The Innocent

The-Innocent-cover-image-low-res-277x416

Title

  • The innocent / David Baldacci.

Authors

Publication Info

  • New York : Grand Central Pub, 2012.

ISBN

  • 9780446572996 : HRD $27.99
  • 0446572993 : HRD $27.99

Length

  • 422 p.

Available Formats

  • Paperback
  • Hardcover
  • Audio CD
  • eBook

Rating

3Q, 4P

Reader’s Annotation

Quasi-government hitman Will Robie races the clock to save himself and 14-year-old Julie from the very serious people seeking their demise.

Summary

Will Robie is a hitman in the employ of a shadowy government agency. Robie is very good at his job. When he goes on a hit in his hometown of Washington, D. C., something feels wrong, and for the first time, he fails to complete his mission. On the run from his own handler, he saves the life of 14-year-old Julie who has somehow also drawn the attention of a hitman. While working the cases to eliminate the threat, it becomes apparent that they are somehow tied together. Can Robie find out who is behind it and what they want before time runs out?

Evaluation

This book was fast-paced, written in short sentences and chapters designed to keep the reader turning the pages. The action keeps moving with attack after attack. Some plot elements were easily predictable, but others took time to fall into place. The characters are not deeply developed, except perhaps for Julie. We know Robie is good at his work, but not why he does it. However, this type of novel is plot-driven, so characters are secondary. If I was looking for an escapist, action-driven novel, I would probably read this author again.

Author

To learn more about David Baldacci and his book list, visit: davidbaldacci.com

For his interview with Book Page, see Book Page

Reviews

Goodreads

Blog Critics

Publishers Weekly (for audio)

Genre

  • Suspense/thriller
  • Conspiracies

Appeal Factors

Easy read, fast-paced, shadowy government conspiracies, tough guy meets match in street-smart kid

Readalikes

Never Go Back, by Lee Child. Fast-paced and suspenseful; conspiracy theories; flawed characters.

The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva. Action-packed suspense; similar characters.

The Inquisitor, by Mark Allen Smith. Tough protaganist who refuses to do a job for moral reasons and finds himself in trouble.

The Son, by Jo Nesbo. Fast-paced and suspenseful. Also contains conspiracy theories; similar protaganists.

Booktalk Ideas

Plot summary highlighting suspenseful passages, but leaving with a major cliffhanger. One particularly thrilling episode is when Robie sees Julie for the first time on the bus and stops an attempt on her life by another hitman. When they leave the bus, it blows up. Who was that meant for, and who is behind it?

Book Discussion Questions

What do you think motivates Will Robie to do his job? Should our government be involved in the assassination business? If you said yes, under what circumstances is it acceptable?

There are many great foster parents, but we have all heard the bad stories of neglect and abuse that can happen as kids fall through the cracks. How can people like the Dixons be given the care of kids who have already had their share of problems? What do you think is the solution?

Why did Robie refuse to carry out the hit on Jane Wind?

Why I chose this book

I have read a couple of other David Baldacci books in book groups. They were not thrillers. One was a Christmas book and the other more like women’s fiction. I did know, however, that he can write a decent story and that he is fairly clean, so when I wanted to sample the suspense/thriller genre, I decided to try one of his. The Innocent was the first in the Will Robie series.

Hooks

Will Robie; hitman; Washington, D. C.

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