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The Innocent [Hardcover] Unknown Binding – 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,668 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Will Robie Series

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 5743rd edition (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083IKE16
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,668 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,322,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
While I'll admit that I haven't read everything that the prolific Mr. Baldacci has published in recent years, I'm pleased to say that The Innocent is the strongest novel I've seen from him in quite some time. It was a book that I didn't want to put down until I'd read it all.

The novel opens with Will Robie. We learn that he is "an inch over six feet and a rock-solid one hundred and eighty pounds", that he is one day shy of his 40th birthday, and that he is a professional killer. But this is no thug off the street; this is a man with a rich interior life, a moral center, and more than a little going on upstairs. Therefore, it's not too surprising when we soon learn that Robie is employed by an unnamed federal agency to carry out "sanctioned assassinations." In his own words:

"Sometimes he went after people intent on global menace, like Rivera or Talal, or sometimes he simply went after a problem. You could take your pick of labels, but in the end, they all meant the same thing. His employer decided who among the living and breathing would qualify as a target. And then they turned to men like Robie to end the living and breathing part. It made the world better, was the justification."

Except this time, he's being sent after a different type of target--a woman, an American, a mother. At the crucial moment, Robie refuses to fire. It doesn't smell right. Someone finishes the job with a long-range sniper shot, and it looks like they'll finish Robie as well if he doesn't run.

Elsewhere, we meet the wise-beyond-her-14-years Julie Getty. She's been in and out of the foster care system, and she's in the process of escaping her latest "caregivers.
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Format: Hardcover
As The Innocent opens, Will Robie is carrying out a mission for his Agency masters. He assassinates a man (and his four ultra-evil bodyguards) who is planning a military coup in Mexico that will create a government hostile to American interests. This is followed by the rather improbable assassination of a Saudi prince. Robie doesn't let himself be bothered by his assignments, but he finds himself with a dilemma when he's ordered to kill a nearly middle-aged woman in D.C., particularly when he discovers (after breaking into her apartment) that she's the mother of two, including the infant sleeping next to her, and a U.S. government employee to boot. The dilemma is resolved when Robie's handler shoots mother and child from a distance and attempts to take out Robie in the process.

After this dramatic opening, the story takes a strange twist when Robie, who wonders whether he has become the target of the government he once served, encounters fourteen-year-old girl named Julie whose parents have been murdered. Robie and Julie barely survive the explosion of a bus on which they had been riding. Who was the target: Robie or Julie? What, if any, is the connection between the woman Robie was sent to kill and Julie's parents? Many gun battles and explosions later, the answer to those questions remains unclear. That's what held my attention to the end of this fast-moving novel.

I wouldn't call the plot byzantine, but it is deliciously complex. To my amazement, every plot thread (even an incident or two I didn't expect to be important to the overall plot) comes together in the final chapters.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Will Robie has killed a lot of people. It is what he does best. He is a hired assassin, one who works for the US government. Even though his targets are supposedly very bad people, he seems an unlikely choice for a hero. His latest assignment, however, is a US government employee in Washington DC. When he breaks into her apartment and finds her asleep, her two children nearby, he finds a conscience and decides not to carry out his assignment.

In this line of business there are penalties for failure, and he immediately finds himself dodging bullets from his former employers, on the run and running out of options. He nevertheless detours to rescue a 14 year old girl who seems to be targeted by killers too. They form an unlikely (granted, the whole thing is unlikely, but one expects that in this type of novel) alliance, one that provides entertainment and an emotional foundation to the story. There are several climaxes, as different story lines resolve, and one of them was too obvious to be satisfying, but the whole novel was still quite good.

The action is fast and non-stop, the dialogue crisp and realistic, the characters thinly drawn but likeable. This is a superior action and mystery novel, by one of today's best action novelists. Baldacci gives his fans what they want here, with plenty of cliffhanger moments, with a plot that twists and turns, surprising the reader in almost every chapter. This is one of the author's better efforts, superior to Hell's Corner (my last review of his writing). I recommend this enthusiastically to Baldacci fans, and those who might just become fans.
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