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Echo Burning (Jack Reacher) [Paperback] Unknown Binding – January 1, 2007
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|Unknown Binding, January 1, 2007||
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The book starts off with Reacher in a bar, he hits a guy he didn't know was a cop. Then, he wants to get out of dodge to not be holed up in a cell. That's a much more interesting premise than what the book is actually about.
I guess if he really wanted a vacation he would have to go to somewhere where he won’t run into a single person, that might work. But it wouldn’t be as fun and exciting as this book is, full of the usual Reacher wisdom, smarts and the occasional punch thrown. You won’t even notice its 550+ pages, just don’t read it before bed if you want to get to sleep at a decent hour.
As usual author Lee Child keeps the pages turning at a brisk pace while the reader is kept guessing how things will all work out. A few minor gripes; Child obviously does his homework on weapons and ballistics and inserts plenty of details in each book and yet makes technical errors in most of them. For example when describing rifle bullets standing upright on a table he says they’re “resting on their firing pins” when he clearly means resting on their primers. Also Reacher sometimes makes dumb moves that are out of character; he handles and loads a weapon for someone leaving his fingerprints all over it knowing that his are in the system as ex-military. We’re also expected to just accept some of the amazing suppositions that Reacher makes that are just a little too convenient like finding the hotel where the kidnapped daughter’s been taken. Overall however I enjoyed “Echo Burning” immensely and look forward to the next in the series.
Let me add that Echo has maybe the funniest line in the series, when Reacher discovers a handgun in the possession of a young, storefront attorney he encounters. He speculates that Mom and Dad bought her the gun, adding that they might have included a machine gun and a grenade launcher given the environment in which she is working.
That aside, the plot twist that reveals itself at the end struggles to rationalize itself, given how the characters are introduced and sketched out. In the best thriller fiction, the bad guy often doesn't reveal himself until the end and you don't see it coming. In this one, you could see it coming a mile away like a West Texas dust storm. The climactic showdown in the Texas badlands is rather difficult to follow even with Child's prodigious talents at painting a crucial scene. The action was overly complex and difficult to follow. Oh, and if you're looking forward to Reacher bedding one of the female characters... well, don't get your hopes up.
If, like me, you are making your way chronologically through the Reacher series, skip over Echo Burning to Reacher #6 and enjoy one of the great literary fiction series ever published.