Source: Review copy
Publication: 10 November 2022 from Pan MacMillan
My thanks to MacMillan and Laura Sherlock for an advance copy for review
Things are changing for Decker. He’s in crisis following the suicide of a close friend and receipt of a letter concerning a personal issue which could change his life forever. Together with the prospect of working with a new partner, Frederica White, Amos knows that this case will take all of his special skills to solve.
As darkness falls, evil comes to light…
Judge Julia Cummins seemingly had no enemies, and there was no forced entry to her property. Close friends and neighbours in the community apparently heard nothing, and Cummins’ distraught ex-husband, Barry, and teenage son, Tyler, both have strong alibis. Decker must first find the answer to why the judge felt the need for a bodyguard, and the meaning behind the strange calling card left by the killer.
Someone has decided it’s payback time.
FBI Consultant Amos Decker received a life-changing brain injury when playing football, as a result of which he now remembers everything, including those things that hurt so much he would love to be able to forget them.
In Long Shadows, Decker has a lot on his mind. His close friend is dead. His partner, Alex Jamison has moved on and he’s been saddled with a new partner – Special Agent Frederica “Freddie” White. Decker has also received a letter that’s weighing heavily on his mind.
Frederica is a single mother and has fought hard for her place as an agent. It’s a battle she has to fight every day. Decker isn’t great with new situations and especially not at the moment, so the two don’t immediately hit it off.
Decker and Freddie White are called to South Florida where a Federal Judge, Julia Cummins and her bodyguard, Alan Draymont have been slain in the judge’s home in a gated community.
Killed within a short space of time, the judge stabbed numerous times in a frenzied attack and the guard double tapped with 9mm shots and with something stuffed down his throat. The indications are that this may be a revenge killing. As they methodically work the case, interviewing neighbours, colleagues and the judge’s son Tyler and her former husband, it becomes clear that this may be a more complex case than they first envisaged.
For Decker this is not the most auspicious of starts to a new investigation. He’s off kilter because of all the aforementioned events and when he and Freddie get to Florida it is to find out that no-one has told the local FBI that they are coming. It’s a mess and Decker is not happy.
To solve this case, Decker and White have to delve into the past. Baldacci lays out a panoply of suspects and motives and it is only by working closely together that Decker and White begin to work together as a team earning each other’s respect in the process.
Baldacci delivers another terrific thriller with lots of leads and political shenanigans to get in their way. The short chapters help build the tension and though the case is complex, this is still a fast paced investigation that uncovers secrets and scandals that have stayed buried for many years.
Decker is grumpier than usual in this book but that doesn’t stop him from recognising that life still has a lot to offer and as the story comes to a climax you can feel the appreciation he has for his new partner.
Verdict: A new direction for Amos Decker and an interesting new character in Freddie White about whom I’d love to hear more. The plot is beautifully layered and suspenseful. Lost Shadows is a great read and a brilliant addition to the Amos Decker series.
David Baldacci is one of the world’s bestselling and favourite thriller writers. With over 130 million copies in print, his books are published in over eighty territories and forty-five languages, and have been adapted for both feature-film and television. David is also the co-founder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation®, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across the US.