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The Sentinel: A Jack Reacher Novel Kindle Edition
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“It’s great to be back in [Reacher’s] company in a world where the bad guys get what’s coming to them. . . . A smooth transition for a much-loved character.”—The Observer
“It’s terrific. . . . The story is just as powerful. . . . Brutal action mixes with keen-eyed detective work as Reacher metes out his own brand of justice. . . . If this novel is a harbinger of what’s to come, then Jack is in good hands.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Much of The Sentinel is humorous as Reacher patiently teaches bad guys about the flaws in their tactics. While there’s lots of action, the novel also feels like a procedural as Reacher interviews suspects and delves deeper toward the truth. . . . [The Sentinel has] one of the most inventive action sequences in recent memory. . . . It continues the series without any sense that there’s now a coauthor. In a year of drastic change, fans will welcome the consistency.”—Publishers Weekly
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Rusty Rutherford emerged from his apartment on a Monday morning, exactly one week after he got fired.
He spent the first few days after the ax fell with his blinds drawn, working through his stockpile of frozen pizzas and waiting for the phone to ring. Significant weaknesses, the dismissal letter said. Profound failure of leadership. Basic and fundamental errors. It was unbelievable. Such a distortion of the truth. And so unfair. They were actually trying to pin the town’s recent problems on him. It was . . . a mistake. Plain and simple. Which meant it was certain to be corrected. And soon.
The hours crawled past. His phone stayed silent. And his personal email silted up with nothing more than spam.
He resisted for another full day, then grabbed his old laptop and powered it up. He didn’t own a gun or a knife. He didn’t know how to rappel from a helicopter or parachute from a plane. But still, someone had to pay. Maybe his real-life enemies were going to get away with it. This time. But not the villains in the videogames a developer buddy had sent him. He had shied away from playing them, before. The violence felt too extreme. Too unnecessary. It didn’t feel that way anymore. His days of showing mercy were over. Unless . . .
His phone stayed silent.
Twenty-four hours later he had a slew of new high scores and a mild case of dehydration, but not much else had changed. He closed the computer and slumped back on his couch. He stayed there for the best part of another day, picking at random from a stack of blu rays he didn’t remember buying and silently begging the universe to send him back to work. He would be different, he swore. Easier to get along with. More patient. Diplomatic. Empathetic, even. He would buy donuts for everyone in the office. Twice a month. Three times, if that would seal the deal . . .
His phone stayed silent.
He didn’t often drink, but what else was there left to do? The credits began to roll at the end of another disk. He couldn’t stomach another movie so he retreated to the kitchen. Retrieved an unopened bottle of Jim Beam from the back of a cabinet. Returned to the living room and put a scratchy old Elmore James LP on the turntable.
He wound up asleep, facedown on the floor, after—he wasn’t sure how long. All he knew was that when he woke up his head felt like it was crammed full of rocks, shifting and grinding as if they were trying to burst out of his skull. He thought the pain would never end. But when his hangover did finally pass he found himself experiencing a new emotion. Defiance. He was an innocent man, after all. None of the bad things that had happened were his fault. That was for damn sure. He was the one who’d foreseen them. Who’d warned his boss about them. Time after time. In public and in private. And who’d been ignored. Time after time. So after seven days holed up alone, Rutherford decided it was time to show his face. To tell his side of the story. To anyone who would listen.
He took a shower and dug some clothes out of his closet. Chinos and a polo shirt. Brand new. Somber colors, with logos, to show he meant business. Then he retrieved his shoes from the opposite corners of the hallway where he’d flung them. Scooped up his keys and sunglasses from the bookcase by the door. Stepped out into the corridor. Rode down in the elevator, alone. Crossed the lobby. Pushed through the heavy revolving door and paused on the sidewalk. The mid-morning sun felt like a blast furnace and its sudden heat drew beads of sweat from his forehead and armpits. He felt a flutter of panic. Guilty people sweat. He’d read that somewhere, and the one thing he was desperate to avoid was looking guilty. He glanced around, convinced that everyone would be staring at him, then forced himself to move. He picked up the pace, feeling more conspicuous than if he’d been walking down the street naked. But the truth was that most of the people he passed didn’t even notice he was there. In fact, only two of them paid him any attention at all.
The same time Rusty Rutherford was coming out of his apartment, Jack Reacher was breaking into a bar. He was in Nashville, Tennessee, seventy-five miles north and east of Rutherford’s sleepy little town, and he was searching for the solution to a problem. It was a practical matter, primarily. A question of physics. And biology. Specifically, how to suspend a guy from a ceiling without causing too much permanent damage. To the ceiling, at least. He was less concerned about the guy.
