Readers haven’t seen Will Robie, David Baldacci’s fan-favorite CIA assassin, since 2015, when The Guilty hit bookstores. Now, after a two-year wait, Robie returns, and he’s back with a vengeance.
Riding in on his Ducati Diavel, carrying a .45 H&K UMP and twin suppressed M11s, Will Robie cruises into Oxford Circus, one of the busiest stations in the London Underground. Previously, the Underground had been the location of a terrorist attack in 2005, when suicide bombers detonated on several different train cars, killing more than fifty people.
Now, the Underground is being targeted again, and it’s up to Robie — after the CIA was looped in to provide British higher-ups plausible deniability in case things take a bad turn — to stop it.
Entering a nearby home where the attack was being planned, Robie set his sights on taking out sixteen of the seventeen confirmed assailants. Like dominoes, the bad guys fall one by one as Baldacci opens the fifth book in his bestselling series with an impressive, blood-splattering action sequence — setting a tone for the rest of the novel that makes it perfectly clear: Will Robie isn’t playing around.
With the onslaught over, another job aced by Robie, the assassin is approached by a woman claiming to work for Blue Man, the code name for Robie’s boss, Roger Walton. Apparently, Walton, whose last known whereabouts is near his hometown in Colorado, has gone missing. A high-ranking member of the CIA, Blue Man is privy to a plethora of top-secret information that, should it fall into enemy hands, could severely damage a number of the Central Intelligence Agency’s assets.
With the clock ticking, Robie and former operative Jessica Reel — who had found herself back on the battlefield in Iraq prior to Robie showing up to enlist her help — head to Colorado in search of their boss. Needing answers quickly, the two start by searching Walton’s rustic, nine-hundred square foot cabin located near Denver. Evidence there suggests that they already feared, that Blue Man was, in fact, abducted.
As Robie and Reel comb through Blue Man’s hometown, they encounter a number of locals who are less than thrilled about two government operatives investigating on their turf. On top of that, the lethal duo also crosses paths with King’s Apostles, a cult-like group that has plenty of secrets, and a number of white supremacists.
With multiple roadblocks in their way, Robie and Reel press forward, making one shocking discovery after another. In the end, both realize the inevitable…even if they do find Blue Man, odds are that one — or both — of them won’t ever be leaving this small, dangerous town alive.
Though he’s written a number of series over the course of his career, Baldacci — one of the most well-known and best-selling novelists alive today — has been concentrating on three different protagonists in recent years. While Amos Decker (The Fix) and John Puller (No Man’s Land) are solid, Robie is, in my opinion, the author’s best character. And the genre, as a whole, is much better off when Will Robie is lining bookstore shelves.
Hitting on all cylinders from beginning to end, David Baldacci brings back his best character with a bang. Fast-paced with tons of action, End Game reads like one of Lee Child’s early Jack Reacher novels — and is a worthy follow-up to The Guilty (2015).
Author: David Baldacci
Series: Will Robie #5
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.