So you’ve had a hard week, want a lazy weekend blobbing out on the deck and forgetting the stress by losing yourself in a more exciting world? Who better to spend the time with, than a six foot five rootless modern-day Viking hitch-hiking across America? Somehow Jack Reacher never seems to want for money, and he always bumps up against some serious wrongs that need his phenomenally well-informed mathematical brain and ex-military ultra-mesomorph body, to right them.
Lee Child has created one of the greatest heroes of our time in the old-fashioned sense, of a guy with a highly developed ethical sense and a preternatural ability to fight and kill bad guys. Also to work out what the bad guys are doing. The prose is sparse, Chandler-style, and often quietly witty. The story moves along at a cracking pace, the plot is smoothly and expertly worked through and resolved. Tiny quibble: the motivation for the bad guys’ scheming is maybe on this occasion a little-far-fetched – but who cares. No more far-fetched than a white haired guy of six foot five blending into the crowd, and we’ve overlooked that one many a time.
As usual there’s a smidgeon of romance quickly cast aside as our hero moves on in his aimless quest for pastures new, where he will again and always fight for justice, and protect the down-trodden against the powerful. Formulaic maybe, at this stage of the series, but still fantastic fun and a great getaway without leaving home.
What Works And Why?
We read to escape, enjoy, engage, and find out more about our world. So reading is great - but what makes a great read? A page dedicated to short analyses of how writers engage readers.