“Michael E said: 4 stars
It’s hard to pin down why I liked this better than its predecessor, “The Innocent”. Maybe it’s because fellow author Ron McLarty puts his theatrical skills to work so well as a reader for the audiobook form for imbibing “The Hit” (and supplemented with occasional sound effects—when do I stop calling this “reading”?). I put my other ongoing books aside to inhale this tale of a “Spy vs. Spy” scenario where our hero CIA hit man Will Robie is tasked to quickly retire a fellow agent, Jessica Reel, who mysteriously skips her hit assignment and takes out her own spotter.
The plot features a fiendish conspiracy involving CIA and ex-CIA among the bad guys and other CIA and intelligence figures as targets and responders. No wonder Robie has a hard time trusting anyone. Rather than freaking out, he keeps his cool and works the clues like a detective in between bouts of mayhem and pyrotechnics. Despite the rather hokey nature of the conspiracy, I was drawn in by the tone, by the almost calm spot in the mind of this trained killer that we and few others know has a heart of gold. I’m not sure how I can thrive on that implausibility, but the paradox of an instrument of assassination coexisting with a regular guy is satisfying to hold onto.
Robie had enough of treachery in the last book. No wonder he needs to touch base when he can with his own humanity. Toward that end, he tanks up through occasional friendly contacts with the 14-year old girl, Julie, and lovely FBI agent, Nicole Vance, he shared adventures with in “The Innocent”. Baldacci is wise enough to keep any romance with Vance or Reel herself on a back burner. Maybe that prospect of Robie becoming a man in full will continue to recede deliciously out of reach in future tales with this character. Which I already look forward to.”