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The Hit (Will Robie Series)
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on April 30, 2013
At first I thought, "what kind of trash is this", one word gutteral, cave-man like utterings. I know my David Baldacci can do better than this. However, loving him as I do I read on and on and couldn't put the darn book down....now I have no Baldacci fix....his next book is not coming out until Nov. I absolutely fell in love with Jessica Reel (felt sorry for Ms. Vance, she is definately going to lose out to Jessica in the long run.

What happens when two equally matched CIA agents (or whatever top secret organization they work for) are pitted against each other...each trying to kill the other. As with all Baldacci books, all is not what it seems when Robie gets the orders from on high to hunt down and kill Jessica Reel for she has turned or been turned rogue agent after "assassinating" two high-level CIA officials. I am a conspiracy theorist at heart and believe that truth is stranger than fiction, however when people complain that this coudn't have happened this way or that, I really want to know how they in fact know that it couldn't, I don't care if this gun wouldn't do this or that or the shooter couldn't be that good....it is called fiction for a reason and I read for entertainment, not reality, that is why we have CNN and really how much of that is real??????

I am not going to spoil my review by giving the reader a glimpse of the end, but I will see this....I can't wait to hear more from Will Robie.
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on December 17, 2015
First off I thought the narrator was a little hard to get used to. He sounded like a character I've heard on TV who just didn't sound smart/sharp enough. Granted I did listen to the whole story except for the last 45 minutes , so I would say it was entertaining enough for the most part. There were a couple of things in the story that weren't totally convincing but when I got close to the end getting bogged down by the bureaucracy and the stupidity of the man in charge just was too much. I've been reading and listening to a lot of Lee Child 'Jack Reacher' stories and have not been disappointed yet. I ordered a David Baldacci paperback at the same time I ordered This audiobook and I will see how I like that.
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on May 7, 2013
It was certainly good to see the return of Will Robie. We had last seen him in the "Innocent". In this thriller a government assassin Jessica Reel shoots
a spotter on a killing mission. Her target for that assignment is the next President of Syria. Shortly thereafter she strikes again killing a highly ranked C.I.A. official. Her next victim is the number two man in the C.I.A. The C.I.A. calls in the most dangerous man on the government payroll Will Robie. He is
given the task of tracking,hunting, and killing Jessica Reel. Reel proves herself to be a very difficult target. He comes inches from killing Robie at
her retreat. Once again she strikes killing a Congressman. Finally Reel and Robie meet and discuss the situation. Reel has discovered a government conspiracy. This group was responsible for killing someone near and dear to her. In the meantime they discover that a federal judge named Sam Kent is involved in this conspiracy. Reel and Robie stop the attempted killing if the Arab leaders in Canada. They are given the task of killing the next President of Syria. To their horror they discover that they have been betrayed. This is a good book from start to finish. Be sure to read it.
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on June 1, 2013
The Hit by David Baldacci is another of his fantastic suspense thriller novels. I have not read every single Baldacci book, but I love two of his series, and this is now the third series I thoroughly enjoy. What is great about Baldacci you ask? He is a masterful storyteller, with such in depth wonderful characters, and he holds you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. If you think you know what will happen, trust me, you will never see what is coming, as Baldacci continually pulls surprises and twists. But the best thing about his novels, they are superb, and well written, that when you are finished with the book, you will be thinking about it for days.

The Hit is the second book with Will Robie as the hero. Will is a government assassin and the best in his field. Whether it is the CIA, Homeland Security, FBI or other hidden government divisions, they have their own top secret people to eliminate traitors, foreign undesirables, or rogue agents. In this story, Will is assigned to stop Jessica Reel, who is considered a rogue agent, having just killed two top government employees. Jessica is also considered the best in her field, an assassin on par with Will Robie. Now she has gone rogue, and Will must find her to bring her back...dead or alive.

