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Review: The Target, by David Baldacci

Jessica Reel and Will Robie are stone killers. They work for the CIA. In a previous novel Jessica killed two members of the CIA, with Robie’s help. This has deeply disturbed the director of the CIA, even though it has been generally agreed the two were traitors and their demise averted a major catastrophe. He wants to get rid of Reel, by any means possible.
So the director has a plan. He convinces the president to agree to a plot to quietly kill Kim Jong-Un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea. His team of killers will be Reel and Robie, who will never make it back from what is obviously a suicide mission. It is a good plan, except that if it fails he will be disgraced and the president will be impeached.
It might fail. North Korea has its own killer . . . a woman named Chung-Cha, who managed to survive one of the worst of the Korean prison camps and turn hereslf into a veritable killing machine. She can kill with her bare hands, from a distance. (Not quite, but almost.)
And then there’s Reel’s dad, Earl Fontaine, who is dying of cancer after a lifetime of killing people and who has hatched an elaborate plot that will result in his old buddies in a neo-Nazi group abducting both Reel and her daughter. And not treating them nicely.
Reel and Robie do go to North Korea, not to kill the Supreme Leader, but to rescue two people who have been imprisioned as retaliation for the plot against Un, which was discovered fairly early on. They manage to free the prisoners and escape with their lives, which makes the CIA director sad, although he eventually decides to reconsider his position.
But Chung-Cha is still lurking in the background and is given the task of carrying out some further retaliation, something that will make the U.S.A. think twice about messing with North Korea. If it works, it will be unprecedented.
Besides the story, which moves right along, there is a great deal of information about the prison camps in North Korea. Assuming Baldacci has his facts straight, they are appalling. Hard to believe.

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