Monday, November 12, 2012

The Innocent by David Baldacci

            The Innocent is yet another "boy book" about a CIA assassin. Not my usual cup of tea, but this shooter seems to have a heart and a moral compass.

            The book starts with us watching a couple of bad guys being taken out by Will Robie at the behest of his CIA handler. Robie is patient, efficient and organized. But something goes wrong on his next assignment.

            Robie is told to kill a US government employee in Washington DC. He arrives in the woman's apartment to find her asleep with a toddler in the bed with her. Robbie's handler tells him via his earwig to shoot the boy as well as his mother. While Robie might buy that the woman is a traitor, he has trouble believing a toddler is. He refuses to shoot. However, a sniper round comes through the window killing both of mother and child with a single round. Robie takes off knowing the next round will be aimed at him. On his way out of the apartment, he finds an infant asleep in a carrier. He grabs the child, drops him in front of a neighbor's door, rings the bell and runs.

            At the same time another violent scenario is playing out in another part of DC. A teenage girl, Julie, has skipped out of her foster home and gone back to her parents place. They all intend to leave DC together and start a new life elsewhere. She arrives to find a stranger in the act of murdering her father. Her mother's dying act is to throw herself on the attacker to allow her daughter to escape. Julie runs for her life as directed.

            Both Robie and Julie choose to escape DC by catching the next bus to New York. Robie takes the back seat. Julie chooses one a couple of rows in front of him. The last guy on the bus seems very interested in Julie, but she is prepared to defend herself with a can of pepper spray. Robie also observes the guy's interest in Julie and after she uses the spray, Robie grabs her and hustles her off the bus. As they reach the ground, the entire bus explodes killing all the passengers. Robie doesn't know if the explosion was meant to kill him or Julie, but he takes no chances. He brings her on the run with him till he can find out what's going on.

            What he finds is a circle of traitors in very high places and a plot to assassinate the president. A plot that could have been foiled by Julie's father and the men and women he had served with in the army during the first Gulf war. As twisted and confusing as the circumstances are, Robie and Julie figure it out and keep the president alive.

            This was a pretty good book. My biggest problem with it was that I knew who the assassin was going to be before I figured out there was going to be an assassination. That character and Robie’s response just did not ring true.

            Boys are probably going to like this one, and if my husband hasn't read it yet, he is going to want to.

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