Redemption: still good, but I need more from this series

Redemption book review

What is this about?: Amos Decker is in his old home town visiting his family’s graves when he meets Meryl Hawkins — the man he arrested when he was a young homicide detective. Hawkins insists he’s innocent and there’s just enough in that assertion to convince Decker to look into those claims.

What else is this about?: Redemption. For Decker and the man he and his partner wrongly sent to prison. For Hawkins who wants his name cleared before he dies from cancer, and even for the people behind his wrongful imprisonment

Blurb

Detective Amos Decker discovers that a mistake he made as a rookie detective may have led to deadly consequences in the latest Memory Man thriller in David Baldacci’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Amos Decker and his FBI partner Alex Jamison are visiting his hometown of Burlington, Ohio, when he’s approached by an unfamiliar man. But he instantly recognizes the man’s name: Meryl Hawkins. He’s the first person Decker ever arrested for murder back when he was a young detective. Though a dozen years in prison have left Hawkins unrecognizably aged and terminally ill, one thing hasn’t changed: He maintains he never committed the murders. Could it be possible that Decker made a mistake all those years ago? As he starts digging into the old case, Decker finds a startling connection to a new crime that he may be able to prevent, if only he can put the pieces together quickly enough…

Redemption is the 5th in the Amos Decker series, and while the case itself is good, and filled with twists and turns, I am beginning to wonder if I have the patience to stick with a series with incremental character development… in the same book, where there is some incremental character development. Sort of.

I’m complicated, ok?

Amos Decker, redemption and hindsight is 20/20 vision

Amos has returned to Burlington to visit his wife and daughter’s graves when Hawkins approaches him with his request to prove him innocent, and then drops this gem in Amos’ lap: his former partner, Mary, believes Hawkins may be innocent.

This leads Amos back to his past, to Mary and an investigation into Hawkin’s claims that he’s innocent. Looking back at the evidence through the eyes of the experience they now have, it becomes clear how much they missed at the time, which in turn led them to arresting Hawkins.

Their redemption, if it’s at all possible, will be to prove Hawkins’ innocence — and Amos is willing to risk his current gig at the FBI to prove Hawkins innocent. And when Hawkins is murdered, they soon begin to realise that his case might be more than they’re expecting.

The investigation continues with methodical detail, as most of these cases do. Throw in Melvin, Amos’ best friend, and things do get interesting in the case, and Decker’s investigation into the past.

I really would like a case just with Melvin and Amos.

But… characterisation

Amos is changing… again. The inclusion of Amos’ photographic memory and how he changed after a traumatic brain injury on the football field made for an interesting exploration of the character, but there has been very little movement in terms of his character. I had begun to assume that the nature of his injury meant there couldn’t be too much character changes, but I was willing to go with things to see what else could be in Amos’ future.

Unfortunately, there was nothing, though in this book there are hints that something else is changing in Amos’ brain bc of his injury, and that is changing the behaviour of the past few books. It is interesting, I admit, that the character is evolving, but by the end I wondered if it was enough for me to keep going with this series.

We’ll see I guess.

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