stand alone. I'll be ordering book 3 for my Kindle now.
As some other reviewers have mentioned- this is not one of this author's best work. Liked the main character and plot was somewhat believable, but just didn't have that special adventure. I sometimes wonder if these talented authors sometimes use other writers to write parts of the story. Like James Patterson, who just writes for the money in my estimation and who i won't read anymore.
Full of American clichés with a bunch of references to Colombia drug cartels, slavery, racism,, bombings, killings, prisons, fights, and all sorts of inventions, way out of line from what anyone could see in 10 lifetimes. The story has many twists that are borderline absurd. This is the second Baldacci book I've tried, and will never buy another one.
I really enjoyed the first Memory Man book - I thought it was well written with a unique plot and good characters. This book is basically the opposite.
I won't get into major spoilers, but a semi-major plot point revolves on someone being able to sabotage a car so that it breaks down in a very specific location. What? Some of the characters come and go, are mean or nice without explanation and generally are annoying. And the "main" piece of evidence that everyone is searching for is rather unbelievable. Oh, and it's hard to get a sense of the time frame the book takes place over, but the main character losses like 50 pounds...in two weeks? Or three?
Fiction often requires the suspension of disbelief, but that is usually in regards to things like superpowers, time travel, etc. I don't think it should apply to the basic way 99% of people act and behave.
I am usually a big fan of D. Baldacci's books but...not so much The Last Mile. I thought the main characters were well developed but the plot line did not ring true to me especially Lucinda. I am looking forward to Amos Decker and Melvin Mars coming together again.