Jack Reacher is the new millennium version of Shell Scott, Richard Prather's hard boiled private eye of the 50's and 60's. Where Shell Scott drove a Cadillac convertible and seduced beautiful women right and left, he was not a particularly violent man and the stories reflected that.
Reacher is a different person entirely, no roots, no compunctions about using violence to gain his ends but with a big heart disguised as a need for justice. Gotta love a guy who continues to pursue the villains, even as they change, to protect a run-away wife and her daughter and lover and then gives his fee away to help someone get needed physical rehabilitation. I know - too good to be true.
After I finished my first Lee Childs novel, "The Enemy", I was not impressed. However a friend gave me this one and since I cannot turn down a friend's recommendation, I am now hooked.
With some character driven action series, like Robert Parker's "Spenser" books and John Lescroart's "Dismas Hardy" stories, I never lose interest. I hope that will be true of the "Jack Reacher" novels.
Kristin T., July 9, 2009 (view all comments by Kristin T.)
I've long known about Lee Child, and his standing in the thriller world, but I only just finished the first book I've ever read of his. If this one is indicative of his others, I understand the hype! Smart story; unique style. A page turner that keeps the reader guessing. Bonus: Child transcends "genre writing" to include some narrative gems that indicate he's simply a good writer, overall. I'm not one to draw a thick line between "genre" and "not genre"--I think it's rarely that clear-cut--but my previous sentence is a shorthand way to explain what I mean.
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Dell Publishing Company -
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Like all the best thrillers, this one is about more than pace: yes, the narrative propels you forward with a locomotive's thrust, but Child never loses sight of the small detail or the human fabric..."
by Library Journal (Starred Review),
"[Child] shows again his mastery of the thriller....Tension builds through the plot twists to another riveting finish."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[A] slick, swift, sexy thriller....Quintessential Child — preposterous as always, but oh, how those pages keep turning."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"[A]n almost perfect balance between police procedural and tactical military thriller....And while there's no denying that the Reacher books are formulaic masculine fantasies, it seems pointless to fault a concoction composed of such electrifying elements. (Grade: B+)"
by Janet Maslin, The New York Times,
"Reading Mr. Child is not only a mentally transporting experience but also, at times, a physical one. Don't be surprised to find your hand replicating the finger movements that tip off Reacher to a keypad matrix's four-digit combination."
by Orlando Sentinel,
"The Hard Way, Lee Child's latest Reacher novel, is icing on the cake for his legions of fans....[E]ngrossing from the first coffee to the last bullet fired."
by Denver Post,
"[A] breathless, well-paced thriller that will satisfy die-hard fans and newcomers. If Child keeps investing his series with this sort of energy, it's hard to imagine it running out of steam anytime soon."
by Philadelphia Inquirer,
"Unlike most series that last this long, Child keeps pushing himself to accomplish new and better things, and it really shows in...The Hard Way. The last several books in the series have all been excellent, but the latest is his best yet."
In Lee Child's new thriller, ex-military cop Jack Reacher sees more than most people would . . . and because of that, he's thrust into an explosive situation that's about to blow up in his face. For the only way to find the truth--and save two innocent lives--is to do it the way Reacher does it best: the hard way.
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