Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Innocent by David Baldacci

The blurb:
America has enemies--ruthless people that the police, the FBI, even the military can't stop. That's when the U.S. government calls on Will Robie, a stone cold hitman who never questions orders and always nails his target.
But Will Robie may have just made the first--and last--mistake of his career . . .

It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people.

Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a fourteen-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway-her parents were murdered, and her own life is in danger. Against all of his professional habits, Robie rescues her and finds he can't walk away. He needs to help her.

Even worse, the more Robie learns about the girl, the more he's convinced she is at the center of a vast cover-up, one that may explain her parents' deaths and stretch to unimaginable levels of power.
Now, Robie may have to step out of the shadows in order to save this girl's life . . . and perhaps his own.

In The Innocent, David Baldacci gives us a world class hitman who develops a conscience just as his employers - a subcontractor of the US military - decide to remove him.  There are some lines even mercenaries are unwilling to cross and Robie refuses to kill a teenage girl who appears to be an innocent bystander.   Instead, Robie takes it upon himself to protect her even when it might cost him everything that he holds dear: his life, his profession, all ties to his life.

Fortunately, David Baldacci is a master of action and suspense, so this implausible story comes alive.  Robie while unbelievable is an engaging hero and we find ourselves rooting for him just as he takes on an impossible burden.  The young girl is a typical teenager insofar as she's moody, difficult, and not fully appreciative of the risks that Robie takes - which helps the story along and endears her to both Robie and readers.  Another winner by David Baldacci.

ISBN-10: 0446572993 - Hardcover $27.99
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 17, 2012), 432 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

About the Author:
David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at and his foundation at, and to look into its program to spread books across America at