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The Enemy: A Jack Reacher Novel Paperback – Large Print, March 6, 2012
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"Textured, swift, and told in Reacher's inimitably tough voice … Child has few peers in thrillerdom."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The best showcase of Child's talent to date. .... one of the best thriller writers at work."—Rocky Mountain News
"The Enemy sizzles with suspense and action. Child sets a breathless pace."—Orlando Sentinel
"A rip-roaring read from the first page to the last ."—St. Petersburg Times
"[Jack Reacher is]. . .the thinking reader's action hero a surprisingly tender combination of chess master and G.I. Joe."—Seattle Times
"Will keep you guessing until the final page."—Playboy
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I am so glad I found this author. Generally I don't read mysteries because these days they can be gory, but this book is just right in every way. Murders along the way, but not gory. A likable, intelligent main character who isn't a slob, dysfunctional, drunk or crazy. A man who takes charge and knows what to do. An interesting story that moves fast and empowers the female support character. A satisfying ending that wraps up all loose ends. And along the way makes brief asides to explain and entertain... i can't believe it took me so long to stumble across this author.
This is one of those authors who gets to break all the writing rules because he's so good. I read along, thinking, wow, look at all these simple sentences, casual descriptions, "WAS" used freely...because the way he writes is just so darned easy to read. It kept me guessing. I did figure out one detail, but certainly not all. I spent a wonderful amount of hours reading this...and darn it all, i'm going to have to spend another $9.99 to read another book. Not fair!
This may not be the most amazingly brilliant storyline ever written, but it was absolutely the most entertaining writing i have read in a very long time.
Everything we love about Reacher is here: his stoicism, his realism, his (almost) complete control of the world around him, with some violence and sex and Wild West justice thrown in to a terrific whodunnit.
But in The Enemy, Reacher is vulnerable. We see his weakness, his loss, and somewhere deep down, his loneliness. This book is the context for the whole series.
Kudos, Mr. Child, for this wonderful book. I'm left wondering: who is the enemy?
And b) and this is the worst, this book happens evidently in a time previous to some of the previous books. Some of the characters in this book had already died in previous books. I've been reading these books in order, only to find this reverse sequence.
Top international reviews
Having said all that, and happily admitting I will continue to look forward to and read Reacher's adventures in order and will recommend them to other avid readers, I do so wish I could have introduced Lee Childs to punctuation such as commas and semi colons and conjunctions; anything other than the constant short sharp sentences. I find the staccato style of writing, e.g. " The night was dark. It had been raining. The ground was wet. It was cold." just so distracting and irritating that I started filling bits in myself!
Many writers also have what you might call signature phrases that appear so regularly you find yourself beginning to count them, but it would be impossible to keep tabs on all the 'I/he/she said nothing's and the I/he/she shrugged'. I visualise a society of people ignoring each other and heaving their shoulders up and down repetitively!😂
Ok, rant from the grammar police over and meant with tongue in cheek and still full of admiration for the stories themselves.
This is more of a whodunnit than many of the other books and it was all the better for doing so. Reacher's self confidence is a large part of his appeal and this tale did not disappoint in that but it was nice to learn of mistakes and miscalculations. Scenes of his personal life were a nice inclusion too.
Of course there were some parts that are always present; coffee, getting frisky, fight scene and a grand finale but it wouldn't be a proper Reacher book without all that.
Once I asked a Japanese Zen master what, in the privacy of his own bed, he dreamt about. He said that he dreamt of being a knight errant in the samurai tradition, sorting out wrongdoers and remedying injustice.
On sober reflection, though, the enemy is not primarily the wrongdoer out there, it is the wrongdoing in here -- the wrongdoing done, in the first instance, by the aberrant knight errant himself.
The truth of starting right here, with the man in the mirror, plays out particularly conspicuously in this Jack Reacher adventure, where Reacher goes wrong bigtime.
In the end Reacher gets his thinking straight and takes responsibility for his own mistake. For therein, Reacher, reminds us, not in a preachy way, but by leading from the front, lies redemption.
I bought "Never Go Back" with "Killing Floor" at half price almost on a whim. I started with "Killing Floor" and am currently on "The Affair" having bought every one of the series and have pre ordered anything not yet in print.
Why? I found that the character was so believable AND readable plus in each of the books I found Lee Child had inserted and described in such absorbing detail, small almost irrelevancies that were as good to read as the main storyline that they became, not just fillers as other authors insert, but real and very readable. I can't praise the series enough - each and every book has really brought back my love of reading - "Thank you", Lee Child - brilliant!!
If you read for fun (rather than for work) I would suggest that you try at least one Lee Child book. Obviously, you won't impress anyone, but you'll be left with a feeling that the good generally conquer the bad.
A bit like The Lone Ranger or Bonanza one hundred years ago ... but definitely worth a read.
As I've said before - yes, it's over the top, yes, some of it is unbelievably far fetched. But for entertainment value you can't beat a Reacher. I didn't think it was drawn out (as commented on by others) as, unlike with some writers, I feel like I have to read every word to make sure I don't miss a clue. Kept me turning the pages and I didn't see the ending coming.
Only thing that confused me was why it is a kind of flashback but made no mention that it was. It is just kind of written like it's the next logical book in the series. But it was good to read all the details of the down-sizing of the military that has got a mention in other books. Better go order 9....
His writing style is extremely kinematic. I think his liberal sprinkling of the sentence "I said nothing" really defines his style (I believe if you counted it in his books the total would run in the hundreds).
He has a magic recipe that makes for enthralling story-telling that is recognizable from page one.
When are we going to see Jack Reacher in the movies ? I think Fred Dryer (aka Rick Hunter) would be the best fit.
Thanks Lee, for one more wonderful book.