I finished this book a few weeks ago (October 9 according to Goodreads), but I haven't had time to write this review. I first picked up this book just because it was the second one in the Amos Decker series, but I was immediately intrigued because it was a case about a former football player who was wrongly convicted and on death row before someone else confessed to the crime he was convicted of, the murder of his parents.
The most interesting thing to me here was how are you going to use Decker's strengths (his inability to forget anything) in a case that happened 20-plus years ago and he didn't have any witness to whatsoever. Baldacci was able to weave it in with current events and then reading of case files and the like.
But where this book really stood up is that it used the wrongful conviction to venture into some other topics that were really poignant given the political environment in the United States today. The book was published in April 2016, so there was definitely a knowledge of the current environment, but not as much as has been evident since Trump received the Republican nomination for President.
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars
I don't know how to talk through the rest without going into spoilers. So the spoilers start now.
I thought Baldacci's ability to weave into the story the Civil Rights Era of the South into the 1960s and a modern story today was great. He made sure it was played pretty close to the vest on everything, so when you find out that Melvin Mars' dad is still alive and the one that framed him for his and his wife's death. He never thought his son would be executed because he didn't do it, and he made sure of it by paying to have someone confess to the crime to get Melvin out of jail. From there, the ability to weave into the storyline a church bombing from the 1960s to prominant members of today's Southern political, economic, and law enforcement elite was done extremely well and believable, including how people's motivations and thought processes have now changed.
All in all, I felt the book's ability to weave a political message into a thriller was done very well and had me wanting to continue to read more than just on my subway ride or before I go to sleep which doesn't always happen.