Tripwire (Jack Reacher) Mass Market Paperback – May 29, 2007
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“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
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The first book, Killing Floor, was full of suspense and intrigue that I could not put it down until I finished it.
This book, 3rd book in the series, albeit the story was interesting and touched on the Vietnam war, I found it very difficult to complete. The book was very detailed and highly descriptive, particularly on the torture bit, that I had to put it aside to take a break. I have read a lot of murder and mystery book , and some of the parts in those books were gory but obviously not as descriptive and detailed as this one that I could not stomach it.
Additionally, I feel that the book drags on a bit that I got bored at times and skipped a few paragraphs and pages. I am not the type of reader who like skipping sentences, paragraphs and pages as I believe that every word, sentences counts. Hence, I took a long time to finish this book.
I know that it is his earliest book so I am not going to be too judgemental and critical on the author as his later or recent books have been excellent, such as the Midnight Line.
Therefore, the rating is 3 stars maybe representing neutrality, i.e. neither good nor bad but overall conclusion still sits as “Not Sure”.
I would really enjoy his writing if his ignorance about the military and guns wasn’t so obvious. No, every Army post doesn’t have an identical HQ and the post commander doesn’t have an MP sergeant as a secretary, nor are you likely to find an MP in the HQ guarding the General with a polished M16. The most egregious errors could have been caught by a competent editor or avoided altogether with a few minutes research on the internet or a 10 minute discussion with someone who actually spent time at more than one post as a soldier.
Everyone makes mistakes but established authors shouldn’t be blowing details over and over and over again-it distracts from the story.
I found the tale engrossing and freely admit that I read it avidly, but it is undeniably long-winded. Are writers still being paid by the word? Further, it is basically unbelievable. For example, in the final pages, Jack is in the hospital, recovering from, among other things, a bullet wound from a .38 caliber pistol fired at close range into his chest. But this is Jack Reacher’s chest, whose pectoral muscle is “so thick and so dense” that a bullet fired into it was stopped 3” in by an intervening rib. This is not a normal pectoral; it is an unpeeled coconut. In addition, Jack Reacher’s skull was penetrated by a nail that thrust a quarter inch into the frontal lobe of his brain, but he remained Jack Reacher, alert as ever behind a Neanderthal skull. Sorry, Charlie; pulp fiction. Four stars.
Not so with Tripwire. It's just as good in 2019 as it was in 1999 when I read it for the first time. It is so much better than anything I've read recently that it should have a category all its own - alongside all the Jack Reacher books. There''s a reason Reacher is a cult hero with a huge following.
If you haven't read the Jack Reacher books already, do so now. If you have, wait awhile and read them again!
Top international reviews
I have read all novels in the series and Tripwire for me stands out as the most forgettable and most unbelievable but strangely predictable of them all.
Here, Jack solves a crime with the help of the daughter of his mentor and friend and inherits a house, which sets off his anxieties about ownership. The long prelude before Jack gets together with his daughter's friend is intended to show how deeply the character values friendship and family values; alas looking back at Jack's novels, I only remember a sequence of attractive females, grinning after succumbing to the charms of Jack Reacher.
The dialogues are devoid of humor and the story line reaches its climax in a predictable way. On a plus side, the story has vivid descriptions of the villain, dark political undertones, and is enjoyable!
Jack Reacher is the perfect modern hero: strong yet gentle, honourable to the good people though ruthless to the bad ones.The fact he is a drifter only adds to the attraction; he's a kind of modern lonesome cowboy, who enters a town or city and sets out to help wronged people (often women) and fight injustice and crime, yet afterwards he always goes away, alone, -though not on a horse and not always out into the sunset-.
Reacher's sense of right and wrong (he often kills) may look amoral to some readers; however we feel he's right. His sense of right and wrong is unerring, and there is a kind of innocence and candour in him that make him very appealing.Contrary to most modern heroes, Reacher is not really disillusioned and/or a cynic, let alone a weakling, which for me makes him a real hero and not an antihero.
Another good point is the novels, however violent, are not too gory or graphic, and the sex scenes remain very discrete.
Obviously, the reader must be well acquainted with firearm/shooting terminology and military terms, especially in the two "flashback" books (Persuader and The Enemy)telling us about Reacher's younger days in the Army -written in the 1st person, which is nice too-.
Maybe due to the fact that Mr CHILD was born in Britain, though he lives in the US now, and because Reacher spent most of his military career abroad, we discover the USA through Reacher's eyes, and more from a foreigner's viewpoint.Maybe it's important for the reader to know and like the USA, as I do, but I don't think it's entirely necessary.
Even though the reader knows Reacher's almost invincible, it doesn't alter the thrill and suspense while reading.
Some settings are of course more attractive than others, depending on whether you are a city fan or an outdoors sort of person: being the latter, I particularly enjoyed Echo Burning and Die Trying,as they're set respectively in Texas and Montana.
All in all, Lee CHILD is one of my two favourite authors right now, and I've read hundreds of novels.
I strongly recommend reading them in the order of publication.
Congratulations to Mr CHILD.
I feel that moving the action to the city is a good decision and allows a different aspect for the antagonist to the loners in small town america of the first 2 novels. Here we have a city type who preys on the better off to increase his wealth.
Technically the book is again easy to read and written with pace and verve to carry over some of the less good plotting.
I enjoyed this book and am interested in reading more as i feel this series could go either way at the moment.
Devotees will surely be struck by how well Lee Child leanred in the later novels to inject pace; this one keeps coming to a stop. And the romantic element here reveals the author as uncomfortably close to Mills and Boon. Something else he learned to deal with.
Of itself, Tripwire disappoints mainly as the result of a villain whot is simply too evil, almost a caricature, Oddjob gone bad. I still read to the end but put it down feeling that it was something of a prentice work.
'Five minutes there and five minutes back add up to ten.'
Thanks for that, Mr Child.
However, third time was the charm, and once I decided to take this book at face value and not try to over analyse it, it came into its own. A decent, action story with a completely unbelievable main character. Entertaining in a poor man's James Bond kind of way.
I really don't know why but I guess I will be reading more of these.
This is one if the earlier Reacher books, the third in the series, in fact, & it shows...The author is obviously still in love with his character & the world he inhabits, & this comes across in the pace & verve of the writing, which never becomes slack for a moment. Taut til the last page, as we have come to expect from Childs, this is one of the best, in my opinion...