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The Last Mile by David Baldacci
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The Last Mile

by David Baldacci

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1704911,020 (4.1)39
Melvin Mars awaits his fate on Death Row. He was one of America's most promising football stars until, aged twenty-years-old, he was arrested and convicted for the murder of his parents just as he was due to begin a very lucrative contract with the NFL. When Amos Decker, newly appointed special agent with the FBI, hears the news that Melvin was saved in the final seconds before his execution because someone has confessed to the killings, he persuades his boss to allow him to carry out an investigation into the Mars murders.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
This is the second book of the series. A lot of twist and turn in the book, the main characters are well developed. Enjoyed the story. ( )
  Baochuan | May 21, 2019 |
My weakness for thrillers made me say yes to this book when I was asked if I wanted to read and review the book. Now I'm very glad I did. I haven't read Memory Man, the first book in the series, but that didn't stop me from truly enjoying this book. I do however plan to read the first book some day.

The Last Mile starts off with Melvin Mars in prison very soon to be executed for the murder of his parents, but in the last minute, another man steps forward claiming he's the one behind the murder. Amos Decker takes an interest in the case because there are similarities between his case and Mars. This all happened in the first book so all I know is that his family was killed and I bet Decker was accused of the murder. The big question is, what really happened 20 years ago when Mars parents were killed? Why would someone confess to the crime in the last minute? Decker wants to take on this case despite the fact that there isn't really a case to take since Mars is going free. Decker is simply want to know the truth.

I found the book really compelling because the story took so many interesting turns that I never expected. I came to like the characters Mars, and Decker very much, and the story was truly intriguing. Especially when one started to finally understand what was really going on. At first, there was a lot of questions regarding the case (that wasn't a case but more a mission for Decker), and there were moments I feared for Mars life, especially since it wasn't even sure he would not be thrown in jail again. The book was thrilling and fascinating to read. I loved not knowing what was going on and just getting a piece of the puzzle now and then and the best part is when the whole picture started to take form and you read how Decker and the rest slowly getting to the truth. A truly remarkable good book! And, I love the last chapter, and especially the very last part of it!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
When we first met Amos Decker he was living life looking in the rear-view mirror. His big dreams of a being an NFL star ended on the first play. The crushing helmet to helmet blow resulted in rare cognitive phenomenons known as synesthesia and hyperthymesia, which lead to a stellar, two-decade career in law enforcement. That too ended with a tragic blow. When returning home from work one night he found his wife, daughter, and brother-in-law murdered. Living in a small hotel room, this big man, with few social skills worked doggedly to see his family vindicated.

Having helped the FBI capture a vicious murderer, it's no surprise when he's tapped to join a newly formed cold case unit that includes journalist Alexandra Jamison, clinical psychologist Lisa Davenport, and Todd Milligan, an FBI field agent. Passing time on the drive to FBI Headquarters in Quantico Virginia, Decker listens to NPR radio. When a story about the pending execution of Melvin Mars grabs his attention. Decker can hardly believe his ears, as he listens to the striking similarities between what has happened to him and the Melvin Mars case. He arrives in Virginia and convinces the team to look into the case. Then at the eleventh hour, an Alabama death row inmate throws a wrench into the Texas death chamber's clock when he confesses to single-handedly killing Mars' parents. Freeing Mars was simply the first step in unraveling the recipe for a murder that sent an innocent man to death row for twenty years. The officers that built the case and the prosecutors that won the conviction are uninterested in the last minute reprieve. They are interested in only one thing...seeing Melvin Mars executed. And there's a "southern mafia boss" hell-bent on doing what the state of Texas didn't.

Amos Decker is a fascinating mix of damaged soul, genius brain, an unlikely hero. However, if this series is to be long-running, his quirky habits and lone-wolf attitude need to be changed. He talks at, not with team members. They can't add depth and dimension to the story when Decker is determined to have all eyes on him. There's more talk than first-person action. While this is an easy, quick way to convey just the important information. It eliminates all the extra stuff we would get from a first person view. And me personally... I like having the stuff. It's one of Decker's "flying solo" tricks that triggers a rushed ending that left me feeling a bit cheated.

From D.C. to Alabama, Mississippi to Texas, Baldacci mixes an interesting southern brew, even when peppered with red herrings. I could see what was coming from a mile away, and I liked it anyway.

Happy Listening!

RJ

*Although I felt Memory Man fell just a little flat - it's a solid read that introduces a fascinating lead character. It's something new, not the same ol' cookie cutter suspense/thriller story. Even though The Last Mile would be an enjoyable solo read, Memory Man is the foundation upon which Baldacci is building the Amos Decker series and I recommend reading it first. ( )
  MrsRJ | Mar 22, 2019 |
Clever story abouta wrongly imprisoned football star. Decker's persona is further developed and while he seems both real and believable his feats are also unbelievable. While much is made of his memory it really isn't the star of the story. I will continue to follow his exploits. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Oct 1, 2018 |
I have read this series out of order and read later ones in the series before reading this one.

The title seemingly comes from what they call the death row prisoner's walk to his execution.

Amos Decker becomes intrigued with the case of Melvin Mars because he sees parallels between what happened to his own family and what happened to Mars's parents. I didn't see the same parallels that Decker saw--they weren't as clear to me as they were to the author or the character. I did like the twist that Decker and Mars had played against each other in college football. I like the friendship the two of them have and I hope we see Mars again (though I can't say I remember him being in the books I've already read. Not that he might not have been, just not as a character that stuck out to me.)

One question readers could explore is "can you do something to atone for past crimes?". Callahan participated in racist attacks in the past that resulted in deaths and he also appears to have set up Mars to take the fall for a different murder. But he does try to get Mars exonerated before Mars's execution can take place and he sacrifices himself later in the book. To our human eyes, we might say he's atoned for his crime--but he did still commit those crimes and no matter what he does, he can't bring the people he killed back.

Baldacci usually writes a tight storyline that keeps me turning the pages. This one was no exception. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Sep 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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To the memories of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, two brilliant lights taken from us far too soon.

And to Vicki Gardner, whose courage and grace are inspiring testaments to the resiliency of the human spirit.
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Mars, Melvin.

In here, anywhere, anytime, they called out your name backward, and he would instantly respond when he heard his.
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"Where the NAACP office was they built a public library. You know people who read are a lot more tolerant and open-minded than those who don't."
"Great, so let's get everybody in the world a library card." [Chapter 73]
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Melvin Mars awaits his fate on Death Row. He was one of America's most promising football stars until, aged twenty-years-old, he was arrested and convicted for the murder of his parents just as he was due to begin a very lucrative contract with the NFL.

When Amos Decker, newly appointed special agent with the FBI, hears the news that Melvin was saved in the final seconds before his execution because someone has confessed to the killings, he persuades his boss to allow him to carry out an investigation into the Mars murders. There are facts about the case which don't add up, and as the investigation deepens, Decker and his team uncover layer upon layer of lies and deception which are rooted at a time in American history which most would rather forget, but some seem keen to remember. There is someone out there with a lot to hide, and a secret that everyone is looking for. A race against time ensues because, when revealed, that information threatens to tear apart the corridors of power at the very highest level. The case proves to be life-changing for both Mars and Decker in ways that neither could ever have imagined.
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