Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chance to Get Your Fix as Baldacci Checks in; Thriller Writer David Baldacci Is a Favourite with North East Library Users. He Spoke to DAVID WHETSTONE Ahead of His Visit to Meet Some of Them

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chance to Get Your Fix as Baldacci Checks in; Thriller Writer David Baldacci Is a Favourite with North East Library Users. He Spoke to DAVID WHETSTONE Ahead of His Visit to Meet Some of Them

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

TAKE a look at the fiction shelves of any bookshop or library and you'll probably see the name Baldacci occupying a good length of them.

But this week brings the chance to put a face to the name as David Baldacci visits North East libraries as part of the Big North Book Run.

This is a three-day festival run by publisher Pan Macmillan and libraries in Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside and South Tyneside.

Ahead of his North East visit, the American crime and thriller writer had time for a few words down the line from a hotel in Tennessee.

New novel The Fix was just out and things were looking good.

"All the signs are we'll hit number one next week," said a man whose 34 novels have sold more than 110 million copies.

"This is the third instalment. People seem to like this guy. Ever since Memory Man came out people have probably talked about him more than any of my other characters."

This guy is private investigator Amos Decker, a man who got banged on the head as a football player (US style) and as a result of this careerending injury can never forget anything, however much he'd like to.

And as if that weren't enough misfortune for one fictional protagonist to bear, during his second career as a police detective Decker returns home one evening to find his wife, daughter and brother-in-law have been murdered.

Decker, of course, can forget no tiny detail of the dreadful scene. His world collapses and he finds himself on the streets before finally getting things back together again as a private investigator.

That is part of the story of Memory Man, a New York Times bestseller whose success prompted a second book, The Last Mile, and then this third.

"I've been interested in the brain for a long time and even in 2017 we knew almost nothing about how it works," said the author.

"I'd read books about people coming out of comas with exceptional powers because the brain has kind of rewired itself.

"And I talked to lots of people on different spectrums who seem to have exceptional mental capacity.

"It's my job to take all that information and build plausible characters." This research, he said, had provided plenty of food for thought, including the question: "What if you woke up tomorrow and were totally different?" That's the 'What if?' Amos Decker has had to deal with.

"I had to focus not just on his ability to figure out complex crimes but his human side, and this guy's not your straightforward hero, that's for sure."

In The Fix, Decker sees a man shoot a woman outside FBI headquarters and then turn the gun on himself.

Even the unusually gifted Decker can find no link between killer and victim but the plot thickens when he's warned off the case by the Defense Intelligence Agency. …

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