- File Size: 2882 KB
- Print Length: 369 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (September 2, 2014)
- Publication Date: September 2, 2014
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804178763
- ISBN-13: 978-0804178761
- ASIN: B00HBQWGXK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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“Reacher is the stuff of myth, a great male fantasy. . . . One of this century’s most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes . . . [Lee] Child does a masterly job of bringing his adventure to life with endless surprises and fierce suspense.”—The Washington Post
“Yet another satisfying page-turner.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Reacher is always up for a good fight, most entertainingly when he goes mano a mano with a seven-foot, 300-pound monster of a mobster named Little Joey. But it’s Reacher the Teacher who wows here.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“Jack Reacher is today’s James Bond, a thriller hero we can’t get enough of. I read every one as soon as it appears.”—Ken Follett
“Reacher’s just one of fiction’s great mysterious strangers.”—Maxim
“If you like fast-moving thrillers, you’ll want to take a look at this one.”—John Sandford
“Fans won’t be disappointed by this suspense-filled, riveting thriller.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Child is the alpha dog of thriller writers, each new book zooming to the top of best-seller lists with the velocity of a Reacher head butt.”—Booklist
“Every Reacher novel delivers a jolt to the nervous system.”—Kirkus Reviews
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Eight days ago my life was an up and down affair. Some of it good. Some of it not so good. Most of it uneventful. Long slow periods of nothing much, with occasional bursts of something. Like the army itself. Which is how they found me. You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely.
They started looking two days after some guy took a shot at the president of France. I saw it in the paper. A long--range attempt with a rifle. In Paris. Nothing to do with me. I was six thousand miles away, in California, with a girl I met on a bus. She wanted to be an actor. I didn’t. So after forty--eight hours in LA she went one way and I went the other. Back on the bus, first to San Francisco for a couple of days, and then to Portland, Oregon, for three more, and then onward to Seattle. Which took me close to Fort Lewis, where two women in uniform got out of the bus. They left an Army Times behind, one day old, right there on the seat across the aisle.
The Army Times is a strange old paper. It started up before World War Two and is still going strong, every week, full of yesterday’s news and sundry how--to articles, like the headline staring up at me right then: New Rules! Changes for Badges and Insignia! Plus Four More Uniform Changes On The Way! Legend has it the news is yesterday’s because it’s copied secondhand from old AP summaries, but if you read the words sideways you sometimes hear a real sardonic tone between the lines. The editorials are occasionally brave. The obituaries are occasionally interesting.
Which was my sole reason for picking up the paper. Sometimes people die and you’re happy about it. Or not. Either way you need to know. But I never found out. Because on the way to the obituaries I found the personal ads. Which as always were mostly veterans looking for other veterans. Dozens of ads, all the same.
Including one with my name in it.
Right there, center of the page, a boxed column inch, five words printed bold: Jack Reacher call Rick Shoemaker.
Which had to be Tom O’Day’s work. Which later on made me feel a little lame. Not that O’Day wasn’t a smart guy. He had to be. He had survived a long time. A very long time. He had been around forever. Twenty years ago he already looked a hundred. A tall, thin, gaunt, cadaverous man, who moved like he might collapse at any moment, like a broken stepladder. He was no one’s idea of an army general. More like a professor. Or an anthropologist. Certainly his thinking had been sound. Reacher stays under the radar, which means buses and trains and waiting rooms and diners, which, coincidentally or not, are the natural economic habitat for enlisted men and women, who buy the Army Times ahead of any other publication in the PX, and who can be relied upon to spread the paper around, like birds spread seeds from berries.
And he could rely on me to pick up the paper. Somewhere. Sooner or later. Eventually. Because I needed to know. You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not completely. As a means of communication, as a way of making contact, from what he knew, and from what he could guess, then maybe he would think ten or twelve consecutive weeks of personal ads might generate a small but realistic chance of success.
But it worked the first time out. One day after the paper was printed. Which is why I felt lame later on.
I was predictable.
Rick Shoemaker was Tom O’Day’s boy. Probably his second in command by now. Easy enough to ignore. But I owed Shoemaker a favor. Which O’Day knew about, obviously. Which was why he put Shoemaker’s name in his ad.
And which was why I would have to answer it.
Seattle was dry when I got out of the bus. And warm. And wired, in the sense that coffee was being consumed in prodigious quantities, which made it my kind of town, and in the sense that wifi hotspots and handheld devices were everywhere, which didn’t, and which made old--fashioned street--corner pay phones hard to find. But there was one down by the fish market, so I stood in the salt breeze and the smell of the sea, and I dialed a toll--free number at the Pentagon. Not a number you’ll find in the phone book. A number learned by heart long ago. A special line, for emergencies only. You don’t always have a quarter in your pocket.
