Lee Child has outdone himself in his fourth novel, Running Blind. Sure, sure his enigmatic hero, Jack Reacher, is still the solitary figure with a sense of justice who protects the Everyday Joe. In this installment, he viciously takes out a couple of thugs trying to shake down the owner of his favorite Italian joint in New York City. And when he is done with the beating, Jack sends a clever message to their boss. But this book isn’t just the hard-boiled Reacher we know and love. Instead, Child takes this novel to another level — to Michael Connelly levels of mystery writing — and we follow Reacher as uses his training as a military policeman to help the Feds solve a string of murders. Crimes for which Reacher would be the prime suspect, if he hadn’t been in the Big Apple at the time and under surveillance. All in all, this is a first-rate mystery novel and nothing more can really said about the plot without giving it away. After reading a lion’s share of mystery novels, I’m not usually surprised by the ending. I have to admit, Child and Reacher totally got me on this one and I can’t wait for the next adventure.
Archive for category Lee Child
When you pick up a Lee Child novel, you know what you’re getting. Mystery and some violence to go along with your mystery. In Tripwire, the third installment of the Jack Reacher series, the hero is in Key West hanging out, digging ditches and working as a bouncer in a strip club. In typical Reacher fashion, he vastly enjoys this drifter lifestyle. Soon, his peaceful existence is interrupted when he is sought out by a private detective and a couple of tough guys. Reacher winds up in New York City, where he reacquaints himself with the daughter of his mentor in the military police. And they unearth a plot that involves the military and MIA soldiers in Vietnam. (The movie Basic, with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, has some very similar — almost identical — plot elements and if screenwriter James Vanderbilt didn’t read this book, I’d be very surprised.) Reacher has an uncanny way of finding trouble, and by this third installment, the reader is hip to the modus operandi in this series — the drifter is minding is own business until some criminal makes the mistake of awakening the sleeping giant, so to speak. Despite the predicitibility of the violence, this book — and the two previous novels — are entertaining in a Rambo meets Die Hard sort of way. And when I’m in the mood for more of this molotov cocktail style of writing, I’ll pick up the next Jack Reacher novel.