If you like action-packed thrillers, you will enjoy, “The Hit” by David Baldacci, an acclaimed writer in this genre. The book begins with a gripping account of how a handler for the CIA, Doug Jacobs is literally shot on the job. He is killed as he directs his sniper to shoot an assigned target. Suspicion falls on Jessica Reel,  a former sniper expert in the Agency who has gone rogue. The case is assigned to Will Robie, known far and wide to be the best in his trade. Robie has to find and stop Jacobs’s killer. 

That Jacobs’s killing was not an isolated incident is confirmed when shortly after the agency is hit by an even bigger blow. Top echelon officers of the CIA are rarely shot dead, if at all. One wouldn’t imagine this to happen, especially in mainland USA. However, Jim Gelder, the second highest ranking officer in the CIA is shot dead, not in some remote mountain area but on the streets of Washington DC.

Robie rightly suspects that there is a huge conspiracy, the magnitude of which remains unparalleled. His analysis drives him to conclude that many people with seemingly impeccable credentials are involved. Jessica Reel, in the mean time, is busy sharpening her skills to achieve her personal goals. She becomes aware that Robie has been assigned to get her. She knows she has to treat him with the utmost professional respect. In the distant past, they had worked together when she was relatively new. She had learnt a lot from Robie. To stay ahead of the game when he is hunting her down is for her a new challenge

The story is well-crafted and though there is a fair amount of exaggeration, some bordering on the incredible, the reader is kept hooked. The plot is interesting and one is no closer to the truth even as one gets towards the end of the book. The characters of Robbie and Reel, different people in many ways but having a lot in common, are sharply etched. The reader has to take sides. Some may back Robie, others Reel.

Circumstances bring the hunter and the hunted together. Both Robie and Reel realize that they have to bury their differences to ward off the imminent threat from a common enemy who plans to bring about mayhem not only in the United States but in different parts of the world.

Read the book and you may like the end of this story. I did.


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