Reviewed: September 6, 2005
p>We meet Jack Reacher 11 days after
the beginning of his latest adventure, not that he would call it that. Jack
got involved in this case because he discovered that there was some unfinished
work from a former life that needed finishing in the worst way. Terminated,
you might say. We donít find out just why this has to happen until nearly
halfway through the book. Itís an intriguing addition to a story that had
already begin a bang and a big con.
By: Lee Child
496 pages, $11.99
Jack used to be in the US military
and Quinn, the fellow whose existence allowed an off-book unit of the Drug
Enforcement Administration to persuade Jack to play with them, had killed
a colleague. Jack had been a year away from a promotion to major, working
in the military police division, when Quinn crossed his path.
He had thought that part of his life
to be over, along with any official ties to the government, but seeing Quinn
made it easy for him to change his mind.
Reacher is a solitary man, capable,
hard hitting, intelligent, and determined. Heís probably not a nice man, but
we see the story through his eyes and that makes it harder to judge. Heís
one of these knights of mean streets types, who would probably get along well
with the likes of Spenser. In fact, I found the book read a bit like a cross
between early Parker novels and early Alistair Maclean.
According to the notes in the back,
this is the seventh Reacher novel, and apparently this one provided us with
some background information about his pre-freelance days that we didnít have
Child, an ex-Brit and former television
director, writes a fast moving story. While we backtrack some two weeks before
the opening pages, and do a bit of wandering around in Reacherís memories,
the present day action takes less than a week from start to finish. The body
count for that time frame is impressive, as are the fight scenes, and the
villains he tangles with are so nasty that you really donít feel that anything
he does to them is excessive.
This one came to me as part of a two-for-one
offer from one of the e-book sellers that I patronize. It was good company
for a day or two during last summerís travels in the east. Iím looking forward
to reading the other one. Itís the next in the series, but is supposed to
take place years before the other seven.