Top critical review
A Pale Imitation of Any Jack Reacher Novel
Reviewed in the United States on August 18, 2020
This book was a major disappointment. I am hesitant to over-critique any author; writing a book is not easy and even one that is not perfect is worth something for the effort it took But in many ways this one came across as a kind of paint-by-numbers effort, or maybe the authors had a checklist. (What follows might be considered spoilers, so be warned.) Lets see: ex-military cop now out of the sevice and a kind of drifter: check; has to arrive in small town: check; back story that makes character a loner: check; As a twist, make that character a woman. Other authors have tried the same thing. Nick Petrie with his Peter Ash books, for example, and even having an emotionally self-contained (even scarred) heroine who hates male bullies has been done. See S. A. Lelchuk, for example. They both pulled the idea off, and I had hopes this new series would too. And up to a point it does. The character is introduced smoothly enough, but from then on the story becomes more box-checks. Small children in peril? Check. Sympathetic law enforcement figure? Check. Corrupt corporation using mercenaries for muscle? Check. In addition, the shortness of the entire story compresses everything and while some might say that the pace does not slow, it moves fast because one improbable occurrence jumps rapidly to another. The villains are identified early, which means there is no mystery really, and the ending is anti-climactic. So I was disappointed. Jack Reacher will have to wait for his next fully-realized imitator until Nick Petrie’s next book. But nice try.