Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci book review

By Emma Brooks

Looking for a new read and a new thriller after the Millennium series, I happened upon this book “Deliver us from Evil” by David Baldacci and intrigued enough by the blurb on the back, decided to take it home.

About the author

David Baldacci is of American origin, and originally a lawyer by trade. However, he decided to take on writing, first trying his hand at short stories without much success, and finally settling for novels, with his first international best-seller Absolute Power being published in 1996. Since then, he has written 20 more novels with success.

About the story

The book sets the tone from the beginning, with what we think is a young and attractive nurse looking after a poor old man, actually turning out to be a hit-man hired to kill him. The book is an excellent thriller, with a good and gripping plot. It’s not the investigative type of thriller as in the Millennium series, but is instead a story of revenge, and merciless killing.

The story is easy to follow, with our two main characters both hit men. Reggie, who we are introduced to first, is a young woman who is quite comfortable in her job of killing off old criminals. The organisation she works for, though we are never quite sure what exactly it is, has taken upon itself to kill all remaining war criminals who were not punished for their crimes. This gives their mission a sense of purpose, and helps them (and perhaps the readers too) to believe that what they are doing is not all bad, and is instead some sort of retribution for crimes past.

Our second main character, Shaw, is also a hit-man though he works through more official channels, and his targets are more at random that Reggie’s. Shaw and Reggie’s stories coincide and they end up meeting, when both on a mission to kill the same target in Provence, though for different reasons. Reggie has been sent to kill Waller, a notorious criminal from Yugoslavia who has tortured many without an ounce of regret, whilst Shaw is sent in after him for his involvement in human trafficking, amongst other things.

We follow our two main characters on their path to kill their target, and are witness to their encounter whilst on the job. Whether or not they are aware of each other’s mission is unclear, as is whether or not they will succeed. This allows for a good bit of intrigue and suspense, leaving us unsure of the fate of our two heroes until the very end.

As we watch their relationship develop, we also follow in parallel the development of their plots to kill Waller and how they will go about it, whilst we continue to wonder when they will realise that they have a common interest.

A third plot develops alongside our two main characters, when one of Shaw’s acquaintances, journalist Katie James is kidnapped and taken ransom, in the middle of the whole sordid affair of planned murder. We therefore end up watching as our two main characters finally join forces to try and save Shaw’s friend, without putting their missions at risk.

The light romance that picks up between Reggie and Shaw helps to make them seem a little more human to us, lightening up the atmosphere of the rather dark story, and breaking away from the image of the two main characters as killing machines.

Aside from a grueling torture scene that I could not bare to read (I had to skip to the next section) this book is the prefect follow up to the Millenium series and provides an easy but gripping read.

If you like a good bit of action and revenge, then this is definitely the book you would want to pick up!

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