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222 of 245 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Puller - Baldacci's new Jack Reacher, October 26, 2012
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This review is from: The Forgotten: A John Puller Novel 2 (Kindle Edition)
Now that Oliver Stone and the Camel Club are over, David Baldacci is looking for a key player for a new series. Welcome to Military Criminal Investigator, John Puller Jr, who some of you will have met first in "Zero Day". Puller is basically a military policeman, over 6 feet tall, very athletic and powerful but with battle wounds from active service, great with weapons and a diligent and brilliant investigator. After the traumas of "Zero Day" Puller went off for some post stress R & R - "He had no map, no plan, no destination".

Does all of this sound a bit familiar, a bit like Jack Reacher? Of course it does. We all love Jack Reacher but after so many iterations his adventures are getting a bit thin and repetitious. So let's see what Puller can offer. Firstly he is still in the military although this adventure starts out as a personal investigation. His aunt who raised him sent a letter saying "people are not being who they seemed". When Puller arrives in Florida he finds that she has been drowned in her back-yard fountain, which the police think is accidental. Puller he gets involved with the local police in trying to convince them that it was murder. Like Zero Day, a simple investigation quickly uncovers something far more sinister and dangerous.

The finale is fast and furious escapist nonsense with a team of unlikely goodies, including some kick-ass females, taking care of almost a football team of nasty baddies.

Did I enjoy it? Yes because I like Baldacci's page-turning style and characterisation, with well thought-out plot. Did I worry about the Jack Reacher similarity? Yes, because Baldacci should be able to create a new character without apparently having to plagiarize another one. What is my greatest concern? That someone might have plans for a John Puller movie with Tom Cruise in the lead role.

I worried over an appropriate rating and came up with 3.5 stars (somewhere between Amazon's "OK" [3 stars] and "I like it" [4 stars]. In the end because I did enjoy it I rounded it back to 4 stars. Would I read the next Baldacci book, even if it was John Puller again. I think so.

PS (EDITED) Someone who commented pointed out that Lee Child gets a bit of revenge in his latest Reacher book "A Wanted Man", by introducing a dim witted deputy named John Puller. I'm sorry I missed the connection. When Reacher met Puller and found he was a dim wit, he said "Were you dropped on your head as a baby?" ROFL!
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 5, 2012 11:04:06 AM PST
What is my greatest concern? That someone might have plans for a John Puller movie with Tom Cruise in the lead role.

That is too funny!!! I, for one, won't even bother seeing it. I was flabbergasted at the stupidity of the movie producers signing up Tom Cruise...who is about 5'8". Guess they don't care about the Reacher fans.

I agree with the similiarities to Reacher...which I read religiously, even though it is getting a bit routine. However, when one reads the same genre religiously, one will find similarities eventually. However, in my humble opinion, Mitch Rapp books are still exciting..and I love the fact that the good guys win...lol. My fantasy.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 12:22:49 AM PST
Lea C says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 12:02:01 PM PST
He didn't say Baldacci created Jack Reacher. Readers of this genre probably know that Lee Child created Reacher. The reviewer was only giving a comparison.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 12:05:04 PM PST
N. Rourke says:
Re: Tom Cruise aka Big Teeth

Couldn't agree with you more. It's time--past time-- for Cruise to grow up. Anything he's in hasn't been worth seeing in the past few years. He's no Hugh Jackman.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 1:53:58 PM PST
I read Zero Day recently. There's no way that Tom Cruise could play John Puller. How about Viggo Mortenson?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 3:46:54 PM PST
Suncoast says:
prairie woman - Viggo certainly has the looks and the stature but is 54 which is a bit too old. Another actor who could have played the role at the right age was Steven Seigal but he is now 60.

My main worry about Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher is that many of the younger folk who follow the latest movies will have never read a Lee Child/Jack Reacher book and will associate Reacher with Cruise. I am a great believer in the power of books to portray the character in our imagination, while films are the product of the imagination of the screenwriter/director and have been adapted to suit the tastes of the target audience.

This is my favourite thought about the power of reading - "When you read, there are no limits; with a book you can bring vistas and textures and emotions to life that have a meaning to you and you alone"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 7:58:49 AM PST
Michelle says:
I loved this review, but as I read the title I thought, "oh please, don't let Tommy hear about it, he'll destroy this for us all too!" I read the first few pages of this in the book store today, it sounded really good, just read these reviews to back that opinion up. Will definitely get it now, now that my image of Reacher has been polluted. Thanks for that!

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 7:48:44 AM PST
rck12 says:
I also couldn't believe Cruise would play Reacher, however I saw the trailer in the movies this weekend, and was somewhat suprised. Cruise has changed his persona for the role...tough, focused, no nonsense...and he only smiled once, and without showing his teeth!! As for his size, I'm guessing it won't mean much. He is somehow made to look taller, bad guys smaller and the scenes whizzed buy, unlike the dwelling descriptions that we get in the books. Anyway, Baldacci's Puller is a gross rip off of Child's Reacher character imo, and Child's gets a bit of revenge in his latest Reacher book "A Wanted Man", by introducing a dim witted deputy named John Puller, dissing Balducci through this character.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 1:36:53 PM PST
Suncoast says:
rck12 - many thanks for the heads up on Lee Child's clever revenge. Sorry I missed it. I have edited my review - see my PS.

You might like to look at my recent review of Vince Flynn's "The Last Man" about plans for a Mitch Rapp movie based on "American Assassin". Australian actor Chris Hemsworth (the Thor movies) is currently expected to play the young Mitch Rapp. Despite your comments about the Reacher trailer, I still think this looks a far better choice than Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 8:29:23 AM PST
rck12 says:
Suncoast:

Noted your 'PS', and liked your 4 star comment on the above mentoned "The "Last Man". I had also made a brief comment a few days back on same book, giving it 4 stars also. When I get a chance, I'll check out some of your other reviews. Tks, rck.
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Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia

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