Syma reviews FALLEN by David Baldacci,(Grand Central Publishing, 2018.)

If you have never read any of David Baldacci’s works, I can personally assure you he is definitely worth checking out. Fallen is the fourth book in the Amos Decker series. Decker is a former high school football player who has the blessing or the curse of a perfect memory. For years he has been struggling to go on with his life even though he is constantly haunted by images of his murdered wife, daughter, and brother-in-law while he was in Burlington, Ohio.

After trying to put his past behind him, he becomes a detective in Baronville, Pennsylvania, and becomes work partners with Alexandria (Alex) Jamison. Unfortunately, Decker has to help Alex solve the case of her own family being murdered. Even though four bodies were found in a deserted house next door to Alex’s sister’s place, the detectives soon find out they were all killed in the same place, stored in the same freezer, but strategically placed so the time of death (TOD) would be distorted.

The Baron family, the town’s founders, decided to close down various businesses and plants within its community so residents felt forced to turn to murdering, drug dealing, and taking drugs just to survive. Thousands of citizens were in the unemployment line or permanently laid off, and Fred Ross was one of these people. He had been severely injured while working at the Baron plant and was confined to a wheelchair for life. When he was questioned about the bodies, he fearlessly answered, “(I saw) two objects being carried into the house over the back of a tall person.”

Being familiar with the workings of a criminal mind, Decker was able to put together the reasons why the seven people were killed, linking drugs and insurance fraud to the motives. In a twisted turn of events,  Alex’s sister and niece were kidnapped to prove Decker and Alex were out of league.

Not knowing  Decker well, this action by the FBI and the Baronville police just made him that much more determined to solve the murder cases.

Amos Decker always is going on to come out on top so he’s a force not to reckoned with.