The Innocent is David Baldacci’s best thriller to date. The author of the Camel Club series and the Sean Maxwell / Michelle King series does not usually do as well out of those two parameters; The Innocent is the glaring exception to the rule. This is an original, captivating, easy to read mystery novel.
Will Robie is a U.S. government hit man. He is ordered to take out a Washington mother of two. Something goes wrong and Robie becomes the target. His get out of town plan includes taking the bus to NYC. There he prevents a man from killing a teenaged girl named Julie. They get off the bus, the bus blows up, and another killer goes after Robie and Julie. Killer and teenaged girl are on the lam together.
Robie starts thinking maybe everything is a clever masterplan for something with him at the pawn. He ends up assisting an FBI agent investigating the murder of the mother of two and the bus explosion. This while protecting Julie, hiding his role and presence in the murder and explosion, and trying to figure out who is playing him and why.
This may sound a bit convoluted but it is not. David Baldacci has a very tight handle on everything and never loses reader or believability. Things do drag on a bit near the three quarter mark but not enough to irritate and by then the reader is committed anyways.
The reveal is a bit much but what the hell.
One thing is this reader is never that interested in figuring out whodunit ahead of time and would rather read for enjoyment. That I figured out a small part of it very early on is perhaps not a good sign for more investigatively minded readers.
Other David Baldacci Reviews
The Collectors - A Camel Club mystery: Second The Camel Club mystery, The Collectors, is very good.
Stone Cold - A Camel Club Mystery: Third Camel Club mystery novel: not bad, not great.
The Camel Club: The first Camel Club mystery, a series that should be read in order.
The Whole Truth: geopolitical thriller. Not his best.
Simple Genius - A Sean King / Michelle Maxwell Mystery: Convoluted plot with not much of a payoff. For real Baldacci fans only.
First Family - A Sean King / Michelle Maxwell mystery: Very good mystery novel with a very interesting baddie.
True Blue: Decent enough mystery but not decent enough for this writer.
Deliver Us From Evil: 2 agents have the same target in lesser thriller
Hell s Corner - A Camel Club Mystery: A good one even if the Camel Club are props more than anything else.
Zero Day: Good thriller introduces new character John Puller
The Forgotten: Second and more assured John Puller mystery