I couldn’t get through and past the bizarre 1st person narrative voice, variously addressed to one of her twin sons — it’s not often clear which, and she repeatedly, confusingly, keeps referring to people through their relationship to her sons when we aren’t clear what those are — who aren’t even present for most of the novel.
The time jumps are confusing.
I guessed the plot just halfway through.
As I said, I couldn’t find enough good to outweigh all that.
There is nothing egregiously “bad” about this book; it’s just that there’s nothing “good. Everything here is pedestrian, the author choosing the first readily available cultural and social tropes that come to mind.
If this were an audio book, it’d come with the blurb, “Now available in stereo(type).
I’ve found you have to pace yourself with the Reacher series. Read the series order too quickly and it gets dull. Wait too long and you forget the rhythm. I timed reading this one just right. I was exactly ready for it and Child didn’t disappoint. He got it just right. Goldilocks right.
Crais’ Elvis Cole and Joe Pike couldn’t be more different. They also couldn’t be more alike. Put them together in the same mystery series, and you’ve got double your trouble. And double your fun. Excellent read.
Child’s “Reacher” novels follow a very specific but successful and entertaining template. Occasionally, he does get some ‘facts’ very wrong, which makes you doubt the veracity of the truth given on other subjects you’re not aware of.
Then, there’s the “Chekhov’s Gun” unnecessary additions, which in this novel is Reacher’s concussion, which plays into both points one and two made here.
Mm, mm, good! A spy thriller in the best tradition of Le Carre and Steinhauer. The tension and plot is almost entirely psychological, with multiple layers of deceit and lying among the characters. There is very little violence and weapons appear only rarely, but the pace and tension crackles.