From the Sunday Times number one best-selling author
Will Robie, from The Innocent and The Hit, returns in his toughest mission to date. A time to kill - or a time to die?
The mission is to enter one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The target is one of the toughest to reach. The result could be momentous - or it could be Armageddon. There is no margin for error.
US government operatives Will Robie and Jessica Reel have to prove they are still the best team there is. But are they invincible when pitted against an agent whose training has been under conditions where most would perish?
An old man is dying in an Alabama prison hospital, it seems there is one more evil game he has still to play. And it's a game which comes close to home for Reel and Robie. But this time the stakes might be way too high.
©2014 David Baldacci (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Baldacci stories always push the boundaries of credulity to the limit - and the first two Robie stories most of all - but this goes way too far. It's also poorly put together, with two separate stories that have no overlap other than the highly contrived. There's also way too much unnecessary back story on the North Korean side - and when those characters hit US soil the story just gets even more painful. These narrators are always decent but htere wasn't much they could do with this, I feel sorry for them. Oh and the sound effects are always highly unnecessary but they seemed particularly grating this time.
Well I'll keep it short this time. After the second Will Robie book "The Hit", it was safe to assume that we will see more of Jessica Reel. And to make one thing clear: that's a good thing. The two characters simply work well together and dragging a 15-year old teenager (the character "Julie" introduced in "The Innocent") around as a potential victim wouldn't have worked indefinitely anyway.
However that brings me back to a deficit that plagues many authors who write a large amount of books and/or different series: the main characters become too similar, and the stories tend to show a pattern. That's also true this time to an extent. Will and Jessica in many respects have become similar to Sean (King) and Michelle (Maxwell) and the story basically is something that could have happened to them as well. Without saying too much: If I remember correctly the ones who become a target in this book once were a target in one of the King and Maxwell books as well ;-)
What I especially liked, was the author's focus on the North Korean assassin and her life. That decidedly made the story better and had a nice "two sides of a coin" feel to it.
So if you like Baldacci I believe you will be well entertained this time too. The story is fast paced, shows some nice twists (and one strange twist, as well as some things that could have been a little less obvious) and has an interesting sub plot that gives some background knowledge about Jessica's past. As with King and Maxwell the male character's past remains largely obscure.
Performance is great as always. Orlagh Cassidy and Ron McLarty make the story come alive very nicely and I also like the sound effects thrown in from time to time.
It seems I didn't keep it short after all but I hope this helps you decide.
No idea ... but the Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy are (again) masterful at bringing the book to life. David Baldacci's writing and Ron and Orlagh's narration is a hard to beat combination.
The Target seems to be a collection of shorter stories woven together into a whole ... David Baldacci has created a great thriller which doesn't really let you relax much at any point. Start to finish in 2 days ... I just couldn't stop.
Ron and Orlagh bring the characters alive for me ... this is the 3rd Will Robie book, and the 5th I've listened to with them working together. I get lost in the characters and the story and forget it's an audiobook ... it becomes more of an audio play.
Don't know ... but I'd definitely be at the cinema to see it!
I think I'd have preferred a different ending to the book ... but I can tell I'm still pumped full of adrenaline - I hadn't really noticed it until I sat down to write this review.
I had read several David Baldacci novels prior to this one, and had found them to range from reasonably good to very good, but this is absolutely dire. You can just about put up with the annoying sound effects which this particular publisher seems to think necessary, but the story itself is horrendously cliche-ridden and mawkish to the point of nausea. Far too much tedious ramblings about family and children, and the book comprises two completely unrelated stories, as if the author didn't have enough material for either strand. Then we have the North Korean stereotypes spouting stilted anti-American insults coupled with a nonsensical plot embedded within a very badly written story where the protagonists are endlessly exchanging meaningful glances. A real potboiler which the author appears to have dashed off in an afternoon. If this was a movie (and it seems to be trying to be one) it would be a brainless actioner. To be avoided.
"Carries on the story well"
Go with it
The factual aspects were astounding and left me learning more about it
Real & Robbie - I love the double act
The factual aspects are haunting
The short side story is a bit odd but I expect it'll make sense in futures stories
"Enjoyable, best if you've read the previous books."
My first David Baldacci experience, I gave this a go since I've always been fascinated with North Korea.
Narration is great, always nice to have separate male & female actors.
One of the central plot arcs concerns everything that happened to the main characters in the previous books of this series - therefore this story isn't going to make much sense if you're not familiar with the background, plus I can't go back and listen to the others since I now know all the plot spoilers. The pace of this part of the plot is arduous, and doesn't really contribute anything to the book as a whole In my opinion, unless you've read the whole series and are already emotionally invested in the characters.
Despite the above I still enjoyed it, the North Korea side of the story is good and the book has a strong ending. Still I can't really recommend it to people not familiar with the previous books.
"Predictable story line"
It passes the time on long car journey.
Yes but this is not one of his best
"Ok - but not the best in the series"
I have read all of these books and really enjoy them. They are good action books, with lots of action and a bit of mystery. this book is largely the same but isnt as good as its two predecessors. Also, a bit of a warning, I tnink you would have struggled to follow some of the story and relationships if you had not read the previous book.
The story is a set of plots knitted together which largley works but probably has a sub plot too many. The depiction of the North Koreans is interesting. They appear to have taken the Nazis previous fiction mantle of super villain/bad guys.
The readers are excellent, Orla Cassidy and Ron McLarty are always good. I have previously bought books just on the strength of their narration.
In the end I found the book ok, albeit a bit predictable. The genre isnt designed to be high brow fiction. It is fast paced action. The book largely hits this brief. If you llike Baldacci, you will enjoy this. Not his best but still ok.
"Very disappointing! The dialog is so pathetic!"
It lacked substance. It could have been written by a twelve year old.( Maybe it was?)
No but it has put me off books by this author.
They didn't do a bad job, they just didn't have anything to work with.
I hope the author reads this!
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