Book Critique - The Innocent (Will Robie Series # 1)

For reviews of other books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Political thriller with all elements involving governments, secrets and plots that could topple thrones - successful recipe to lure the readers into the world the author creates with these elements. 

The Innocent is the first book in the Will Robie Series by David Baldacci originally published in April of 2012. This book introduces Will Robie to the readers world and forms the beginning of a series that enchants them. The plot focuses on Will Robie and his current mission that somehow doesn’t seem to be anything like his all other missions.

Will Robie is a highly trained U. S. Government Assassin working for CIA who is sent out in covert operations usually to take somebody out, more precisely someone who is an enemy to United States in any manner. He works solo taking up hard to difficult assignments in making United States and the world a better place in the only way they can. These are his stories in this series by David Baldacci.

As I had mentioned in my review of the fourth book in the series, The Target, I couldn’t resist to pick up the first book in the series. In the first installment, Robie is sent on a mission in his own backyard, a mission that doesn’t add up at all. To add to it he is tagged along by a teenager who is in as much danger as he is in. And the pieces of puzzle just keep piling up for Robie before he can figure out what the hidden agenda is.

Since I had already met the teenager Julie Getty and FBI Special Agent Nicole "Nikki" Vance in the book The Target, and knowing they were repeat characters, I was curious how their stories emerged. And sure enough we see them in this first book itself and a lot is told about them and their relationship with Robie. Of course, don't forget Blue Man - Robie's benefactor in his missions. Although his character is still a mystery and we might know more about him as the books progress.

One of the mission that Robie is involved in happens in Tangier. And this place reminded me of Derrick Storm novels by Richard Castle - more around the fact that a mission for Derrick Storm goes really bad in Tangier. Also referring Agent Nicole as Nikki takes me to Nikki Heat books by Richard Castle. My review of books by Castle including the Derrick Storm novels can be found here

One off the side comment from Baldacci in Robie's pondering was about how teenagers and young adults are so concentrated on their phones, always with earbuds in the ears listening to something and living in a virtual world that is more dangerous than the real world. It is a very real problem to everyone, as much as the web and internet is helping, it is creating evils too. A problem that will only compound as years progress in the electronic side. I wonder if we will have a solution, moderately even, for such a problem. 

The pace of the plot progresses gradually, by giving the readers a glimpse of the missions an assassin undertakes, how he handles them and how he disappears after. Although the reader is aware that the agency that Robie works for is CIA, nowhere in the book it is mentioned explicitly though. The line of the plot is not so simple either, throwing surprises at every turn of the page at readers. I had my doubts on who would be one of the killers at least, but the story leading upto revealing that person has been entertaining and nail biting.

A brief history from American and its allied, at times non-allied countries, is given to the readers through the plot as it pertains. Some were interesting facts for me, being that I am an adopted citizen here and know less of its history. 

A political thriller infused with spies and assassins, secret assignments, attempts to stop or start wars and somewhere in there a little about saving people. 

A successful thriller that is very hard to put down for a reader without finishing it and entertaining enough to consider to pick up the next book in series. A very good read for any day of your life.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Plot Reveals:

a. Shane Connors, Will Robie's mentor, sounded like a character who could have a series of his own. I was pretty sure he was introduced in one of the other series by Baldacci, but sadly that isn't the case.

b. Will Robie likes to watch the crime series NCIS that I diligently follow too. 

c. Jerome Cassidy becomes the guardian to Julie Getty, although he is her biological father, he tells her that he is her step-uncle. 

2) Sub-Plots:

a. In The Target, Robie and Reel's adventures and people from previous episodes (perhaps) that are mentioned in this plot are: Situation with Ahmadi in Syria.

b. In The Target, Robie and Reel have some unfinished business with the head of the CIA - Evan Tucker. Perhaps covered in previous plots. 

c. In The Target, Chang-Chu, assassin for the North Korean Government, rescues a girl - Min - from one of the camps, the penal labor colonies of North Korea.  Will Min reappear in another boo by Baldacci?

3) Geographical / Character / Grammatical / Historical Errors:

a. On Pg. 314, Line 24, it should be "…a shotgun wouldn't have…"


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