The ceiling belonged to the bar. And the bar belonged to the guy. Reacher had first set foot in the place a little over a day earlier. On Saturday. Almost Sunday, because it was close to midnight by the time he got into town. His journey had not been smooth. The first bus he rode caught on fire and its replacement got wedged under a low bridge after its driver took a wrong turn twenty miles out. Reacher was stiff from the prolonged sitting when he eventually climbed out at the Greyhound station so he moved away to the side, near the smokers’ pen, and took a few minutes to stretch the soreness out of his muscles and joints. He stood there, half-hidden in the shadows, while the rest of the passengers milled around and talked and did things with their phones and reclaimed their luggage and gradually drifted away.
Reacher stayed where he was. He was in no hurry. He’d arrived later than expected, but that was no major problem. He had no appointments to keep. No meetings to attend. No one was waiting for him, getting worried or getting mad. He’d planned to find a place to stay for the night. A diner, for some food. And a bar where he could hear some good music. He should still be able to do all those things. He’d maybe have to switch the order around. Maybe combine a couple of activities. But he’d live. And with some hotels, the kind Reacher preferred, it can work to show up late. Especially if you’re paying cash. Which he always did.
Music first, Reacher decided. He knew there was no shortage of venues in Nashville, but he wanted a particular kind of place. Somewhere worn. With some history. Where Blind Blake could have played, back in the day. Howlin’ Wolf, even. Certainly nowhere new, or gentrified, or gussied up. The only question was how to find a place like that. The lights were still on in the bus depot, and a handful of people were still working or waiting or just keeping themselves off the street. Some of them were bound to be local. Maybe all of them were. Reacher could have asked for directions. But he didn’t go in. He preferred to navigate by instinct. He knew cities. He could read their shape and flow like a sailor can sense the direction of the coming waves. His gut told him to go north, so he set off across a broad triangular intersection and on to a vacant lot, strewn with rubble. The heavy odor of diesel and cigarettes faded behind him, and his shadow grew longer in front as he walked. It led the way to rows of narrow, parallel streets lined with similar brick buildings, stained with soot. It felt industrial, but decayed and hollow. Reacher didn’t know what kinds of businesses had thrived in Nashville’s past, but whatever had been made or sold or stored it had clearly happened around there. And it clearly wasn’t happening anymore. The structures were all that remained. And not for much longer, Reacher thought. Either money would flow in and shore them up, or they’d collapse.
Reacher stepped off the crumbling sidewalk and continued down the center of the street. He figured he’d give it another two blocks. Three at the most. If he hadn’t found anything good by then he’d strike out to the right, toward the river. He passed a place that sold part-worn tires. A warehouse that a charity was using to store donated furniture. Then, as he crossed the next street, he picked up the rumble of a bass guitar and the thunder of drums.
The sound was coming from a building in the center of the block. It didn’t look promising. There were no windows. No signage. Just a thin strip of yellow light escaping from beneath a single wooden door. Reacher didn’t like places with too few potential exits so he was inclined to keep walking. But as he drew level, the door opened. Two guys, maybe in their late twenties with sleeveless T-shirts and a smattering of anemic tattoos, stumbled out onto the sidewalk. Reacher moved to avoid them, and at the same moment a guitar began to wail from inside. Reacher paused. The riff was good. It built and swelled and soared, and just as it seemed to be done and its final note was dying away, a woman’s voice took over. It was mournful, desperate, agonizing, like a conduit to a world of the deepest imaginable sorrow. Reacher couldn’t resist. He stepped across the threshold. --This text refers to the mass_market edition.
- ASIN : B084FLW5KM
- Publisher : Delacorte Press (October 27, 2020)
- Publication date : October 27, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 2808 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 386 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #973 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I stopped after about 3 chapters and deleted it from my iPad...
PLEASE don’t buy it—don’t incentivize this inane authorship o what was a great series...
Top reviews from other countries
However, it's fair to say that Lee Child has gone off the boil with his most recent offerings. For me, the books have definitely lacked the depth, quality, and entertainment value of his earlier work. That said, I suppose it was always going to be a tough ask to keep the momentum going - especially once he'd sailed past the 20th novel in the series. That's why I welcomed the idea of Lee bringing his brother on board to assist in writing this his 25th in the series - I looked upon this collaboration as a last ditch effort to get the Jack Reacher bandwagon back on track. The big question is - has it worked? Unfortunately, I don't think it has, and that saddens and disappoints me. If nothing else, I was wishing Andrew would assist Lee in either giving Jack a good send off, or if not, at least provide fans with a glimmer of hope for the future of this smart-talking American hero of ours.
I have to mention that The Sentinel does start off really well. The opening pages introduce us to the character of Rusty Rutherford. He has spent the past week holed up in his apartment. He has recently been fired from his job as an IT manager, and has spent the time alone - eating pizzas, watching movies, listening to music, and playing video games. He feels his dismissal was totally unjustified, and is determined to clear his name, and return to the kind of work he loves. After seven days of self-imposed isolation, he decides to venture outside. However, it soon becomes apparent that the citizens of the small town where he lives have come to despise him. So, as he walks the streets, the locals give him accusing, dirty looks...