Will has no qualms about doing his job, even though he is baffled why Reel went off the grid. Jessica manages to be one step ahead of Will, but as he gets closer, Will begins to find disturbing clues that not all is as it appears to be. Meeting with other top government officials, Will begins to suspect that perhaps Jessica is not a traitor, as they are telling him she is. Keeping his mind open, Will continues to search for Jessica, and try to discover why she is doing this. Along the way, Will finds himself caught in a number of ambushes he suspects is not from Jessica Reel.
There are a number of twists, and dangerous situations that are life threatening bringing Will and Jessica face to face, with each saving each other lives. Rather then give out spoilers, what ensues is a major conspiracy that will bring the two of them together to discover the truth. Even the two top assassins are no match for what the government traitors can and will do. With their lives constantly facing danger, and death defying escapes; they must also try to find the mastermind. They must be one step ahead of the traps laid for them, and the double crosses they come across to stay alive, in order to break the conspiracy.

Will Will Robie find the truth? Is Jessica to be trusted? Who are the masterminds running the conspiracy? Will they be able to survive? You will need to read this book to find out.

The Hit was a fabulous thriller that had you unable to put the book down. David Baldacci has once again created a page burning story that had you guessing all the way, and so so well done. The characters of Will Robie and Jessica Reel were so great, and though they are both hardened killers, you can't help but care about them and root for them. I loved this book, and respect Baldacci's ability to continue creating these stories fresh every time, as well as making us like his lead characters, even if they are killers. If you have not read David Baldacci, and you like suspense thrillers, it is time you do so.
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on May 19, 2013
Summarizing how I feel about David Baldacci's The Hit is quite difficult for a myriad of different reasons. At its very core, The Hit is yet another excellent modern thriller from an excellent author who is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It combines action, political intrigue, a multi-layered plot that'll keep you guessing, and some genuinely touching characterization. However, I feel the book suffers from the shadow cast by its superior predecessor The Innocent. On its own, The Hit is an excellent book for those searching for a novel with a greater degree of intelligent writing; yet as a sequel to one of the greatest books I've read in recent memory; it certainly leaves some room for improvement.

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment Baldacci achieved in The Innocent was the illustration of characters with personalities that extended beyond the typical militaristic stoicism found in traditional modern thrillers. The protagonist Will Robie certainly fell into this stigma, yet through enjoyable discourse between Robie and the book's memorable cast of characters; the reader began to see past his armor and gaze upon the man underneath the killer. Which is why I find it unfortunate how Julie and Vance are very rarely used in The Hit. A shame really since it was the relationship between Julie and Robie that gave The Innocent so much heart underneath its stoic protagonist and political intrigue. Attention is instead placed on the newcomer Jessica Reel, meaning Robie is in his element rather than in limbo which was the case with The Innocent. Jessica isn't an outsider like Julie and Vance; this is a character that lives the same cold and desolate existence as Robie. Rather than invoking Robie's inner humanity and his desire for normalcy, Reel merely reinforces Robie's identity as a killer, an act which forces Robie to come to an epiphany on his own regarding his ongoing existential crisis. Reel is indeed a welcome addition to the memorable cast of characters, however in juxtaposition with Julie and Vance she leaves something to be desired. Part of the reason The Innocent succeeded at illustrating such a compelling narrative was due to the emotional investment it placed in the reader. Robie's selfless pursuit of uncovering the truth while protecting an innocent child created very compelling discourse and drama between the unlikely pair. While Reel manages to elicit the same sense of sympathy like Robie, the dynamic between the two stone-cold killers never manages to reach the same level of emotional investment found in The Innocent.

I must also take issue with The Hit's pacing. In contrast to some of Baldacci's other works such as Zero Day, The Innocent was an adrenaline-rush from the beginning till the very end. It never seemed to drag nor did it ever lose its forward momentum, making the narrative absolutely intoxicating while tempting the reader to read just one more chapter. The Hit unfortunately is more aligned with Baldacci's other prose rather than The Innocent, featuring a slower and more methodical beginning that takes its time building up its vast web of intrigue. As a fan of Baldacci's work, I've grown somewhat accustomed to a slower build-up; however as a sequel to The Innocent, it was reasonable to expect a departure from his traditional writing norm. This is made all the worse since the plot didn't really begin to amass momentum until roughly the second half of the book. This is a pitfall I will always take issue with regardless of the eventual payoff. Yet with that said, when Baldacci's storytelling is at its apex, it will become quite difficult to pull yourself away from the pages. The man simply has the art of crafting compelling modern thrillers down to a science; before you know it you'll be swept into a maelstrom of lies, deceptions, and double-crosses. It struggles for the first half, yet once it builds momentum you'll be hard pressed to find an author who thoroughly captivates his audience into his narratives.

