Will Robie is a Government assassin who made his first appearance in The Innocent
. In this instalment he is assigned the task of tracking down a rogue agent who is systematically killing off members of the CIA. Robie trained with Jessica Reel and has always respected her. He wants to understand what has led her to turn on her handlers, but at the same time he is aware that he is in danger as is anyone close to him.
This is typical of many of Baldacci's recent books in that the action moves at a good pace but the suspense factor is low and the credibility factor is zero. I just don't buy Robie as a top assassin - he is far too impetuous, emotional and sloppy. I was hoping that we would be spared Julie the homework obsessed 14 year old and FBI agent/potential love interest Vance who made an appearance first time round, but no, here they are again. Why do we have to keep being reminded what a good guy Robie is underneath? A far more credible assassin for me is Victor, the hero of the series by Tom Wood (start with The Hunter (Victor the Assassin)
) - he is a genuine professional with an icy exterior. Not Robie. As for the plot - well it unfolds much as you expect it will and has all those trademark Baldacci touches like an obsession with descriptions of people driving in cars, wooden dialogue and statements like "He operated in the world of government power, and it was as dirty as the grimiest alley in the city".
What it adds up to is a thriller that doesn't thrill. I was bored reading it. Yes, there's action and yes I suppose technically there are twists and turns, but if you don't see them coming from a mile away I'd be surprised.