Book Review of Walk The Wire by David Baldacci – Memorable Sequel
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary – Walk The Wire
This is the sixth installment of the Amos Decker series, though if this is the first one that you are reading, there isn’t much in terms of the backstory, which you’d miss – except the detailed story of how an American Football player develops an indelible memory due to a freak injury to his head (known medically as Hyperthymesia), and after joining the FBI, how he loses his family tragically. To know all that in complete detail you’d have to start from the 1st book of the series.
Here, Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamieson, are called out to the fracking town of London, North Dakota to investigate a murder of a local woman, Irene Cramer. She was a teacher of a school run by the Anabaptists (a male sect of mysterious nature). The murder is rather weird in the sense that Irene was murdered, expertly autopsied, and left out in the wild open plains. The weirdness does not end there, Irene’s life is not all that it seems and mysteries lurk there as well.
London is a fracking town that has come upon the next gold rush, which has attracted all types of people to the place – all looking to make a fast buck. The town is run by two powerful locals, who, while being competitors, are friends of convenience and control almost everything that goes on in London. To complicate matters further, there is an ‘Eye In The Sky’ facility of the DoD, which looms over the town and has its own share of secrets to hide.
There are multiple subplots muddying the water in this book and at times it does seem a bit convoluted and complicated, though it gets, expectedly, resolved by the end. In the thick of the investigation, help arrives mysteriously – in the form of another fan-favorite Baldacci character – who I will leave unnamed to protect the surprises in the book. As is usual, every character who is introduced seems to have a motive, and just when you think that you’ve caught onto the perpetrator, something happens to take the suspicion away.
Conclusion – Book Review of Walk The Wire
First up, my biggest grouse about Walk The Wire is how under utilised Alex Jamieson is. Her character is left to mostly agreeing with Decker and sometimes providing a couple of pearls of wisdom. That she is an intelligent and smart FBI agent is severely underplayed here. The introduction of the other famous Baldacci character comes as a pleasant surprise, but understandably, his role is limited in scope. The brilliance of the narrative however, lies in the fact that the message of protection of the environment – through fracking – is overlaid with the prospects of economic affluence of a small backwoods town.
There is also the overarching presence of the Military – secret facility and all, where national security is touted as the sole excuse for overbearing activities. As I wrote earlier, the politics and power struggle of London is as fraught with complications and danger as in any other city, where economic affluence has attracted all types! But all’s well that ends well, so does this too, but so many lives are lost that you feel drained by the end of it. Appalled too, at human avarice and the dark depths we plumb in search of power, prestige, and money! Go read it, people, if you haven’t already….