The Guilty (Will Robie series) by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The GuiltyThis one has Will Robie, an ongoing government assassin in several of Baldacci’s books. And like the other Robie adventures this one is a really good adventure.

Starting out Robie, on another assignment, does his job and kills the target with one shot. However that shot goes through the target and kills the young daughter of the target also.

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This turn of events puts a real hiccup in Robie’s life. Because on his next assignment he cannot pull the trigger because he sees a small boy suddenly appear in front of his target. When he blinks the boy is gone as is the target because a standby had taken the shot. Robie knows and his supervisor also knows that he needs a break.

Robie also finds out that his father, whom he hasn’t had any contact with in many years, is in jail awaiting trial for murder. The pair had never been close and when Robie left Cantrell, Mississippi after graduation he had no intention of ever returning. But now he feels something pulling on him that makes him return to the small southern town to see what is going on.

He also has some thoughts about a young girl that he was very enamored with just before leaving years ago. Because of his abrupt departure at the time he was unable to talk with her. And even though he tried phoning and writing to her he was never able to make contact so he assumed she was not as interested as he was. Maybe now he can find out what went down.

His arrival stirs up some interest among many of the longtime residents as he begins digging into the murder that has transpired. There are strange things connected with it and especially the fact that no one saw the lady being killed. No one actually saw his father at the scene but his Range Rover was seen in that area and around the time of the murder. Because of other events his father has been tabbed to be the killer.

While attempting to meet with his father he discovers that his father has remarried a younger woman and that Robie now has a very young brother! His father’s new wife readily accepts Robie and fills him in pretty much on what all has transpired.

It turns out that there are FBI agents in the area looking for what they deem to be a serial killer; there has been another murder; there are rumors of extortion; and also possible connections to several new casinos in the area.

And this is where Baldacci becomes the masterful story teller as he weaves and reweaves events and strange happenings into the tale of a man who is trying hard to redo his relationship with his father. He also is trying to be not just a government assassin but actually trying to be a detective as he sorts and resorts clues along the way.

Great storyline and masterfully told by one of the greats of the day!!!

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