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One Shot (Jack Reacher, No. 9) Hardcover – June 14, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The final sentence of Child's ninth suspenser (after The Enemy)—"Then he could buy a pair of shoes and be just about anywhere before the sun went down"—is quintessential Jack Reacher, the rugged ex-army cop who practically defines the word "loner" and kicks ass with the best of 'em. In the book's gripping opening, five people are killed when a shooter opens fire in a small unnamed Indiana city. But when ex-infantry specialist James Barr is apprehended, he refuses to talk, saying only, "Get Jack Reacher for me." But Reacher's already en route; having seen a news story on the shooting, he heads to the scene with disturbing news of his own: "[Barr's] done this before. And once was enough." Nothing is what it seems in the riveting puzzle, as vivid set pieces and rapid-fire dialogue culminate in a slam-bang showdown in the villains' lair. (And what villains: a quintet of Russian émigrés, the stuff of everybody's worst nightmares, led by a wily 80-year-old who makes Freddy Krueger look like Little Lord Fauntleroy.) As usual, Child makes the most of Reacher's dry wit, cut-to-the-chase psychology and stubborn taciturnity—in short, this is a vintage double play for author and leading man.
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From The New Yorker

Child's new novel begins when a sniper methodically kills five office workers with six quick shots and then disappears. But in a Child thriller the expectations aroused by one page are sure to be dashed on the next; unravelling and re-tangling violent narratives is the writer's specialty. This is the ninth of his books to feature the drifter-investigator Jack Reacher—a hybrid of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee and Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer—and it certainly ranks in the first tier of the series. There is considerable mayhem, lovingly described ("A long time ago the bones in his spine had been methodically cracked with an engineer's ball-peen hammer"), and there's a good cast, including suspicious law-enforcement personnel and an elderly Russian who is missing most of his fingers. Before it's all, vividly, over, one feels confident that Reacher—smart, rootless, and brave—will not only get his man but make him suffer.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1st edition (June 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385336683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385336680
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,502 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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:, on Facebook LeeChildOfficial, on Twitter #LeeChildReacher, and YouTube leechildjackreacher.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Bull on June 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We've read all eight of the Jack Reacher books and absolutely love this singular character. And in "One Shot" we found one of the best books we've ever read -- how's that for high praise! First, Reacher is perhaps the best new leading man of this decade: as smart as Nero Wolfe; as honest and personable as a Dick Francis hero; and as physically fit and resourceful as Arnold Schwarzenegger, with the type of will that enables him to break a bad guy's neck without a second of indecision. Second, Child has created a plot with such gripping suspense, we stayed up till 3 a.m. to finish this -- we can't even remember the last time we were up much past midnight! And the supporting cast, including two women, were so appealing, with characters crafted so well, we'd almost like to see more of them as well.

The story gets off to a hot start when a sniper mows down (with six rifle shots) five random people innocently leaving their place of work. The guy seems to have expertly planned his attack, yet leaves behind such a wealth of forensic evidence that even a CSI rookie could have followed the trail and snagged the killer, as did the local Indiana small city cops just hours later that night. The arrested man, James Barr, who turns out to be a Gulf War Army sniper, says almost nothing, but finally denies his guilt and asks for Jack Reacher. Reacher hears about the deed on national TV and sets out for the town before he knew he had been tangentially involved. Meanwhile Barr gets almost killed in prison overnight and is in a coma in the hospital. When Reacher shows up and sees the case from the police side, he is also convinced it's open and shut -- and we're left wondering where this is all going.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful By L. Quido VINE VOICE on September 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lee Child's main character, Jack Reacher, is the modern day equivalent of a gunslinger. The idea of a man of honor, who served honorably and well in the military of his country, coming back to roam the country unfettered by traditional lifestyles or bonds....well, it makes for compelling plotting (and takes me back to my childhood, with all those westerns in black and white). I've been a fan since the beginning of this series, despite Child's early lack of in depth research and some significant editing problems. In this, Reacher's 9th outing, the newest book, "One Shot", Child serves up more delicious action as Reacher is drawn into a small city incident of what appears to be terrorism.

The sniper shoots and kills six people. He takes few pains at hiding his identity, and he's picked up in a police probe that is a slam dunk. The evidence against him is so compelling that only his sister holds out any hope for the fact that he is innocent. Reacher doesn't want to save him. He arrives on the scene to cement the thought that the man is capable of such an act, citing an earlier act of conduct while in the military that seems to echo in the current shootings. But it doesn't take long for Reacher to become uncomfortable with the circumstances, and with the clumsy efforts of some force, some unknown powers who are framing the sniper and running scared that Reacher will find out.

The climax of the story is without parallel, and, once again, Reacher compels the reader by both his various "tough guy" idiosyncrasies and his ability to extricate himself and others from tense and action packed situations.

Now, don't get me wrong, the villains in question are way over the top, both in their plotting and in their identities and foibles.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on July 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If there is a contemporary writer offering more thrills than Lee Child, and a hero more compelling than Child's Jack Reacher, I've yet to find it. "One Shot", the ninth installment in the Reacher series, is another hard-hitting mystery/thriller true to Child's lean, embellished style. A few seconds of seemingly random violence from a sniper's rifle puts an unnamed Midwestern city in panic. But impeccable police work has the perp in irons within the day, as the forensics lead to Army vet (and former Desert Storm sniper) James Barr. Barr's one request: find Jack Reacher - he'll prove my innocence despite what appears to be a slam-dunk case for the prosecution. The story unfolds, unveiling a prior history between Barr and Reacher, while the initially straightforward case becomes less certain. So engrossing is the mystery that the hardcore Reacher fan may overlook the fact that almost 100 pages have turned before Reacher actually hurts anyone. Momentum builds steadily, taking a few twists while leading to an unforgettable climax guaranteed to knock your socks off.

So while there may be nothing extraordinary about the basic plot - it's been done in a million variations - what is extraordinary is the visceral appeal of loner Jack Reacher - the ultimate cross between Clint Eastwood's `man without a name" and Sherlock Holmes. Reacher is justice personified, an irreverent avenging angel who shuns all material possessions in exchange for total independence. Also extraordinary is Child's ability to tell spin a yarn in clear, concise, stripped down prose that keeps the story clean, the dialogue lean, and the pages turning. You'll get no ambiguity from Child (or Reacher, for that matter): black and white, good and evil, and when there is evil, dispatch it quickly and brutally.

In short, "One Shot" is about as good as action fiction gets. The only drawback is that Child only writes one novel a year - it's a long wait till the next rush.
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