The Innocent by David Baldacci

The Innocent by David BaldacciReviewed by Allen Hott

Looks like a new leading character for David Baldacci. However he has pretty much maintained the same general location (our nation’s capital area) and same type of plot. Oh yeah he has definitely maintained his style, which without a doubt is one of the best in mystery/political thrillers.

The Innocent is in fact a young girl who has been orphaned when her parents were caught up in a political skirmish brought about by their military involvement from years past. At about the same time that she is trying to find out why it happened to her parents along comes Will Robie who happens to be completely at a loss as to what happened on his most recent assassination attempt. Yes, that’s right. Will Robie is an assassin who works for the United States government. Do you believe that these folks exist? I feel certain that they do and David Baldacci has built a terrific story about one of them.

It just so happens that Robie gets on to a bus to make his getaway from the blown assassination attempt (which also turned out to be the perfect setup for later subplots). While on that bus he manages to save Julie Getty. The fourteen -year old Julie Getty is in fact The Innocent. After Robie saves her from probable death on the bus, the two of them exit the bus and start up the street just as the bus explodes.

From that beginning Baldacci continues to build this involved story, which touches on the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and assorted other jurisdictions and even meets up with some Middle East alliances as well.

The more Robie digs into the events that have occurred more and more strange ones continue to occur that involve not only him but also Julie. He is unable to figure out for what reason someone is trying to kill him and her, as they had no connections until the bus ride.

What Robie is able to deduce however is that someone within his organization has sold out to whomever the enemy is. And that someone or some ones is definitely trying to kill him or somehow keep him away from Julie. During these adventures Robie not only pairs up with Nicole Vance, an FBI special agent, who is trying to solve the assassination that though Robie didn’t commit it someone else did. Also Robie begins a sort of touch and go romance with a neighbor from across the street who always seems to be somewhere Robie is as he goes back and forth from his supposed safe house.

The whole picture becomes more muddied as Robie and Vance try to keep Julie safe. And at the same time hunt for those who are involved in the killings and who appear to have even greater mayhem on tap. This is the type of political thriller Baldacci excels at writing. Enough clues to keep the reader interested while at the same time an occasional one that deliberately leads that reader away from the real answers.

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