tl;dr – The Will Robie series by David Baldacci is an above average action thriller starring a CIA assassin the post 9-11 world.
“That’s what civilization sometimes did to threats, real or perceived. They walled them off. Us against them. Survival of the fittest. You die so I can live.”
The Will Robie series is written by David Baldacci, who needs no introduction. It stars the eponymous Will who is an assassin for the CIA. The books have been written keeping the post-911 world in context.
Individual reviews of these books follow the review of the series. The books in this series as of writing this review are
- The Innocent
- The Hit
- The Target
- The Guilty
- End Game
The series is an above average one with a couple of scorchers and no duds. The rest of the fare is standard action thriller fare. I don’t really dislike any book though I am a bit disappointed in the last one.
In terms of action, this series is no Mitch Rapp in terms of intensity or Pike Logan for its authenticity rather, it is similar to Robert Ludlum but way less ponderous. The latter books also are more team-up oriented than individual.
As far as character development is concerned, the main characters grow over the course of the series. End Game actually has an intriguing conclusion in this respect.
The Innocent is a decent action thriller while not being overly authentic. It is no Pike Logan which permeates genuineness in its description and action but it far more like a Robert Ludlum minus the mind numbing prose.
It starts off pretty slow and I found it hard to get in. But after slogging through for about 20% of the book, it started to get interesting and I got hooked. Like I said before, most of the “spy” stuff is very obviously made up but by that point in time, the characters are so well written that they compensate for the amateurish stuff. There were a couple of “stupid” plot points but otherwise the plot was decent albeit a little predictable.
Overall, I liked the book. It is not the greatest but it certainly better than average.
The Hit is another decent action thriller by Baldacci. It is better than ‘The Innocent’ since the pacing is consistent and engaging. Barring the improvements in pacing, the ‘The Hit’ shares the same strengths and weaknesses as ‘The Innocent’ i.e. strong characters, decent action and poor research. And the similarities to Robert Ludlum continue.
Another average action thriller from Baldacci. I would rate it on par with the ‘The Hit’.
Bullseye is a novella that has its main focus on a new group of people while Robie is ostensibly the hero. It will be interesting to see if this eclectic group makes it appearance in the main storylines. Added later: I found out that the Camel Club is another series by David Baldacci.
The Target is the best Will Robie book yet. The pacing is excellent – for the first time in this series, I did not put down the book even once. The characters are strong and we get to see new ones which are nuanced. The plot is also something quite different.
Overall, this is a great action thriller.
This series just keeps getting better and better. ‘The Guilty’ takes both the plot as well as Will Robie into uncharted territory. The pacing is excellent, the atmosphere great and as always every character is memorable. The ending was predictable though but that does not take away anything from the overall experience though. The closest parallel I can find for this book is True Detective season 1. Yup, you heard that right.
Great book and I had a blast reading it.
“End Game” is a backslide in the Will Robie series. After the excellent ‘The Target’ and ‘The Guilty’, ‘End Game’ is disappointing due to its convoluted plot and its dullness. In addition, I found the pacing to be uneven with long stretches of boredom and unnecessary subplots which are a drag. The last third of the book seems like it is taken out of a campy Roger Moore’s James Bond movie.
Overall, it is a disappointing read.
Also published on Medium.