The operator answered and I asked for Shoemaker and I got transferred, maybe elsewhere in the building, or the country, or the world, and after a bunch of clicks and hisses and some long minutes of dead air Shoemaker came on the line and said, “Yes?”
“This is Jack Reacher,” I said.
“Where are you?”
“Don’t you have all kinds of automatic machines to tell you that?”
“Yes,” he said. “You’re in Seattle, on a pay phone down by the fish market. But we prefer it when people volunteer the information themselves. We find that makes the subsequent conversation go better. Because they’re already cooperating. They’re invested.”
“In the conversation.”
“Are we having a conversation?”
“Not really. What do you see directly ahead?”
“A street,” I said.
“Places to buy fish.”
“A coffee shop across the light.”
I told him.
He said, “Go in there and wait.”
“For about thirty minutes,” he said, and hung up.
No one really knows why coffee is such a big deal in Seattle. It’s a port, so maybe it made sense to roast it close to where it was landed, and then to sell it close to where it was roasted, which created a market, which brought other operators in, the same way the auto makers all ended up in Detroit. Or maybe the water is right. Or the elevation, or the temperature, or the humidity. But whatever, the result is a coffee shop on every block, and a four--figure annual tab for a serious enthusiast. The shop across the light from the pay phone was representative. It had maroon paint and exposed brick and scarred wood, and a chalkboard menu about ninety percent full of things that don’t really belong in coffee, like dairy products of various types and temperatures, and weird nut--based flavorings, and many other assorted pollutants. I got a plain house blend, black, no sugar, in the middle--sized go--cup, not the enormous grande bucket some folks like, and a slab of lemon pound cake to go with it, and I sat alone on a hard wooden chair at a table for two.
The cake lasted five minutes and the coffee another five, and eighteen minutes after that Shoemaker’s guy showed up. Which made him Navy, because twenty--eight minutes was pretty fast, and the Navy is right there in Seattle. And his car was dark blue. It was a low--spec domestic sedan, not very desirable, but polished to a high shine. The guy himself was nearer forty than twenty, and hard as a nail. He was in civilian clothes. A blue blazer over a blue polo shirt, and khaki chino pants. The blazer was worn thin and the shirt and the pants had been washed a thousand times. A Senior Chief Petty Officer, probably. Special Forces, almost certainly, a SEAL, no doubt part of some shadowy joint operation watched over by Tom O’Day.
He stepped into the coffee shop with a blank--eyed all--in--one scan of the room, like he had a fifth of a second to identify friend or foe before he started shooting. Obviously his briefing must have been basic and verbal, straight out of some old personnel file, but he had me at six--five two--fifty. Everyone else in the shop was Asian, mostly women and very petite. The guy walked straight toward me and said, “Major Reacher?”
I said, “Not anymore.”
He said, “Mr. Reacher, then?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Sir, General Shoemaker requests that you come with me.”
I said, “Where to?”
“How many stars?”
“Sir, I don’t follow.”
“Does General Shoemaker have?”
“One, sir. Brigadier General Richard Shoemaker, sir.”
“When what, sir?”
“Did he get his promotion?”
“Two years ago.”
“Do you find that as extraordinary as I do?”
The guy paused a beat and said, “Sir, I have no opinion.”
“And how is General O’Day?”
The guy paused another beat and said, “Sir, I know of no one named O’Day.”
The blue car was a Chevrolet Impala with police hubs and cloth seats. The polish was the freshest thing on it. The guy in the blazer drove me through the downtown streets and got on I-5 heading south. The same way the bus had come in. We drove back past Boeing Field once again, and past the Sea--Tac airport once again, and onward toward Tacoma. The guy in the blazer didn’t talk. Neither did I. We both sat there mute, as if we were in a no--talking competition and serious about winning. I watched out the window. All green, hills and sea and trees alike.
We passed Tacoma, and slowed ahead of where the women in uniform had gotten out of the bus, leaving their Army Times behind. We took the same exit. The signs showed nothing ahead except three very small towns and one very large military base. Chances were therefore good we were heading for Fort Lewis. But it turned out we weren’t. Or we were, technically, but we wouldn’t have been back in the day. We were heading for what used to be McChord Air Force Base, and was now the aluminum half of Joint Base Lewis--McChord. Reforms. Politicians will do anything to save a buck.
