Publisher: Grand Central
Publication Date: April 2012
Reviewed by Jacob Ortega
QUICK HIT – While formulaic The Innocent manages to just avoid being cliche, both in the action and character development. The result is a fully entertaining, slightly touching and ultimately satisfying read.
Will Robie is your run-of-the-mill U.S. government assassin. A man with a mysterious past, Robie lives a life of complete solitude – no wife, kids, social-life, you know the drill. When Robie isn’t preparing for or executing a hit, he is waiting around for his next assignment.
But with this particular assignment, something just doesn’t seem right, and when the time comes he refuses to pull the trigger. So someone else does, and Robie narrowly escapes with his life. As he runs, intent to uncover the truth about his failed assignment, he meets and saves the life of 14-year-old runaway Julie. Julie’s parents have just been murdered and she would have joined them if Will had not intervened and killed her would-be assassin. She also is looking for answers. Why would anyone would want her parents and her dead? Together Will and Julie form an unlikely duo in a fight for survival, justice, and search for the truth.
Of the over twenty novels that best-selling author David Baldacci has written, The Innocent was my first, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Standard action thrillers aren’t normally the kind of novels I read or get much out of, but I found this story to be quite engaging and very well-paced. It took me a few chapters to take a character named Robie seriously as an assassin (still not sure why Baldacci chose that name) but as the story progresses he pulls it off. Julie also quickly earns readers’ sympathy and admiration for her bravery and sharp wits, and the two characters while very different, shine in each other’s company. The thing I probably liked most about the book is that it, while formulaic, it manages to just avoid being cliche, both in the action and character development. The result is a fully entertaining, slightly touching and ultimately satisfying read.
Review copy provided by publisher.
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