Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.
Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter - a family man with a successful consulting business - and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack.
Enter Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it.
But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security. Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government - or, worse, an international terrorist group - and an attack may be imminent.
Decker's never been one to follow the rules, especially with the stakes so high. Forced into an uneasy alliance with Agent Brown, Decker remains laser focused on only one goal: solving the case before it's too late.
What I liked: I enjoyed the read because of the characters, well, a couple of characters anyway. Amos Decker, the man who forgets nothing, is an unlikely hero but there is just something so compelling about his character that will keep me coming back for at least one more book in this series. His “partner” at the FBI, Alex Jamison, is another unique character.
The premise behind this series was initially the FBI put together 5 individuals on a task force to solve cold cases. One of the individuals, a psychologist has departed the task force between the last book, The Last Mile, and this one. Two of the members are bona fide FBI agents, the three civilians were chosen based on their background and expertise in certain areas.
Amos was chosen as he had prior law enforcement experience and had a great closure percentage. The reason for his success was based on an old football head injury. He has hyperthymesia otherwise known as perfect recall but also the head injury greatly affected his personality. He personality changes could be mistaken for a form of autism. He’s standoffish and is terrible at recognizing social cues. His interactions with people are extremely awkward but he occasionally does have his moments where he connects with an individual. Alex on the other hand was a reporter in her previous occupation but was extremely talented at research and dealing with people.
The first thing that threw me a bit off-kilter is Mr. Baldacci has changed the rules for the team. Now, they will be working live cases and no longer live at Quantico but will be moved the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington D.C. As an aside, Jamison and Decker will have to find a place to live but Jamison seems to have solved that problem by managing an apartment building for a friend from a previous case, Melvin Mars. She proposes she and Decker share the owner’s apartment (it has 2 complete bedroom suites with shared common areas) and he agrees until he decides if he’s going to stay on with the FBI. From the very first book, Memory Man, I think Amos and Alex might end up being a couple but am not sure how Mr. Baldacci is going to pull that off with Amos’ personality quirks.
Amos witnesses a murder suicide right outside the Hoover Building on his way to a meeting. The case seems to give the team no clues as to why an individual, Walter Dabney, would spontaneously murder a woman he is passing on the street and then when caught, turn the gun on himself. That’s the crux of the book, investigating and following the clues of the murderer and the murdered. Mr. Baldacci does not make it easy on the team or the reader to figure out exactly what is going on. In addition, Alex and Amos are now managing an apartment building and are expected to “help” the tenants when needed. There’s a side story there for Amos in his connection with a father and son tenant.
What I didn’t like: I’m really not sure where this series is going. Alex and Amos do decide at the end of The Fix about their future with the FBI but I felt that storyline was all over the place. This book didn’t flow as easily as the previous books. It felt a bit disjointed and I didn’t feel the connection to the characters I usually feel in one of Mr. Baldacci’s books. Maybe it was my mood but even now, writing this review, I didn’t feel emotionally invested in the story.
The good part for me was I couldn’t figure out the connections nor solve the mystery of the murder. The “bad guy(s)” were a big surprise!
Overall, a “meh” read for me but if you enjoy Mr. Baldacci’s books, I think most will like The Fix. It is a bit pricey for the e-book as The Fix released as a hardcover at $17 plus and the e-book is $14.99. I’ll read the next in the series to see if it’s worth it to keep going with the Amos Decker series.