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Echo Burning: A Jack Reacher Novel Paperback – November 27, 2007
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Reacher's sympathetic, but he's not crazy. Nonetheless, he allows himself to be drawn into beautiful Carmen Greer's orbit, which ought to teach a guy not to hitchhike. Agreeing to protect her from the husband who's about to be released from jail and, according to Carmen, who's about to pay her back for tipping off the authorities to the tax fraud that landed him in prison, Reacher moves into the bunkhouse of the Echo, Texas, ranch that's owned by the bigoted, bitter, but powerful Greer family, which despises Carmen because she's Mexican and tolerates her only because she's Sloop Greer's wife and the mother of his child. The expected bloodshed ensues, but it's Sloop, not Carmen, who ends up with a bullet in his head. Reacher's convinced that Carmen acted in self-defense, even after other evidence comes to light that suggests there's more--and less--to her unhappy tale than even her own lawyer believes. This is the best Jack Reacher yet, smart, stylish, and convincing. If it's your first encounter with Child's work, be sure to check out his backlist--Running Blind, Tripwire, etc. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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A former Army major assigned to the Military Police, Jack has been aimlessly roaming the United States through several novels, and attracting big trouble in each one. In ECHO BURNING, he's hitchhiked into sunburnt West Texas where he's given a ride by Carmen Greer, who's cruising the highways on the lookout for a Tough Guy. Carmen lives with her young daughter, Ellie, on an arid ranch with her hateful brother-in-law and mother-in-law while her husband, Sloop, serves time in a federal pen for tax evasion. According to the story Carmen spins, her spouse had been viciously beating her for years. Since Sloop is due to be released in forty-eight hours, Carmen expects the beatings to begin anew, especially since she was the one that ratted on Sloop to the IRS. Will Reacher kill him for her? No? Well, will he at least teach her how to shoot the dainty pistol she's purchased? (In the meantime, what's with that team of three professional assassins circling the ranch unbeknownst to all? Jack may discover his hands full.)
All those other Tough Guys I mentioned are smart, but not so much that they don't sporadically get beaten up and kicked silly by the Bad Guys. But not Reacher - nobody gets the drop on him. When the reader sees a violent confrontation looming, he almost feels sorry for the villains for the World of Hurt in which they'll soon find themselves.Read more ›
Jack's a loner, and it is fitting that he's back on the road again after trying unsuccessfully to settle down. He's in hot, dry, west Texas (and Child really makes you feel as though you are there - you're thirsty throughout the story!) where he's enlisted himself to help an abused (?) wife, Carmen Greer, and her daughter, Ellie. Greer's tale is fraught with lies, and, if I were Jack, I would have given up on her. She's not able to escape her husband, Sloop, and his secretive pack of friends that
have a past that leads to bloodshed.
The pace bogs down from time to time, and it is difficult to root for Carmen. The ending is a lot more transparent than anything Child has given us previously. Worst of all, Child gets bogged down in his own descriptiveness, a problem encountered in his earlier works, where it was more forgiveable and did less to hurt his characterization and his pace.
Not giving up on Jack, because he is the most refreshing hero of the past few years, but one more average work by Lee Child will send me scurrying for some new authors!
The book starts out with one of the most tired, worn-out cliches in the mystery genre; a lovely wife in distress asks hero Jack Reacher to help her out by killing her abusive husband. Savvy readers are then thinking, "Aha! There must be more to the story than this! Some unusual twist or surprise sub-plot." The answer? Nope. There's not.
The book takes place in the Texas desert and if you chopped out every sentence describing how hot it is, the book would be about 20 pages long. Those remaining 20 pages would be descriptions of how long it takes to drive from one place to another out there in all that emptiness, which is what Reacher spends most of his time doing since the places he needs to go are so far apart.
This book took me forever to finish because I couldn't get through more than 5 pages in one sitting without falling asleep. Lee Child may have written some exciting, fast-paced books in his career, but this is definitely not one of them.
Child started out so well, but now has fallen into a predictable pattern. His character will get into trouble within the first hour or less after he arrives in a town. I can appreciate he wants to travel light, but this business of rinsing out his clothes and after another wearing, buying new and tossing the old. I feel sure he must have a certain 'air' about him. As others have pointed out. he didn't research Texas very well at all and the errors are numerous and, frankly, bothersome.
Reacher seems to be basically an empty shell, wandering about and taking what comes along. A drifter. I can't care about him anymore and that is sad, because he was so effective when he intercepted the bad guy after the pretty lady coming out of the cleaning store ........... way back in the early novel. Remember how good that was? And how lame the current efforts are.
Perhaps a new character would inspire Mr. Child. He is a talented author.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book. Lots of twist and turns. The whole series is very good.Published 7 days ago by Jim Woods