Short, declarative sentences. Sharp, snappy dialogue. A flexible moral compass. Just get the job done. It must be Jack Reacher. From the bestseller lists, a very “wanted man.”
One caveat: Child’s novels are all so very clearly delineated in terms of story arc, character and style that it wasn’t until Chapter Six that I wasn’t entirely sure I hadn’t read this one before.
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.
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.
Still a good read.
Lee Child’s Reacher novels are masterpieces of character, pace, plot and location. His short stories, other than the ones featuring an adolescent Reacher, are not, full of character inconsistencies and plot holes. I WOULD like to see a full-length Reacher adolescent novel, however.
Child and Reacher slip badly.
Just think. A sixteen-year-old Reacher in New York City, alone, looking for good music and a chance to get lucky. Just think. New York in the middle of the blackout in a heat wave and Son of Sam stalking Reacher and his date as his luck plays out. Just think. Reacher’s sense of chivalry putting him between a tainted FBI agent and the mob leader she’s trying to bring down. Just think. A preternaturally mature Reacher bringing his finely honed sense of honour and inborn confrontation skills into play well before he becomes the man we know form the series. Just think. High Heat. Sucky ending, though.