Will Robie had closely observed every one of the passengers on the short flight from Dublin to Edinburgh and confidently deduced that sixteen were returning Scots and fifty-three were tourists.
Robie was neither a Scot nor a tourist.
The flight took forty-seven minutes to cross first the Irish Sea and then a large swath of Scotland. The cab ride in from the airport took fifteen more minutes of his life. He was not staying at the Balmoral Hotel or the Scotsman or any of the other illustrious accommodations in the ancient city. He had one room on the third floor of a dirty-faced building that was a nine-minute uphill walk to the city center. He got his key and paid in cash for one night. He carried his small bag up to the room and sat on the bed. It squeaked under his weight and sank nearly three inches.
Squeaking and sinking were what one got for so low a price.
Robie was an inch over six feet and a rock-solid one hundred and eighty pounds. He possessed a compact musculature that relied more on quickness and endurance than sheer strength. His nose had been broken once, due to a mistake he had made. He had never had it reset because he’d never wanted to forget the mistake. One of his back teeth was false. That had come with the broken nose. His hair was naturally dark and he had a lot of it, but Robie preferred to keep it about a half inch longer than a Marine buzz cut. His facial features were sharply defined, but he made them mostly forgettable by almost never making eye contact with anyone.
He had tats on one arm and also on his back. One tattoo was of a large tooth from a great white. The other was a red slash that looked like lightning on fire. They effectively covered up old scars that had never healed properly. And each held some significance for him. The damaged skin had proven a challenge for the tattoo artist working on Robie, but the end result had been satisfactory.
Robie was thirty-nine years old and would turn forty the following day. He had not come to Scotland to celebrate this personal milestone. He had come here to work. Of the three hundred and sixty-five days in a year, he was working or traveling to do his job on about half of them.
Robie surveyed the room. It was small, adequate, unadorned, strategically located. He did not require much. His possessions were few, and his wants fewer still.
He rose and went to the window, pressed his face to the cool glass. The sky was gloomy. It was often that way in Scotland. A full day of sun in Edinburgh was routinely greeted with both gratitude and astonishment by its citizens.
Far to his left stood Holyrood Palace, the queen’s official residence in Scotland. He could not see it from here. Far to his right was Edinburgh Castle. He could not see that battered old edifice either but knew exactly where it was.
He checked his watch. A full eight hours to go.
This is an excerpt from THE INNOCENT by David Baldacci. Copyright © 2012 by Columbus Rose, Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.
David Baldacci, bestselling author of Absolute Power, The Camel Club series and Zero Day, returns with The Innocent, an action-packed thriller about an assassin under the gun, on the run and out of options.
Will Robie is a freelance hitman tasked to eliminate suspected enemies of the U.S. government, and he’s very, very good at it. But when his latest mission puts his crosshairs on unlikely target Denise Tamaron—a government employee and mother of two—he does the unthinkable…and fails to pull the trigger.
But in a profession where failure is never an option, Robie knows he needs to disappear, and fast. And that’s when complications set in. As he flees the city, he saves a young teenage girl from an unknown killer. Problem is, she's too scared to reveal her true identity and why there are those who want her dead.
Now, instead of slipping into the shadows, Robie has left a trail of violence…and the cops are starting to take an interest in him, particularly one tenacious female investigator who believes the two cases may be connected. Now, out of time and out of options, Robie just may have to bite the bullet and do something so shocking, they’ll never see it coming.
Hardcover Book : 416 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( April 17, 2012 )
Item #: 13-534301
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.97inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This was my first read of this author and I was not disappointed !! Robie was a great character and even Blueman. It was a great read and full of suspense! And I will be reading more of David Baldacci's books!
Great new character. Hope there are more books to come. Lots of twists and turns and eventhough I had an idea, I wasn't sure until the end!
A real page turner. After finishing, I miss Will Robie
Reviewer: Susan C
I received this book. I read a few pages. Then I put it down. I knew it was a one sitting read and I wasn't going to "start it" until I had the time to read it all. I waited until after supper and then the fun began! Great book!! Let's hope we see Will Robie again in the near future!
Truly an exciting read. I couldn't seem to put it down. Loved all the characters. Really kept you guessing who the 'bad' guys were. The extent of the conspiracy plot was devilish. At times though I wondered how Robie wasn't more cognicent of the fact that he was being so manipulated. I truly hope there will be more of Robie in future novels, or characters in the same vein.
Reviewer: Mary D