Top positive review
SUSPENSE MASTERPIECE FROM THE REACHER ARCHIVES---MADE ME A FAN FOR LIFE!!!
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2019
GONE TOMORROW By Lee Child [JACK REACHER BOOK 13]
MY REVIEW FIVE STARS*****
I deliberated and decided what book I would read to finish out the year, to put the proverbial period after "2018", this re-read of one of my absolute favorites from Lee Child's JACK REACHER Series. This thirteenth installment in the iconic Jack Reacher novels, published a decade ago in 2009, has special meaning for me besides being one of my favorites out of what is now an absolutely stellar selection of sensational stories to choose from...
...it was my FIRST. I still remember just standing in the second isle of audio books at my library like a statue. I was pressed for time and had to find an acceptable book on tape to rent. I couldn't find a single Baldacci, Connelly, Deaver, Gardner, Lescroart, Martini, or any of a dozen other authors I ordinarily picked. There was a lot of time logged just driving and it was pretty lonely until my epiphany and long term relationship with audio books. Anyway, there I was...a bit disgruntled because there were no options that I could see for books by my favorite writers. The books on tape were alphabetized and I had gone all the way back to the beginning and was standing in front of "C". My eyes fell on the rather unassuming title "GONE TOMORROW" by Lee Child. I pulled it out, read the jacket, went to the counter, handed it to the librarian, and well...the rest is history.
I re-read this book slowly, savoring every scene. I love the way Child ends every chapter on a cliff hanger. His writing technique is utterly effective, exciting, and compelling. His novels are the very definition of "page-turners" or "unputdownable". GONE TOMORROW is no exception.
The story starts in the wee hours of the morning with Reacher, a former MP in the Army, aboard a near empty Manhattan subway car. He notices a fellow passenger, a woman who is manifesting all 11 signs developed and deployed by Israeli counterintelligence to identify suicide bombers. Reacher is compelled to act but when he is within a few feet of the woman and trying to engage her in a dialogue, she abruptly pulls out a powerful handgun and blows the contents of her skull all to smithereens. Blood, brains and bits of bone are still clinging to the sides of the subway car when our narrative propels us forward.
I was spellbound as the plot unfolded with Reacher taking me along with him for a positively pulse-pounding thrill ride through the streets of New York City. In short, my first introduction to Reacher was a gripping masterpiece of suspense that left me incredulous that I had not picked up a Lee Child novel before.
Saying that this novel is "good" would be like saying that homemade ice cream in July is "good". This book is exciting, enthralling, and just about the best suspense novel of its kind that I have ever read. The fictional character of Reacher is absolutely fearless, flawless, uncompromising, and remarkably relentless in his pursuit of his concept of justice. He is the quintessential "good guy" who stands 6 foot 5 inches tall, packs 250 lbs. of pure muscle, and with hands the size of hams. He is a lethal opponent with brains to match his brawn, but all too often underestimated by his opposition. We know going in that he is our champion and that no bully on this planet is going to get close to his off-switch.
How is it then...that the author possesses the ability to ratchet up the pace until the level of anxiety, apprehension, and fear for the safety of the resilient and reliable Reacher renders us barely able to take a breath and turn the page. This time around there are multiple bullies for Reacher to stop, and the odds are a seemingly insurmountable 19 to 1.
We know that Reacher is going to use all of the tools at his disposal, and that he will prevail against the villains---in this case a well-armed and expert Al Qaeda terror cell. An analogy might be to be aboard a dingy being tossed around in a raging river and see up ahead that you are heading for a monstrous waterfall. The terror and sense of doom would be palpable. You can experience that kind of fear during this Reacher novel, but from the safety of knowing that you----like Reacher---will be safe regardless of the danger you face.
Child's prose, his writing, well, it is as propulsive as it gets, period. He is an expert at ratcheting up the suspense like no other writer that comes to mind. Child is great at what he does...delivering thrillers that hand you that vicarious experience of standing beside Reacher as he prevails. His cliff-hangers are constant, his plot twists often brilliant, and in no case will you be left without a racing pulse and a pounding heartbeat.
The blood-splattered finale of this novel is unforgettable. The face-off between Reacher and two of his deadliest foes, a pair of sociopathic and sadistic female terrorist operatives, form the basis for a well choreographed and perhaps most memorable fight scene in Reacher history. I read the book for the first time a decade ago, but I can still recall the suspense and satisfaction of the horrific conclusion.