I was expecting a little back--and--forth at the gate, because the gate belonged jointly to the army and the Air Force, and the car and the driver were both Navy, and I was absolutely nobody. Only the Marine Corps and the United Nations were missing. But such was the power of O’Day we barely had to slow the car. We swept in, and hooked a left, and hooked a right, and were waved through a second gate, and then the car was right out there on the tarmac, dwarfed by huge C-17 transport planes, like a mouse in a forest. We drove under a giant gray wing and headed out over open blacktop straight for a small white airplane standing alone. A corporate thing. A business jet. A Lear, or a Gulfstream, or whatever rich people buy these days. The paint winked in the sun. There was no writing on it, apart from a tail number. No name, no logo. Just white paint. Its engines were turning slowly, and its stairs were down.
The guy in the blazer drove a well--judged part--circle and came to a stop with my door about a yard from the bottom of the airplane steps. Which I took as a hint. I climbed out and stood a moment in the sun. Spring had sprung and the weather was pleasant. Beside me the car drove away. A steward appeared above me, in the little oval mouth of the cabin. He was wearing a uniform. He said, “Sir, please step up.”
The stairs dipped a little under my weight. I ducked into the cabin. The steward backed off to my right, and on my left another guy in uniform squeezed out of the cockpit and said, “Welcome aboard, sir. You have an all–-Air Force crew today, and we’ll get you there in no time at all.”
I said, “Get me where?”
“To your destination.” The guy crammed himself back in his seat next to his copilot and they both got busy checking dials. I followed the steward and found a cabin full of butterscotch leather and walnut veneer. I was the only passenger. I picked an armchair at random. The steward hauled the steps up and sealed the door and sat down on a jump seat behind the pilots’ shoulders. Thirty seconds later we were in the air, climbing hard.
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The premise for this latest effort is only finally revealed on the last few pages, and you can't help but groan "Oooooh come on! Reeeeeeally?" While most Reacher books, and indeed most thrillers, require a leap of faith somewhere, this is just awful. For a start, the two - sniper scenario is lifted straight from Ian Fleming's very first James Bond book "Casino Royale".
Then there're the guns. Child has never been good at ballistics, but how hard would it be for him to do some fact checking? This is after all, a book about snipers. We are repeatedly told that a 50 cal. BMG bullet will take 3 seconds to travel 1,400 yards. But it doesn't. Bullet velocity is usually referred to in feet per second. For a bullet to take three seconds to travel 1,400 yards, it would have to average 1,400 feet per second for the whole distance. The trouble is that with a normal load, from a rifle such as Child describes, a ballistically efficient bullet would leave the muzzle at around 2,800 feet per second, and still be doing over 1,700 feet per second at 1,400 yards. That's an average of over 2,200 feet per second, and means the bullet would take just under two seconds to arrive. Splitting hairs? Not when Child goes into such repeated detail as central to the plot.
Still on guns, he writes in detail about testing various calibres on bullet proof glass. Among the cartridges he says were tested is the 7.62 mm NATO. He then goes on to say that the .308 Winchester specifically wasn't tested. They are for all intents the same cartridge; one is military, and the other is the commercial version. Can't he run this by someone before he goes into print?
Even more. In the climactic fight scene, Reacher and two sidekicks are confronted with an unarmed 6'11" man mountain "bigger than a gorilla". They are all carrying 9mm pistols, but are afraid to shoot him, not because they might miss, but because they think the bullets would go clean through him and kill some poor neighbour in their London suburban home. Damn! Looks like Reacher will just have to fight him hand to hand. Look, these are 9mm slugs shot at pretty low velocity, not some cannon. After penetrating that much flesh and bone, they're going nowhere. Just shoot him!
Then there's the mind numbing scene in the giant's house, where Reacher loses his perspective. It's just too awful. Regretfully, the only way I'll read a new Reacher now is if I know in advance that Reacher dies. It really is time for Child to kill him off. Until then, if I need a Reacher fix, I'll have to content myself with re-reading the old ones again.
Could have been a 5 star if the geography knowledge wasn't a bit illogical and the bad characters too politically correct. At first JR knows nothing about London, cannot find a 5-star hotel but suddenly he knows commuting time, down to the minute between different parts of London, while at the same time he doesn't know he has to pay for grocery bags in shops. JR and the author mix up their knowledge too much.**
The bad guys are white as usual and bad blacks are absent (except in real life UK prisons). The best girls are usually of color. The usual addicts, all three of them are pure white.