While the minimal use of Vance and Julie was a disappointment for me personally, I liked the newcomer Jessica Reel, for she brings a strong female presence to the story; a character archetype which is usually absent or allocated to secondary roles in many of Baldacci's books. She's a welcome addition to the roster of characters and I look forward to her return in the inevitable third book; however I feel she isn't as fully realized as she could have been. Her origin is briefly glanced over, and her initial relationship with Robie is minimal at best. I definitely see room for more characterization in the future. Perhaps Baldacci should also consider writing a spin-off prequel for the character. Still, what's present in the book is engaging and seeing the relationship between the two assassins develop is part of the book's appeal, even if it does take a little too much time to hit its mark.

The Hit is a great book that suffers from the overbearing shadow of its predecessor. Many of Baldacci's strengths as a writer are present here; such as strong characterization and a truly masterful plot that'll keep you invested in uncovering the truth behind a seemingly endless veil of lies. Yet fandom for Baldacci aside, this book does have some negatives that do detract from the overall package. The plot is excellent but it doesn't really take off until the second half of the book, and the minimal use of the previous book's characters was a bad move in my opinion. But if you're looking for an intelligent novel that'll keep you guessing, then Baldacci's The Hit should leave you satisfied.
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on December 5, 2016
I noticed Storm Front on display at my local library and I was intrigued to listen to it on audio CD because I was enduring long commutes.

I didn't expect to enjoy the ride I got from this story as much as I did.

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality caliber of the writing. I was a fan of the TV series, Castle, especially the first season. The character's edge of Beckett noticeably changed thought by season two and if truth be told I was a little disappointed in the softening edge that she became after season one. Still I picked the show back up a couple of seasons later and began to enjoy the cat and mouse romance written around the central murder drama. In particularly, I was attracted to the writing of Terence Paul Winter.

His Castle story ideas were fresh, always with an original angle and always came with a funny, edgy repertoire of plot. This is what comes through in Storm Front. Who's writing this story…? I don't know. I do suspect a name or two, as hinted in the story's acknowledgement and guest appearances of bestselling authors on Castle. Nevertheless, the story doesn't disappoint. It begins with high profile murder, on a global scale. I hadn't read the previous Derrick Storm novels, and so I entered this tale's story without a familiar history except for what was referenced in Castle's story in the television series.

Derrick Storm is resurrected thanks to the underpinnings of the CIA in this story. Storm is delightfully funny in a James Bond type of fashion and appeal. He follows the murders centered on high finance and international trade. The villain is apparently an old nemesis who has somehow survived a previous death event orchestrated by the story's strong hero, Storm. Not only do we travel around the world in this tale, but we also meet so many characters in between that are newly entertaining and so much fun to engage with in the story.

These novels have found another fan; I will be seeking out the former stories and the continuing tales of Derrick Storm. It's such a great distraction and oh so much fun to just read about and enjoy! What better way to escape the real life complications of one's present day drama than to delve inside this dark and delightful tale of murder and espionage? This story gets all 5 stars. The writing is truly fun and engaging. It's been a great commute escape that I’ve had enduring the infamous sig-alerts of Los Angeles traffic. I’m very much looking forward to the next Derrick Storm novel!

From my UberDriverConfessions review blog at UberBookstore.com.
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on June 26, 2013
David Baldacci has mastered the art of storytelling without depending upon unnecessary expletives, vulgarity, gratuitous sex, and overly graphic violence. His highly disciplined and creative wordsmithing can take his imagination wherever it wants to go. The Hit pits two of the government's best assassins against one another, positions them in the middle of a corrupt government department with unlimited power and privilege,and twists the plot to provide unlimited excitement and entertainment for the reader.

