“If they’re not with us, with me, then they are against us. Against me. I cannot have agents going rogue, I don’t give a shit what reasons or grievances they have.”
This is the third book in a series. This review contains no spoilers for The Innocent or The Hit, aside from giving away the survival of two characters.
The Target, by David Baldacci
#3 in the Will Robie series
Grand Central Publishing, April 2014
420 pages (hardcover)
The President knows it’s a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he will face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation will multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel.
Together, Robie’s and Reel’s talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don’t trust the pair. They doubt their willingness to follow orders. And they will do anything to see that the two operatives succeed – but that they do not survive.
As they prepare for their mission, Reel faces a personal crisis that could well lead old enemies right to her doorstep, resurrecting the ghosts of her earlier life and bringing stark danger to all those close to her. And all the while, Robie and Reel are stalked by a new adversary: an unknown and unlikely assassin, a woman who has trained her entire life to kill and who has her own list of targets – a list that includes Will Robie and Jessica Reel.
The Target wasn’t what I was expected. I’m still trying to figure out if that’s good, bad, or neutral. I did like it… I just don’t know if I would have liked the book I thought I was getting more.
The story, as-is, feels like a hodge-podge of different ideas. What I thought would be the main conflict of the book was over within the first half. The rest of the story was entertaining and fast-paced, never really giving me the opportunity to step back and question the focus of the book until it was over. I enjoyed it, but it doesn’t all come together quite as well as I like multiple plotlines to do. The Innocent – the first book in the series – was a great example of this. This one fell a bit short for me.
All that said, it was a good book, keeping me invested throughout the (multiple) story(-ies). I really loved getting inside Robie’s and Reel’s heads. The previous book, The Hit, pretty much introduced Reel as a female version of Robie, so I liked the fact that she got more depth here. We got to see that they aren’t the same person.
The Target stands on its own better than The Hit did. If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll know the significance of certain events before they’re explained; if you haven’t, you won’t. I don’t know that either reading experience is better or worse. This book ultimately gives you everything you need… the “what,” if not all of the “why.”
Does The Target sound like something you’d pick up? How do you react when a book isn’t what you thought it would be?