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Tripwire (Jack Reacher) Mass Market Paperback – May 29, 2007
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“Child grabs hold with the first page and won't let go until the finish. This is pulse-pounding suspense, and Child hardly misses a beat.”—The Arizona Daily Star
“Good thrillers exist in a class of their own. The point of such a book is total escape and Tripwire fills the bill. A bang-up finale which makes the reader sit back and gasp with both wonder and understanding.”—The Denver Post
“Not only bang-on suspense but an insightful look into how humans work.”—Houston Chronicle
“A stylish thriller as complex and disturbing as its hero.”—Stephen White
“A tightly-drawn and swift thriller that gives new meaning to what a page-turner should be.”—Michael Connelly
“Page for page, there's probably more fisticuffs in a Lee Child thriller than anywhere else.”—Chicago Tribune
“When you put a good villain together with a great hero like Jack Reacher...the result is a thriller good to the last drop. (Child) does a great job of balancing good and evil, and certainly Hobie ranks up there with some of the most memorable villains.”—The Orlando Sentinel
About the Author
LEE CHILD is a #1 bestselling author worldwide. His debut novel, Killing Floor, won two awards for best first mystery and was nominated for two more. Foreign rights in the Jack Reacher series have been sold in ninety-five countries. The movie franchise stars Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Child, a native of England, is a former television director. He lives in New York City, where he is at work on his next Jack Reacher thriller.
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I like the Jack Reacher series. It's a predictable flow for each book, but you just have to accept that. He's a badass, always one step ahead of the bad guys, always the smartest guy in the room, figures things out before everyone else, etc. And, of course, he hooks up with some hot woman, gets into a serious relationship with her, and breaks up by the end. All that, no problem. Just accept that that's how it's going to go, and read on to see how it is handled this time around.
In this book, Jack is a little TOO smart. A little TOO good. I think it was just pushed a little too far, while other things didn't make a lot of sense to me. For instance, the knowledge and skills of the would-be assassins don't add up considering their background. Also, in one attempt at making Jack seem so much smarter than everyone else was just off-base, and that had to do with the Beretta in the kitchen drawer. Most law enforcement or military folks I know advocate that a gun being used for self-defense should be loaded and ready to fire - that extra step of inserting the magazine, pulling the slide, etc - could be the difference between life and death. In this case, the Beretta was in the drawer with the mags next to it. A professional such as a secret service agent wouldn't have had it that way, and a military professional such as Jack wouldn't have considered it a mistake to have the bullets in the mag. I think BOTH would have kept the gun in the drawer, bullets in mag, mag in gun, ready to go. Not a big deal except that the whole idea becomes a major plot twist at the very end of the book.
Anyway, it's a good book, I recommend reading it, there were just a few things that bugged me and made me think that the author was trying too hard to be clever.
The Ugly: I don’t know where Lee Child went wrong here, but for some reason it seemed his writing took a hit. A lot of run on sentences and a lot of places where there should have been commas or semi-commas. It was as if this was actually the first book he wrote when he was in elementary school or something. It was very hard to read.
The Bad: The way Reacher felt about Jodie is understandable, but there was no need for Child to go into great detail on the matter. Yes, the two are consenting adults in the main story of the book. The thing that hurt the story was the way he described how Reacher was talking of her when she was still a teenager. It may just be the father of four girls in me talking, but I wouldn’t stand for the way someone looked at them the way it was described in the book.
The Good: Truthfully, the story was the best part of this book. At the time the book came out, there was still a lot of hoopla about POWs in Vietnam, so the story made a lot sense. Even to this day the very mention of POWs from Vietnam strikes a chord with certain people. So, the fact that Reacher is looking into matter did help the story quite a bit.
Final Thoughts: Now, I have only read the first three books and so far this is the worst of the three. I’m hoping that it is the worst of all of them. There was just some unnecessary aspects to the book.
I need a new book series, hero and author. Any suggestions out there?
Beyond the suffering delivery, the story at its core was intriguing w/an interesting overall build to a great twist (though on par w/the rest of the series, a bit drawn out). Unfortunately, what were not so compelling were two of the main subplots to the story: Jack's "Hercules-in-New-York" unfamiliarity with civilian life and his uncomfortable love interest. As the reader, I can appreciate the idea that Jack spent his entire life on military bases, never fully exposed to the world outside of that. And I can further appreciate the author's want of emphasizing that point in Jack's character. What I struggled with in this novel was driving that point home to a fault as though he is discovering fire for the first time with things like never doing laundry and buying new clothes every week, being in awe of even basic technology, not registering that he cannot punch his way through every annoyance, etc.
As for the love interest, that, frankly, was just uncomfortable at times. I can get on board with his interest in the pretty (now adult) daughter of his former mentor. What I cannot get behind is the lengths in description and emotion that the author goes into about Jack's affections for the girl as a young 25-year old soldier when she was about 15. It would have been one thing for Child to highlight the banter/relationship the two shared so long ago, but his persisting focus on Jack's sexual attraction to her when she was that young just gets flat out awkward!
Three books in, Lee Child has shown a range of what he is capable of with this series. Hopefully the next won't be the last one for me.