I never thought that there would ever come a day, when I’d have to say that David Baldacci has written something not worth reading, but here you go. Thankfully, No Time Left is but a short story, which only came out as an eBook, because if it were a novel I’d feel really disappointed.
The protagonist in this story is a man called Frank Becker, a professional assassin, who likes to undertake the most complicated, or rather challenging missions. When it comes to killing he is a man full of surprises. We first meet him as he shadows a man, in the crowded streets of an unnamed city, whom he ends up killing with a lethal injection. That takes place on the 5th of May of the year 2000, and so far so good.
In the pages that follow the author talks about the personal history of the assassin, his complicated background and his unhappy childhood. He’s been abused as a child not only by his father, but also by his evil stepmother, a fact that left him scarred for life and created a dangerous void in his psyche.
Becker, who’s spend the last twenty years killing people, is now ready to undertake a new, exciting, but extremely unorthodox mission: he is to assassinate a woman, whom he has never met, for which he knows nothing about, and whose whereabouts are completely unknown to him. The man who hires him though tells him not to worry about a thing and that when the time comes everything will be illuminated. And he’s proven right. And that’s exactly when the reader finds all of a sudden him/herself reading a fantasy story, which is bound to dissolve all and any expectations for a great ending. That doesn’t come to pass because the narration changes genre, but alas because the end of the story seems rushed and, honestly, badly written. As it seems the good author has decided, in his effort to surprise the reader, to walk into Stephen King territory. However, as great as he may be in writing action-packed thrillers, the fantasy game doesn’t seem to suit him. And thus he disappoints.