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Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)
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Lee Child is skilled at writing a modern thriller. It can’t just be his short, direct sentences that do it. He can somehow imbue his stories with a sense of urgency and panic. Sometimes, I find myself reading faster as if that will help Reacher get out of his current predicament. Whatever the author is doing, he’s a master at it. These are hard books to take a break from, make sure you go to bed early so you can have extra time to read before sleeping, or you’ll be sorry.
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.
With that being said, in frustration, I quit reading this particular book about a third of the way through it. Why? It wasn't interesting to me to read about Jack in a security role protecting a politician. It reminded me of the old, worn and boring Hollywood story line about some government employee saving a President. (Yawn and Yawning more) Unlike most of the other books in the Reacher series, I also found this book to be off from Jack's personality and character - enough so to want to kick myself for paying $10.00 for it.
Top reviews from other countries
However, there are a number of aspects of this novel that I am sure many readers will enjoy: it has loads of detail about different types of guns which will appeal to anyone who loves technical minutiae in their thrillers; the various locations are described in a very atmospheric way which makes it easy to imagine the settings where the various action scenes occur; and finally there is even a hint of romance for those of us who don't like our fictional heroes to be automatons.
So, for me, not the best Jack Reacher thriller I have read to date, but as I have already read a number that were written after this novel was published, it will not put me off reading more in the future.