Baldacci did his homework, portrayed his characters credibly, developed a fascinating storyline, made it believable, and locked the reader into a "have to have more" mode that kept him or her up past their bedtime. I always try to read books from which I learn something in addition to the journey they provide. In The Hit I learned about assassins, the discipline, the tricks of the trade, the dangers, and the lives of these specialists.

You will be intensley pleased with the word pictures, flow, verbiage to action ratio, and the indepth subject matter knowledge that the author brings to this novel. What's more, is that you can read this book without being embarrassed by the language nor ashamed to let someone see you reading it.

This is an exceptionally good read, and if you like high action, fast paced, mystery and action thrillers, you have to try The Hit on for size. If you haven't read Baldacci before, I believe you will be hooked on his offerings.
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on July 19, 2013
This novel was released just before the Snowden affair. Too much is being done in secrecy. The Congressional oversight committee operates in secrecy. The intelligence agencies operate in secrecy. A special court operates in secrecy to authorize covert actions. Nobody trusts anyone else - plus your ally today could be your enemy tomorrow. A woman, Jessica Reel, working for an agency questions actions being taken by some people, including people in higher level positions. In this case, the woman is an assassin working for the Special Operations Group in the Clandestine Service of the CIA. She goes rogue, turning her skills against people she had been working for, deciding on her own solution. Events go off the tracks rapidly as highly placed people are attacked, and it is clear that there is a rogue group operating within the government.

Set an assassin against an assassin, and Will Robie is sent after Reel. This becomes a cat and mouse action, where nobody can be trusted, and the identity of the chief villain is unclear. Who is Roger the Dodger? Someone starts to cover their tracks by eliminating people. Events blow up fast leading to an ending, but is it really an ending? The final chapters become an epilogue as a double cross backfires, and things come back to bite the villain.

This is a well written novel of intrigue that is hard to put down, with an unexpected ending.
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on June 5, 2014
Reading the first book in the series, The Innocent, will increase the enjoyment of this one, but not absolutely necessary. I know I was glad that I had read the first one… made a lot of the innuendos and references make more sense.

I would’ve given this story 5-stars except for one irritating tease the author chose to unnecessarily perpetrate on the reader. Almost to the end, Rodger the Dodger is revealed and Jessica Reel is there to end his life. She asks for “who else?” After being given some convincing motivation, he gives her three names, tells her they are outside the country, and that they are completely untouchable (but we already know that no one is untouchable in Will Robie's and Jessica Reel’s world). Three names that the author never gives to the reader. Very disappointing, and what I would call a contrived cliff-hanger. I felt manipulated. It was enough for me to subtract one star from my rating.

But other than that once glitch, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
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on May 13, 2013
The eternal struggle between man and woman is becoming lethal.Baldacci raises the stakes by making both crack shots and official assassins for the Secret Services of the US of A.Then they turn against each other as directed by top management.
They are both outstanding if not outlandish in their killing skills and they have plenty of opportunities in the novel to demonstrate it by leaving a number of high ranking and low ranking bodies shot dead as the novel proceeds in its Baldaccean tempo
The characters are mostly two dimensional but it would be unrealistic to expect a Le Carre''s type psychological portrait of James Bond.In any case there are a lot of them,Government men ,Secret Service men,security men ,traitors,Neo Nazis,Arabs,Congressmen,assassins,and members of the public.
The plot which deals with a threat of global proportions,has the necessary mystery twists,turns and reversals to keep the reader's interest lively and creates the necessary conspiratorial atmosphere and high tension feeling to release the adrenalin and enjoy the novel.
The scenes are described with Baldacci's economy of style and actions are short and intense,however there is no lack of firefights,only spaghetti westerns have more,but violence is the principal ingredient of this type of thriller and Baldacci doses it as required.
It is a four star novel if you like Baldacci and a three star one if you don't .
Highly recommended for long distance flights
D.V.Kokkinos
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