Baldacci, David: The Last Mile (2016)

You might remember (although you probably don’t) my review of the first instalment of David Baldacci’s (then) new Amos Decker series. If you don’t: here’s the link:

Baldacci, David: Memory Man (2015)

I really enjoyed part one of the series and – as promised – picked up part two soon after it hit the shelves.

Unfortunately, The Last Mile turned out to be…a little forgettable? I read the novel a while ago and just didn’t bother reviewing it because I have little to say about it.

I can’t really pinpoint why I didn’t like it as much as its predecessor.

  • The plot’s premise isn’t new, but certainly interesting nonetheless: guy on death row might be innocent after all and could potentially be saved if the protagonist proves his innocence in time.
  • Amos Decker, who was hired by the FBI as an agent extraordinaire, meets his new team for the first time and very predictably does a horrible job integrating himself into the team, which adds some tension.
  • The story itself comes with some unexpected twists and turns, meaning that reading the novel was never boring…

…Wait! I’ve got it! There were parts of the novel that were excruciatingly boring – at least to me! See, Amos Decker received the mind altering injury that caused his extraordinary abilities during a football game. Now that fact isn’t new. It was well established in the first part of the series. However, the death row candidate in need of saving also used to be a football player, meaning that he and Amos spend half of the novel reminiscing about football games long past, exchanging football anecdotes and rephrasing their current situation in football metaphors. I don’t know what it is with Americans and their football, but all the football talk sure got annoying after a while.

So: should you read this novel after reading the first one? (I’m not discussing the possibility of reading part two on its own, because no.)

Sure, if you like football or don’t mind constant references and comparisons to this sport throughout the novel. Otherwise, I don’t think you miss much by skipping this one and waiting for the next instalment to be published. Considering the speed with which Baldacci writes his novels, it can’t be long until Amos Decker #3 is available. Just find a good summary to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the character / relationship developments that took place in part two!

Let me know:

Are you a football / sports fan? 

Does it bother you if a book is strewn with references to a topic you don’t care for / know much about?


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