June 24, 2012

The Innocent by David Baldacci - a good, solid thriller

The Innocent by David Baldacci

Will Robie is a government assassin able to calculate, move, and execute his target without much remorse. Then he gets a case that isn't off in a remote country somewhere, but in his own. He is ordered to kill a US citizen. He's told she has ties to terrorism and stalks and prepares to kill his target. When faced with the reality of the situation, he knows something isn't right and decides to ignore his orders and spare the woman and the little boy who sleeps beside her. Unfortunately, a fail safe has been put in place and a sniper takes control out of his hands and kills the woman and then turns his long range sniper rifer on Robie himself. Thus begins a thriller where Robie comes upon a teenager also running for her life and an FBI agent who just can't leave well enough alone. No spoilers here - this is just how the story begins.

Told mostly from Will Robie's point of view the story is about an unquestioning cold-hearted killer. He never gets involved with anyone, living a solitary existence. Even his apartment has no personality, very few personal effects, just a generic space as generic as he is. However, with good story telling, the hero begins to change and grow. That proved just as interesting as the threat that he investigates while running from it.

At first I wasn't fond of Robie. The prose was as wooden as he was. As the story progressed, Baldacci was able to make me care about what happened to Will, while not making the mistake of changing a killer suddenly to a puppy dog. By the end of the story I found myself wishing for more Will Robie. I also became interested in reading more of Baldacci's work.


Teena in Toronto said...

I finished it today and enjoyed it.

Kindra said...

I'm not sure if I got the wrong end of the proverbial book here, but Baldacci really didn't impress me much with this book. If only due to the presence of the 14 year old girl (remind me - why was she in the plot at all...ah to emphasize his humananess). I did however enjoy the rapid-fire chapters, and the book can't be accused of being boring. I will wait a bit and hear what Elaine from the Book report radio has to say about it before making final decisions about it.

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