Would it be nit-picking to complain about the sentence structure? I teach writing...essay writing, not creative writing. There's my full disclosure. So maybe I'm quibbling about a nonissue. There were so many long sentences that followed this pattern: he did X thing, which meant Y thing, which meant Z thing.... It wore me out. I started skipping huge, explication-heavy paragraphs. It was that or start screaming.
SPOILERS (sorta) Nonetheless, I stuck with it because I like Jack Reacher. I can't help myself. He's pedantic and caustic and starting to sound old (like from a different generation) and I'm cool with all of that. It works for me. I like that he seems to genuinely like women and seems to think more highly of them than the men in charge. He does usually see them as weak, and Child writes his women multifaceted and multivalent, even the "bad" ones (who all have clear reasons for their "bad" choices); whereas the men are usually flawed in very negative ways. I like that older people inhabit Reacher's world, too. In fact, that older women can be admired, and in Personal (Scarangelo) sexy and alluring without it becoming ALL the female character is there for. Women get to be in charge. Yay.
I even tolerated the paternalistic BS around Reacher's pill-policing Casey Nice. Mainly, I was okay with this because it was in character for Reacher to be such a douchebag about her anti-anxiety meds; maybe Reacher spent too much time with Tom Cruise and now hates modern mental health medications (maybe even the industry as a whole)? Maybe Reacher just likes helping young, bright women beat the male-dominated system (and covertly taking someone else's anti-anxiety meds isn't the best choice for that)? Maybe he was having a "you kids get off my lawn" reaction to Casey Nice? Whatever the case, he's kinda like that about stuff, he "shoulds" all over people he seems to like (and some he dislikes), particularly where beautiful and smart women are concerned. So I ignored all of that.
I was sad that I'd figured out who the real bad guy was before the end. Sometimes I do with this series and sometimes I don't. This one I got. Bennett was a nice touch, though. And the whole "we know they're listening" was fun. Child does some nice stuff with his writing. The repetition of ideas is good: they didn't conquer the world by being nice; we didn't conquer the world by being dumb. It's fun wordplay. I always enjoy that in Child's writing.
The "whiches", though, really wore on my brain. (And, before someone hate-mails me, I understand it was done for pacing and rhythm...the sentences "sound" like gunfire, or like someone running. I get it. It adds to the mood, the feeling of movement, the anxiety. I get it. I just don't like it.)