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by David Baldacci
Grand Central, April 2013
392 pages
ISBN: 1455521213

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

There's a good reason that books by David Baldacci sell in the hundreds of millions all around the world. The man can craft a taut thriller that will keep readers on the proverbial edge of their seats throughout the entire book, and THE HIT is evidence of that.

Returning to the scene of the crime (and adding to it) is CIA Assassin Will Robie, who is sent after his only female counterpart, Jessica Reel. According to Robie's handlers at the Central Intelligence Agency, Reel has gone rogue, and only Robie can take her out. It's a job he's performed countless times, but something about this one doesn't feel right.

First of all, Reel doesn't appear to have any solid motive to have taken out two CIA employee counterparts (one the number two person at the Agency). While she is fighting for her very survival off the grid, there appear to be more people on her kill list and now Robie just might be one, too. Or is he? The mix of evil acts and lofty motives provide a large part of this mystery's appeal.

There's plenty of spycraft and lots of action, but what drives this storyline is the perfectly matched dynamic of Robie versus Reel. Once Robie can forget about his own safety, he begins to focus more clearly on just who the real traitor might be.

While the novel loses a little of its steam as it nears its finale, the interaction between the two trained assassins is what keeps the whole story afloat and worth diving into. Undoubtedly, the earlier part of the book is stronger than its ending, but it's still well worth reading and comes to a satisfying conclusion.

Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, May 2013

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