What do you do when what you know is all turned around and you have someone younger than you to protect? And what do you do if you also happen to be a professional hit man for the government?
That quandary is what protagonist Will Robie faces in the book I’ve recently finished: The Innocent by David Baldacci. It’s a good thriller and packed with a lot of action to keep it lively. Accused of a mother-and-child murder he refused to commit, Robie is on the run from an enemy that keeps a step ahead of him and also becomes a virtual “dad” to a 14-year-old runaway whose parents were also murdered. I had a feeling I knew who the villain would be (no, I’m not telling) and I was proved right, but that’s the only tiny nitpick I had with the book. If they ever make it into a movie, I see actor Jason Statham playing Robie. It would fit.
I did like David’s use of local scenery, which he regularly does in his books. Like me, he’s in the Washington, DC metro area. And this time, he used my all-time favorite restaurant in DC, The Old Ebbitt Grill, as a setting for a meeting between Robie and another character. (*cheers and does the victory dance*) This historic restaurant near The White House is all dark carved wood, padded seats, oil paintings, antique-looking lighting, a spectacular atrium, and possibly a stray member of Congress (often, you’ll see him or her sitting alone with their entourage). Look for it in Google Images because their website photos just don’t do justice to the restaurant’s interior.
It gave me a funny feeling to read this book, since I’ve actually met this author. Last year, I attended a book signing of his last year when he was promoting this particular book. Now I’ve tweeted some authors from time to time on Twitter, letting them know how much I’ve enjoyed a book of theirs, but it feels different when you have a face-to-face meeting with somebody and read their book later.
During that book signing, David also spoke about a new series that he was developing with Shane Brennan of “NCIS”, but he didn’t give its name. But when “King & Maxwell” came on the air, I thought “Mystery solved!” since the characters’ names sounded familiar. (I’d read First Family, which features the same characters.)
So if you’re into action and mystery, I’d recommend this one as a good read. Enjoy.