Meanwhile, around 75 miles away, Jack Reacher has just spent an 'interesting' evening in Nashville, Tennessee. He had arrived there late at night by his usual mode of transport: a Greyhound bus. He had been in the mood for some 'live' music - so eventually finds a suitable bar. As one has come to expect from this giant of a man, one thing leads to another, and he ends up getting into a fight! The following day he gets a lift from a travelling Insurance guy, who drops him off in a sleepy, small town, where a certain Mr Rusty Rutherford is receiving an hard time from the residents....
So yeah, a great opening. And for around a hundred pages this story had me well within its grasp, but I'm afraid my initial enthusiasm was short-lived. As in previous Reacher novels, the tale started to drift, and I found myself having to force my way through pages of unnecessary, boring passages. By the half-way mark I was ready to give up. It's no exaggeration to say my eyes were starting to glaze over as I willed myself on - often reading through pages that were about as interesting as a train spotters journal. Frustratingly, the story does eventually get back on track, but even then it is convoluted, and compromised by (at times) a stuttering pace, before finally getting the reader over the finishing line.
I can't imagine Lee Child ever reaching the dizzy heights he achieved with his earlier Reacher books. BUT, as this was the 25th book in the series I thought the author would at least have pulled out all the stops to make The Sentinel something special - alas, that hasn't happened, and that's a shame. You know, I post a lot of reviews, and it never gives me any great pleasure to be negative about the books I have read, especially as I appreciate the many hours that go into writing one. However, enough is enough, so it's with a degree of sadness that I end this review with the admission that I am no longer prepared to invest my time, energy, or hard-earned cash on reading any further Jack Reacher novels. Anyway, many thanks for reading my review and please continue to enjoy the magic of books.📖📚
I really wanted to enjoy it, I really wanted it to work. But I didn't, because it doesn't. Andrew has no ability to talk like Reacher.
Right there, within our very first encounter with Reacher in this book, I find my self saying, Reacher wouldn't say that, and then, worse still, Reacher wouldn't DO that.
If he doesn't talk like Reacher and he doesn't act like Reacher, well, he's just not Reacher.
It reads like poor fan fiction from the very start.
Reacher has been a very important part of my reading life since I first picked up The Killing Floor in a bookshop and couldn't put it down. (Almost literally, I read three chapters stood in the store!)
So I really wanted to like this. NEEDED to like this. So, I really tried. I eagerly embraced this book, ready to wallow in Reacher's world. Excited about it. I delivered what was expected of me, the reader. But Andrew failed as the writer. All those years ago, THIS book would have been back on the shelf very quickly.
If I was allowed to return my Kindle edition for a refund, I would. But, of course, I pre-ordered The Sentinel as soon as I could on Amazon, back in March.
As far as I am concerned, Lee Child owes me £9.99 as this is definitely not what I ordered, not as advertised, not a book to sit within a thousand miles of the legacy of Child's past work.
I got through the first run of Reacher dialogue and spotted IMMEDIATELY that he was being written by a different voice.
The standard of writing is barely GCSE English. I mean it is BASIC. There is no flow. There is no pace. There is no understanding of the character or his dynamic. I mean Reacher almost talks more in the first few interactions of The Sentinel than he did in the WHOLE of Killing Floor!
Like other reviewers, I really wanted to like this book. I wanted it to work and I wanted Andrew Child to "get" Reacher right from the start. It appears he has some studying to do, if he wants to bring back the fans, because they are going to leave in DROVES after this catastrophe.
This smacks of greed and publisher hubris. How often are we, as the reader, victims of these mercenary people?
It's too late to kill Reacher off, the damage is done. What a shame, what a damn shame.
As Reacher would say, “I promised my mother, a long time ago. She said I had to give folks a chance to walk away.”
Well, I'm walking away...
The plot is more interesting and involving than several of the previous entries in the series - it certainly has more twists and surprises. Some of the elements to it could have felt more developed (e.g. the town is under a ransomware attack - eh?), and overall the narrative could be a bit more focussed, but never mind. Overall it's very engaging.
Sure, there some oddities to Reacher - he speaks more. He explains more. I'm not sure that's a good thing really - the whole point is that he's a man of very few words who says them only when he needs to. He doesn't tend to say them to be clever, apart from very occasionally. And the sentences overall aren't quite as "clipped" as we're used to - but if you look back to the earlier Reacher novels, neither were they always. And is stuff like that worth panning the book for? Absolutely not.
Overall, this is a really strong Reacher entry. Let's face it - these books are written to a formula anyway, and it can't be THAT difficult to replicate if it's effectively your sole job to do so, given enough time and effort and with sufficient input from the originator himself. With the right continued handling there's much life in this series yet. I'd like to see Lee & Andrew write a few of these together before Lee steps away entirely, but as long as that happens I'm not especially worried. Still very enjoyable, and more interesting than previous entries.