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Lee Child is the #1 internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel. "Jack Reacher", the film based on the 9th novel, One Shot, stars Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, and David Oyelowo and debuted in December 2012. Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City and the south of France with his wife and daughter. Find out more about Lee Child and the Reacher novels on his official website: LeeChild.com, on Facebook LeeChildOfficial, on Twitter #LeeChildReacher, and YouTube leechildjackreacher.
I am a huge Lee Child / Jack Reacher fan, and have been reading these books for years, but it has got to the point where I say that this could very well be my last Jack Reacher purchase. It pains me to say this, as these books have been the highlight of my reading calender for so long, but the decline has become more noticeable with this book.
There were a few times when I seriously considered not finishing the book, but this is Lee Child and Reacher, surely it can only get better? No, the writing was consistent throughout, it was boring and repetitive. The plot was weak, and every solution to a problem on both sides was just too convenient, unbelievably so on many occasions.
Jack Reacher, in my opinion, has become arrogant - he is no longer the Jack Reacher I have enjoyed reading about all these years. This new Jack does things because he can - not because he must in order to survive. The ridiculous fire episode and the aeroplane scene clinched the deal for me.
The ending, and the reason for all the trouble Jack found himself in, was crazy, far-fetched and not what we have come to expect from Lee Child either.
I have been holding back on this review for days, but when you take the price of this book and what is between the covers, I think it is important that potential readers know that this is not up to Lee Child's earlier standards.
I am definitely the minority when it comes to reviewing this book - the 5 star reviews are rolling in on both Amazon and Goodreads. Maybe you will still enjoy this book if you are a die-hard Reacher fan, if not, I would give it a skip and rather try Lee Childs earlier Jack Reacher novels - they were brilliant.
Would I recommend this book? No Will I buy the next book? Not on pre-order, I will wait for the reviews to come in first before buying - if at all.
Lee Child like the Shadow has the power to cloud people's minds. How else can you explain the success of his most recent book Never Go Back? Most of the reviews here are favorable. The New York Times gave the book a rave review. Why? I was a Reacher fan. I read every one of his books. The early ones were fantastic. They were as much fun as you could have with a book. Then the gradual decline. The last three were unreadable. In fact I couldn't finish them, but I still bought them because it was hard to give up the Reacher habit. It was like losing an old friend. First of all a novel has to be well written. This one wasn't. I found myself rereading sentences to see if he really wrote that. A High School English teacher would flunk him. Bad sentence structure full of cliches. The plot. I am not looking for realism here, after all it's Reacher, the smartest toughest most capable man on the planet. This plot seemed to be made up as he went along. It was silly, not clever, and the ending was a letdown. And the there is the filler, endless descriptions of cars, geography, and idle chatter. Doesn't this author have an editor? I am much older now than when I read my first Reacher Book and I have retired. It's time for tired old Reacher to do the same.
Getting a Reacher novel in the mail is a lot like being handed an ice cream cone on a sweltering summer day. It's simply not there for admiring or slowly savouring, you tuck right in and enjoy every lick. And like the cone, "Never Go Back" does not disappoint.
This time, Reacher travels back to his old MP unit to meet its new commander, mainly because he was intrigued by the sound of her voice on the telephone. Once there, he finds that she's been locked up, and he is being brought back on active duty so he can answer to a homicide charge and paternity suit. As always, nothing is quite as it seems, and Reacher has to peel back layer after layer to get to the truth. All while staying one step ahead of the law, drug dealers, and the Army.
I don't know if the Reacher series can get any better, but it certainly isn't getting any worse or showing any author fatigue. The writing is crisp, the pacing brilliant, and the plot is deliciously convoluted and innovative. You simply cannot put this book down, it's that compelling and addictive.
The one weakness is Child's lack of understanding of the U.S. military. Reacher refers to an Army major as "miss", something no recent field grade officer would ever do except as a deliberately provocative insult. He has a base with three checkpoints at the entry and exit. I've never seen a base with more than one entry checkpoint, and only an exit checkpoint during exercises or times of heightened security. Checking everyone's ID and trunk three times on the way off-base is manpower intensive and utterly pointless. There are other things that seem hinky to me, and I think an Army staff officer would point out more flaws.Read more ›
For the last couple of books, Jack Reacher has been trying to make it back to the East Coast to meet the woman who has, up to this point, simply been a voice on the phone helping him out on his adventures.
Well, he finally makes it, and when he shows up at the headquarters of the MP unit she now commands, he's mousetrapped. She's been arrested and relieved of command, and he's been accused of crimes he'd allegedly committed back when he was an MP himself; he's recalled back into active duty - making him subject to military discipline and judicial punishment - and placed under arrest.
He manages to break her and himself out of jail, and the rest of the story is about how he tries to clear both their names by getting to the truth at the bottom of these events.
I've long been a Reacher fan, having read the entire body of work, and thoroughly enjoyed them until the last few offerings. I thought the last two were particularly weak. There are elements of this book that I thought were pretty well done... somewhat reminiscent of the classic Reacher of yore.
Unfortunately, when I got to the end of the story and it was revealed what was actually driving this entire plot against Reacher and his girlfriend, I had to wonder what author Child had been smoking. I can't say more because it would be a huge spoiler. I will say this: I thought it was absolutely ridiculous.
Further, there wasn't much "payoff" to the reader in the way the story ended. Certainly not in the sense of the "classic" Reacher books of old. In many ways, Reacher's somewhat of a bystander or observer in the resolution of this story.
Overall, I found the book to be somewhat shallow and rushed. Not nearly as emotionally engaging as the earlier Reacher books.Read more ›