** [JR remembers] "We checked the map at the station and used the District Line, which had a stop at a place called St James’s Park, which sounded like it might be near some fancy places. Which it was. We came up into the night air and saw signs to Westminster Abbey in one direction and Buckingham Palace in the other. And there was a big hotel right across the street." ---- JR has no clue where he is.
** [JR speaking next day] "But London is big and traffic is slow and we’re all the way on the other side of town. They’ve got to get a little convoy together. That’s ten minutes, right there, even if they’re all on the ball. Then they’ll have to loop all the way north in a big wide circle, or come all the way through the centre of the city. The East End, Westminster, Paddington. Could be we have an hour." --- JR knows London's geography and commuting times by heart.
Top international reviews
The last 'decent' Reacher book was, IMO, Worth Dying For (no. 15). The others since then have left me feeling disappointed, and more than a little bereft. I missed my favourite action hero. But here he is, back again, large as life (pun intended).
I won't summarise the plot because other reviewers have done that. What I will say is that if you like your Reacher to be involved in fist fights, gun fights, and outwitting people with that oh-so-logical mind of his, then look no further.
I liked the location being moved (briefly to Paris, and then to London/Essex). I think the last time Reacher was in the UK was for The Hard Way, but that was a rural set-up, and it was good to see him in London (with some amusing, tongue-in-cheek observations about British peculiarities along the way). I know that the Reacher we know and love is the one doing his Littlest Hobo routine, moving from one US state to another, and those stories are still my favourites, but I don't think a change does any harm once in a while.
Living oop North, I don't know how realistic the Romford Boys are but really, does it matter? They made for a satisfying gang of baddies, especially 'Little' Joey who, at 6'11", is Reacher's largest adversary since (I think) the huge guy in Persuader. As someone who's never had any training in unarmed combat, nor often finds myself in situations I need to fight my way out of (thankfully), I always find the fight scenes fascinating. Lee Child is the only author I know who goes into such lengthy descriptions of a fight which only lasts for a couple of minutes maximum.
As regards the character of Casey Nice, I liked her. She was well fleshed-out and intriguing. She demonstrated that even CIA agents are human. Lee Child did a good job of keeping their relationship purely platonic/professional (the bit where Reacher has a right old perv at her arse notwithstanding). Nice is in her twenties, Reacher is in his fifties. A sexual relationship between them would have been gratuitous and inappropriate.
The reveal at the ending was a good'un - I didn't see it coming - and things were tied up nicely. All in all, a really satisfactory read. If you've not read a Reacher book before, you won't be disappointed. If you're a Reacher fan who feels he's gone off the boil of late, then take heart from him being back.
All we need now is for the next book to be Jack, on foot, righting wrongs in some dusty, sparsely-populated US state, smashing faces with his elbows and drinking gallons of coffee, for him to be right back on track. Yay!
I was greatly amused by the middle third of the book, how a British author described events, places and so on within Greater London as if he were a foreigner (in this case American), over-explaining some things and making some mild mistakes; for example, I've never heard that Place of Learning being referred to as The University of Cambrige - it's always been Cambridge University to me although I have since seen it called that and perhaps I wasn't brung up proper.
It was nice. To see that. The narrative. Went through a phase. Where sentances were longer. Than Mr Child often writes. I noticed one sentance that went on for more than 25 words so all credit to him.
The fact that I noticed those descriptions and writing style indicates that I was not gripped by the story: as usual there was a significant amount of travelling around, beatings up, and so on. In that regard the book was like an episode of Star Trek; we knew where we were, where we were going to be and how it would end. After all, that's why we buy the books. The ending was all a bit sudden, leaving me with the impression of having consumed fast food and not haute cuisine.
This story gripped me from beginning to end and I hope this book marks a return to form for this series of novels. I don't understand why some people found it so different in feel or tone from the earlier books in the series - to me it was a return to the style of those early books. Yes, there are some implausible things going on (one of the main critiques of this book that I've seen) - but that has always been the case with Jack Reacher - at the climax of "Tripwire" (the 3rd book in the series, published all the way back in 1999) he survives an almost point-blank shot to the chest... so to criticise the implausibility of the plot devices in the newer novels seems odd to me. It's escapist fiction, and as such there will always be things which wouldn't be feasible in "the real world".
As for Reacher shunning his "lone drifter" status to work for the government, why is that getting so much flak? The character has done this on plenty of occasions before - "The Visitor" and "Without Fail" spring to mind. In short, I think most of the criticisms leveled at this book are unfair, and I enjoyed it immensely. It's not "great" literature, but it doesn't pretend to be - it's just a good escapist adventure yarn which will keep you entertained.
