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23 May 2012

David Baldacci: The Innocent

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Baldacci at his best - a plot to keep you guessing to the end
This is David Baldacci at his best - a page turning action thriller that will keep you guessing to the end. Baldacci is a master story tellers of thrillers that have more twists and turns than a fast paced game of snakes and ladders.

Baldacci introduces us to Will Robie, a larger than life professional killer for the US Government (I wonder why we all get turned on with novels about these hypothetical hopefully non-existent super heros). Robie normally has no problem in killing bad people such as terrorists and major criminals. He plans his work meticulously and always makes  contingency plans for escape if something goes wrong.

This time Robie is worried when  he is ordered to kill a divorced woman who doesn't seem to be a danger to anyone. He  enters her bedroom at night and finds her sharing her bed with her young son.  For the first time ever Robie finds that he cannot go through with the killing. Almost immediately a sniper in a nearby building kills both the woman and her son with a single shot.  To save his life Robie flees the scene and following his contingency plan heads for a local bus station.

At the same time a 14 year old girl, Julie, escapes from an abusive foster home and enters her  parents home only to hear both of her drug addicted parents being murdered. The girl escapes the murder scene and catches the same bus as Robie. When someone tries to  kill Julie on the bus, Robie is there to save her life.  Just as they get off the bus together there is a huge explosion, demolishing the bus and killing all of the passengers. Robie and Julie are not seriously injured and form an alliance to keep their safety.

The plot then changes into top gear with both Robie and Julie getting involved in helping the FBI to investigate the murders and bombing, and Robie's superiors who want to find out what went wrong.  The action is fast and furious and keeps you on edge to the very last page.

Baldacci has built up a unenviable collection of amazing characters over the years. Now he has introduced us to Will Robie, a professional killer who finds he has a conscience. I look forward to meeting Robie in future books.

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