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Murders and Innocent Bystanders
on 28 April 2012
David Baldacci has written a superb action packed thriller. Will Robie is employed by a US government agency as a hit-killer. He has killed many with ruthless meticulous military style preparation on the orders of his superiors who perceive threats to US on a global basis or merely see people or situations as problems. A muscular rock-solid intelligent assassin turning 40,he had recently killed a heroin supplier (Rivera) in Edinburgh along with his bodyguards intent on raising finances to plan a military coup in Mexico, a potential threat to America. His next mission was the killing of Saudi Prince Talal in Tangier who had abducted and murdered US servicemen and was a threat to the West. He returns to Washington.
No mission for 3 months until instructed to kill a woman in her 30's with 2 children. Robie finds she is a government agent and told she is part of a terrorist organisation. After breaking into her apartment he finds her in bed with her 3 year old son. Conscience kicks in and despite the angry insistence of his handler to kill them both, Robie cannot. The situation is resolved when a single shot from a long range sniper kills both. Robie realises he is probably the next target and puts plan B into action and makes a run for it.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to a 14 year old smart and intelligent precocious 14 year old Julie Getty, in and out of foster care because of her parents' drug problems from which they are trying to recover. Julie loves her parents, escapes from the current negligent foster carers and heads back home. Unfortunately, she enounters an argument between a man and her father. Her parents are both shot dead. Julie witnesses the killer and realises she is in danger and needs to escape and goes on the run.
Coincidentally and fortuitously,both Robie and Julie end up on the same bus going from Washington to New York. Julie is under threat by an unknown man on the bus and Robie intervenes for her safety. This is the start of an aquaintance and unsual liaison between the two and a series of tense situations superbly narrated by the author. Any more information would be spoiling the events of which there are plenty.
Baldacci writes with incisive clear prose. Short paragraphs and chapters each leading on to changes and developments in the plot with introduction of many more influential and important characters essential to the narrative and storyline. The crux is mostly which of the two leading protagonists is the real target. The relationship between them becomes engaging.
This is fast-paced suspenseful writing with never a dull moment. Difficult to put down. Many times a guessing game as to who is doing what to whom and why. The clever twists and turns continue especially in the final chapters when the bad guy is found out, the second not totally unexpected but the ultimate climactic revelation was a total surprise and fittingly fulfilling. The mysteries of the book's contents become evident.
I found this novel cleverly constructed and totally enjoyable. More to come from the characters hopefully and David Baldacci.