Jack is given a mission, he knows how to do it and he gets the job done. Same format as always, same old Jack. The comments are always witty and very often gritty. Jack speaks his mind and he won't be put off by someone trying to kill him. Okay, so maybe the action is toned down a bit but nevertheless it is there and just as exciting as it always has been.
It didn't leave us on a cliff hanger so we are clear that he is still out there and I am looking forward to reading the next one as I know now it won't disappoint.
What's wrong with people? Reading some of the reviews on here, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was a dreadful book whereas, in fact, the opposite is true.
There was a time - somewhere around book 12 or 13 and lasting until around book 16 - when I thought Reacher looked to have run his course. But actually, I feel like Lee Child has revitalised the franchise a bit in the last two or three outings. In Personal, the hard-boiled style is still there and Reacher retains many of the personal traits that came to define him from the first book (the loner who travels with a folding toothbrush, a roll of notes, a precise internal alarm clock and the ability to flatten any opponent in his path).
But with Personal, I think we get a sense of Lee Child concentrating a bit more on plot and substance and rather less on the ability of Jack Reacher to bulldoze his way through any and all opponents. There's a bit more to this than in previous books, I felt. For some fans of the series, that may be the problem, of course: Reacher is a hard-case and it's certainly true to say that the character's brutality (albeit for the right reasons) was what made me a fan of the series once I read The Killing Floor. But head-butting and knee-snapping your way through every encounter with the bad guys only gets you so far and I was quite pleased to have a bit of depth added to our hero and his environment in this book.
Is it classic Reacher? No, and there are one or two moments which prompt an arched eyebrow. But by and large, I thought this was a jolly good read - done in the space of 24 hours on a Spanish beach and balcony.
Thoroughly enjoyable if not quite the full five stars.
Also taking Reacher out of his comfort zone to England where most of the action takes place is ok but then Mr Child treats his descriptions of this country like a tourist map. Lee Child is a British citizen living in America with his wife and son and Reachers' character is built around his life there wandering around the US as a lone maverick of justice. In this book Reacher plays a more advisory role although he does take out the bad guys for the Brits in the end so they can save face if it all goes wrong and Reacher will be arrested as a terrorist when/if it does.
Reachers supporting women are all usually very strong characters but in this case, Casey to my mind is a weak link especially when she keeps asking Reacher if he thinks she's up to the job! Taking pills most of the time Reacher just doesn't seem to be convinced that she will indeed cope but works with what he has. Luckily...spoiler alert...she does save his life in the end.
Having said all that it is a Jack Reacher book and therefore ticks all the boxes for me. I love the character, love the role he plays and love the action he always finds himself in. I would like to read a book which features more about his life in the army, his family and learn where he developed all his skills and insight. Perhaps Mr Child has done that in his new book Make Me?
Thank you Lee never the less.
Having the story set in the UK just doesn’t work at all IMHO and writing “a place called” before most of the towns and places mentioned (presumably the give the sense that Jack Reacher is in a country he doesn’t know well) is just lazy writing.
The story such as it is, which doesn’t seem to get going at all until about three quarters of the way in, is not engaging at all and, if it’s ever going to be made into a film, will need a lot of work.
None of the other characters in the book are interesting at all and none of them seem to have much motivation for their roles.
For an author who was born in the UK, he doesn’t seem to have much understanding of the ways of British gangsters. Since they've all written books as well, this part ought not to be hard to research. The methods Jack Reacher uses to locate the British Godfathers are quite ludicrous. Plus, the idea that one could drive, in the weekly rush hour, from Hyde Park Corner to a location close to the North East part of the M25, reconnoitre a location and drive back in two hours is just daft.
The additional character that comes in right at the end and the final plot twist (one might more accurately say the only plot twist) seemed very much tacked on as an afterthought.
For me this book is a real disappointment.
Lee Child swaps his narration position in these books quite often - I prefer 3rd person, this is 1st person which I find jarring with these books, Nevertheless, it's a typical Jack book. A sniper has taken a shot at the French President and the only sniper known that is able to take that shot has recently been released from prison. A prison that Jack got him sent to so the US government reaches out to Jack to track the sniper down. 2 other men are known to international agencies, men that would have been able to take that shot and Jack has to work with other agencies to track down all three men and find out who took the shot and why.
