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5 surprising and scary facts described in the acclaimed book "The Last Mile" by David Baldacci
5 surprising and scary facts described in the acclaimed book "The Last Mile" by David Baldacci
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Last Mile by David Baldacci

The works of David Baldacci have gained recognition all over the world - his action-packed detective thrillers have been published in 80 countries with a total circulation of over 110 million copies. After revealing the secrets of big politics in the novel "Absolute Power", Baldacci created the image of a "little man" endowed with superpowers.

In his youth, Amos Decker was a budding football player, but a terrible blow to the head during a football match put an end to his sports career. The same blow gave Decker a phenomenal memory. This made yesterday's footballer an excellent police officer who unravels the most difficult cases. But there were also those who decided to take revenge on Amos Decker: his entire family was killed. He found the strength not only to survive, but also to avenge the death of his wife and daughter - this is what Decker's first novel, Absolute Memory, is about.

Despite the superpowers of the hero and the superknowledge of the author, Amos Decker remains an ordinary person who has to solve earthly problems and fight his own weaknesses. And this time he will have to use all his natural data in order to pull out from the millstones of justice an innocent, doomed to death.

Absolute memory

Absolute memory. / The Last Mile by David Baldacci

Absolute memory is not at all an invention of the writer. Several dozen people live on earth who carry huge amounts of information in their heads. If a person is able to memorize and reproduce huge amounts of information that does not concern him personally, this condition is called hypermnesia. It can be painful for the owner of this type of memory - because of the great many insignificant details that a person remembers. According to doctors, hypermnesia very often accompanies various mental disorders. But there are those who remember only the smallest details of their own lives (doctors call this hyperthymesia - the term itself came into use in 2006).

In 2014, 50 people with such a memory feature were identified in the world. So Amos Decker could very well be susceptible to hyperthymic syndrome. True, it has not yet been established whether such a feature of memory can manifest itself as a result of trauma.

Blue light

Blue light. / The Last Mile by David Baldacci

- so in novel "The Last Mile" David Baldacci describes the peculiarities of the perception of his protagonist. The first book, Absolute Memory, begins with the same blue color, with the scene when Amos Decker finds his own family murdered.

Blue is a color with a rich history. Blue natural dyes are among the rarest, therefore they were especially highly prized. Indigo dye was developed in ancient India, then exported to Greece and Rome. Artists have struggled for centuries for the perfect blue color in their canvases. In the traditional interpretation, blue is a symbol of eternity, and in Christianity, blue is the color of the Mother of God and spiritual search. It was the blue color Baldacci chose to convey the atmosphere of death in Amos Decker's synesthesia system.

Synesthesia

Synesthesia. / The Last Mile by David Baldacci

A policeman with a phenomenal memory associates all the people around him with certain colors and numbers. He sees some numbers in color, people as numbers or as combinations of colors and numbers. Among these combinations are good, neutral and unwanted. Decker's intuitive inferences rarely fail.This perception, when the work of one sense organ leads to a response in other sensory systems, experts call synesthesia. Certain color associations can be evoked by music or graphic shapes. There are very few synesthetes in the world, and synesthesia itself is very variable and therefore remains a poorly studied phenomenon. Such a perceptual feature is not considered a mental disorder.

Last mile

The last mile. / The Last Mile by David Baldacci

“It's actually only thirty feet, which is a good thing, because most of the guys fell off their feet before they got to the camera. But they had hefty guards with them, dragging them to the end of the journey "- this is how Melvin Mars, the suicide bomber who Amos Decker has to save, looks like" the last mile ".

This phrase has other meanings. For example, in the communications industry, this is a channel that connects client equipment to the equipment of an Internet provider. The concept of the "last mile" is also used in the Russian electric power industry. This is a section of the electrical network to which the direct consumer of electricity is connected.

Death penalty in the USA

Death penalty in the United States. / The Last Mile by David Baldacci

- states his hero Melvin Mars in the novel. The death penalty for aggravated murder is used in 31 states of the United States. Texas remains the leader in the number of executions. In some states, such as Alabama, where Charles Montgomery is executed - he confessed to the murders for which Mars was convicted - a person sentenced to death can indeed choose the method of his execution.

And the case described by David Baldacci, based on real facts: for example, in Tennessee, Daryl Holton was convicted of the murder of his three sons and their half-sister. He preferred the electric chair to lethal injection. The verdict was carried out in September 2007 - before that, the electric chair had not been used as a method of execution in Tennessee for more than 47 years.

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