Top critical review
Wish Lee understood sentence structure
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 11, 2022
Lee Child can weave an interesting tale about Jack Reacher but may drive readers who are familiar with proper sentence structure and use of punctuation to the brink. I know that’s the case for me. I purchased the entire Jack Reacher series of books after seeing the first season of the series. I never would have read so many of his books if I hadn’t already paid for them.
I have often wondered why, with all the money that Lee Child must have brought in from his writing, he can’t seem to afford a staff who will proofread and correct the many mistakes throughout his books. Same goes for his publisher.
I held onto hope with each successive book that he might learn something about writing and make his books easier to read. I hoped, with the addition of his brother on the last couple, that the books would improve but seemed to get only worse. Sometimes, 2 whole pages of back-and-forth banter are written with nothing to occasionally let you know who is speaking, so multiple readings may be needed at times to sort it out. I think almost all, if not all, of the pages have sentences with commas where none are needed, periods where commas are needed, clauses used as sentences, and a new paragraph starting from a clause that belongs in the previous sentence of the preceding paragraph. As I said, hard to read if you understand basic sentence structure.
There are often times where I wish Lee had done one iota of research to get facts right. I refer to passages in the stories where it was apparent that Lee Child had no experience or knowledge; I guess, more or less, the writing is off the top of his head.
Some problems are:
1: He thinks the flashing emergency lights of vehicles in the western states are the same as in much of the New England states (blue on fire trucks and red on police).
2: He didn’t know what the average shoe size in America is actually 10 ½ (stating it as 9)
3: He thinks a large man like Jack Reacher would have what Lee evidently thinks of as a large foot size of 11, instead of something closer to 14 or 15 (I am 6’1” and wear a 13.) I assume Lee has a small foot.
4: Lee has never been near a fast-moving train, thinking there is violent ground movement when the train is even over a mile away and hurricane force winds near one traveling 60 mph.
5: He seems to think that all gas stations and quick marts sell khaki pants and various shirts, packs of socks, and underwear.
6: Jack Reacher can knock anyone unconscious and very often dead with one punch. I can remember only a couple times when it took two.
7: He thinks face bones will “shatter” from a Jack Reacher punch and can knock out a gorilla or even an elephant. Jack also never has injuries to his hand or elbow from such amazing blows.
8: Jack Reacher’s hands are said to be as large as a dinner plate and his fists as large as Thanksgiving turkeys…really?
Yes, his books are hard to read for these and other reasons caused by lack of oversight by his publisher and lack of staff. Please, I hope never to find out he has a staff that lets this stuff through. Good storyteller, other than the lack of research on details and no idea as to sentence/paragraph structure..
Rating would be five for the story.
Won't buy future books