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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

THE INNOCENT (Will Robie #1) by David Baldacci

Originally published in 2012.

This book introduces Will Robie, a professional hit man who works for the United States government. His hits are usually drug cartel leaders, leaders of terrorist organizations and the like.

The White House. Photo by Zach Rudisin
Robie gets an assignment close to home, which is a weird thing in and of itself. The first two hits described in the book are out of country hits. The fact that they are out of country hits gives the U.S. government a bit of plausible deniability. This new assignment is in Washington, D.C. and, as far as Robie can ascertain, the target is a fellow member of the intelligence community - but not an important one.

He's willing to follow through with it until he sees that the target is actually a mom with a young son and a baby. He hesitates, tries to figure out what is going on and that's when everything goes topsy-turvy in Robie's already convoluted world...

This book was not a particularly great book for a couple of reasons. But, I will start with the good parts. The characters are great. Robie is likable character (for a stone-cold assassin) and his character does grow throughout the book. Also, the two supporting characters are interesting and the interaction between all three of them is well done.

But, the plot holes are not just large, they are magnificent. Robie stumbles into a plot, but you find out that he didn't really stumble into it - it was enlarged to include him as well in a giant cat-and-mouse game that makes no sense when you consider how it puts the original conspiracy at so much risk. Also, I knew who it was from the beginning because of a clue that was dropped that I cannot believe Robie did not pick up on and include in a mission debriefing. If he had, the entire plot of the book could have been avoided.

Also, on a pet peeve note there is this:

I am a Spanish teacher. I notice the Spanish in books and Baldacci includes a mis-translated gem on page 182 that tells me that he can't bother to actually check his dictionary translation with any of the millions upon millions of native speakers of Spanish that live in the United States. It's not that hard. It is a symptom of the lack of follow-through that pervades the book and makes for an iffy plot.

I rate this book 2 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: The Innocent by David Baldacci.

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