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I have listened to many of Lee Child's books with Jack Reacher, but I have to say this was my favorite to date. The story was seamless, very well thought out, and very well written. All of the characters were believable and Child gave us some of his best ones yet. Dick Hill is a fantastic narrator, and did his usual great job. All-in-all a very exciting, "sit-on-the-edge of your seat" story, but with provocative human elements. I believe that Child is improving as an author, and it is noticeable in this book. This was my first read where Reacher is acting in an undercover capacity while working with another agency (not sure if he has any other stories where he does this.) He must infiltrate a very dangerous smuggling ring in an effort to fulfill two objectives: recover a kidnapped federal agent, and take care of some unfinished business of his own from an arrest-gone-wrong in his old days as an MP. Child brilliantly weaves this past story into the present one, and this makes for an even more compelling story. In this book we are given more insight to Reacher, the man, than any of his books I have read so far. As with most of Child's Jack Reacher stories, one doesn't have to have read any previous books to enjoy this one, so even if this would be your first Reacher novel, go for it! I highly recommend this listen!
70 of 72 people found this review helpful
Child is getting better as a writer, and many of the flaws of the earlier books are less present here. Reacher isn't as invulnerable and doesn't know everything, and there are fewer jarring coincidences for you to ignore or pretend not to notice. The characters mostly behave in character, and fewer bad guys act completely like bad guys. Most of the dangers and decisions actually make sense, unlike in some earlier novels. All in all, it's a good book to add to the series, or if you are new, it's a pretty good place to dive into the series.
A couple of the moral issues raised in the book bothered me, I must admit. There's a review below that mentions Reacher being a homicidal maniac, but the reviewer obviously didn't read the book. Still, there are a few cases where Reacher's moral code allows him to blatantly murder a few henchmen who aren't necessarily clear evil-doers. Pretty standard stuff for most movies these days, but one reason I read books instead of watching movies is to hear more complex discussions of morals and conscience and stuff like that. The bodies hit the floor with little or no reflection on who they might have been, whether they may have been guilty of anything or not. At times it is distracting. I can buy into the portrait of Reacher as a character who simply does what he does, and leaves it to the reader to judge ethics, but even so, he's close to the line a few times.
That said, it's pretty standard fare for the genre. Good page-turner that will keep up you up past your allotted time.
37 of 38 people found this review helpful