The story takes Jack to Paris then London where he gets tangled up with a London gang - dodging them as well as the sniper who he knows must be after him and judging the range that he can shoot at, Jack may never see the bullet coming.
What can I say about this book? It's a good read - simple, exciting and ridiculous. I feel that Child needs to start taking Jack in a new direction, after all he's been at this a long time. Maybe that's what he tried with this book - making Jack international, but Jack's better on his home turf, small towns, brutal men. Like the Littlest Hobo - only big.
Don't expect any surprises there are not any. The thing I mostly enjoy about these when I think about it is the fact that they are easy, predictable, do exactly what you expect them to do and are perfect reading when you don't want to have to think too much but want to be entertained. Jack Reacher is highly entertaining. He was here.
The story is good, flows out in its usual indomitable style, Jack pops into some lives, gets rid of some bad guys, puts the good guys back on track, doesnt stand for nonsense and, well, buys a toothbrush. And some new clothes. Considering how simple it sounds (and in a lot of ways it is) I was enthralled as ever.
These are good readable books of the type that don't make promises they can't keep and the success of the series does not surprise me one bit and is absolutely deserved. Lee Child may never write War and Peace but he will be read forever I have no doubt.
Recommended for thriller fans.
Unfortunately it proved to be an uninspiring read.
An assassination attempt on the French president was a promising start all to soon lost in what became a wander through the Paris street map and here I was reminded of an earlier effort 'Echo Burning', That also had all the marks of a holiday in the area dressed up as a rather lame story.
Having said that it could have recovered had the story not moved to the UK where even the use of the word GUN causes a high level of incontinence in the British establishment. Here the gangland references were something a time warp sounding more like the 50's and the Kray twins saga than a modern comment on the crime world in the UK.
Increasing frustration was amplified when I was expected to get excited by the introduction of some form of special glass the references to which went on and on.
As to the finale well what finale? To be confronted with the idea that the whole elaborate and frustrating exercise was just to fulfil an old man's ambition, well I ask you.
My final comment was with the female lead, just what was the point of her presence, it seems that Mr Child is not alone in introducing superfluous female characters, designed to attract female readers I suppose, but at least let them have some point. His character could have been removed completely and it would have had no effect on the story.
My repeated advice would be to either go back in time to Reacher's earlier years in the army perhaps Europe in the Cold War or forward to the current spate of Muslim terrorism. The idea of Reacher dealing, in his inimitable way, with Islamic terrorism has a definite appeal.
Hopefully this one is something of an aberration in the never ending tale so I will continue to support the on going story for awhile, but things must get better.
Caught out slightly by this one. Usually the reader has very little idea of what lies behind whatever Jack Reacher becomes involved with. This book is different because we know exactly what he is involved with only a few chapters in.
The beginning of the book is shrouded in mystery, but then develops into a fast-paced story with plenty of the typical Reacher logic and an immense amount of knowledge stored away in that brain of his to help him determine his course of action. On this occasion he is accompanied by a young agent, Casey Nice (sorry, but that almost seems like a Bond heroine name!) to whom he not only gives a great deal of psychological help, but also finds her skills as important as his own at times.
A great deal of the book is set inside the M25 orbital around London, grittily described, with a host of interesting characters, notably Little Joey who dwarfs Reacher and has a home to match!
I thoroughly enjoyed the book (as usual with Reacher full length novels) with some lively descriptions employed by the author, the two most memorable of these, as far as I am concerned, being the description of Nice’s truck, in which it is compared to a high level board meeting, and the reference to the travel pass in London being “named after bivalve molluscs”. (For those not in the know these cards are called “Oyster” cards.
Great stuff again, and highly recommended.
Without giving the plot away - the scene at the bowling green was the one that really puzzled me. Why could he not shoot down into his foot? Didn't make sense to me. And then what followed from there on was a bit of an anti climax. But I liked the twist in the final chapter.
As someone who reads a couple books a week I think I can safely say that this is still up there, at the quality end. And I read all kinds of authors.
I agree that Tom Cruise being involved/optioning the films was a really, really bad decision. But, here's the thing, easiest way to show your disapproval is don't go see the movie. Treat it with the contempt it deserves. Simples.
At the end of the day it's still LC writing and I've always loved his way of writing 3-4 lines that paint you a picture and put you in the room with the characters. It's not one I would recommend to someone who hasn't read a Reacher before - but I don't think it's as bad as some reviewers say. If you think this is bad - try Dan Brown's Inferno....now THAT is a bad book, IMHO.
Still looking forward to JR 20.