‘The Target’ is the third book in David Baldacci’s Will Robie series featuring government assassins Will Robie and Jessica Reel. And, while I really enjoyed the first two books – ‘The Innocent’ and ‘The Hit’, this book just didn’t seem to reach the same level. It was definitely thrilling and hard to put down but some of the ideas left me feeling a bit uncomfortable – such as the US President and the CIA Chief making decisions based on a whim with the potential to throw the world into Chaos (and with absolutely no oversight).
The plot starts out with a plan for the USA to assassinate a world leader who is not very well liked outside of his own country. Government assassins Will Robie and Jessica Reel are the most qualified for the job. There is an additional advantage of using them (from CIA Chief Evan Tucker’s point of view) – they are very unlikely to make it home alive. But first Robie and Reel are sent into pre-mission training that looks like it is designed to kill them.
When the assassination plot is exposed, Reel and Robie are instead sent to rescue two people from a labour camp – also with a low probability of success and a high probability of death.
Meanwhile, Jessica Reel’s past comes back to haunt her. Her father is dying in prison and wants to see her one more time. She agrees to see him despite her childhood that left her imprisoned and abused by a group of neo-Nazis.
In addition to everything else, a North Korean assassin has a list of 5 people to eliminate – two of whom are Will Robie and Jessica Reel.
There was a lot packed into this book, some of which was so unbelievable that it detracted from the overall effect (although most of the stuff about North Korean labour camps fits with what I’ve read elsewhere). I’ve enjoyed the developing stories of Will Robie, Jessica Reel and Julie Getty, but I don’t normally enjoy action thrillers of this sort. So while some of this book was excellent, I think I’ll be taking a break from David Baldacci.
Book Published 2014