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Book Talk: Baldacci, ‘Long Shadows’

It’s been a while since David Baldacci wrote his last “Memory Man” novel, but I think that “Long Shadows” (2022, 435 pages in hardback) — the seventh book in the series — can be read as a stand-alone book. As usual, I suggest that the series be read in order. However, the author gives enough background in the narrative so that the reader never feels lost.

In this edition, Amos Decker (the Memory Man) approaches his new case with a number of conflicts. First, he’s been notified by the Cognitive Institute that certain changes might be occurring in his brain. A former professional football player, Decker suffers from two conditions that resulted from a game injury to his head: he has hyperthymesia (which causes him to have total recall of everything he sees or hears) and synesthesia (which causes him to see certain things in neon colors, with death being electric blue). Second, he’s been sent to Florida to take over a case that should be handled by the local FBI agent. And third, he’s been paired with a new partner, and Decker hates change.

His new partner is Special Agent Frederica (Freddy) White, a diminutive African American single mother who has a double black belt in karate. Initially, Decker and White go together like oil and water, and they look like Mutt and Jeff, with Decker being the towering hulk and White seeming like Minnie Mouse. And, on top of everything else, the case that they’ve been sent to investigate is very strange.


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