Finally, after eons, I have finished the complete Jack Reacher series of books.
No Plan B
Jack Reacher is in the middle of nowhere, minding his own business, when he spots a woman being thrown in front of a bus. He follows the killer and Reacher is almost put out of commission. The local police decide that it is a suicide, but Reacher follows the trail. He teams up with Hannah, who has also recently lost someone. On top of this there is 15 year old Jed, who might have found his real father. All roads lead to a prison in the town of Winson.
As with nearly all Jack Reacher books I gave this four stars. It isn’t the best Reacher book, but it probably is the best one co-written by Andrew Child. There are numerous twists and turns, and the ending was very unexpected. If you’ve never read a Jack Reacher book, this probably isn’t the one to start with, although with 27 full length books, where do you start?
No Middle Name
Probably one for the fans rather than the casual reader as this is a collection of Jack Reacher short stories. The book is set out chronologically, so the first story is set when Jack is only 12. The collection adds depth to Reacher character and fills in a few blacks from when he was in the army. The stories are short enough that I could read one and then put the book down to read something else. As I said though, probably one for the diehard fans only.
That’s it. I’ve read all of the Jack Reacher books, apart from the new one and the collection of short stories. Very easy to read and on the whole, highly enjoyable and not too predictable.
Past Tense (Book #23)
Reacher finds himself in the small town where his father was born. He’s not looking for trouble, but trouble finds him, from a couple of different sources. First up is the small-town bully followed by a motel out in the middle of nowhere. He tries to find the hamlet where his grandparents lived, but this unearths a whole can of worms, not least because he is trespassing.
A young couple break down and stay at the motel. The owners appear to be incredibly helpful, but all is not what it seems.
This book was one of the first Reacher books that I read, at the beginning of the year, and I’m struggling to remember what it was all about. I do now that if it hadn’t been very good, I wouldn’t have continued with the series.
Blue Moon (Book #24)
Reacher is on a bus, travelling who knows where. He spots an old man with a wad of cash. He spots a hoodlum also on the bus who has also noticed the old man’s wad of cash. The old man gets off the bus and is quickly followed by the thug. Reacher also follows and saves the old man from a mugging. There is a deeper story. The old man and his wife are up to their necks in debt to the local crime lord. However, there is a lot more going on in the town. There is another rival crime lord and Reacher manages to set them off against one another.
This was one of the more interesting Reacher books in that he enlists the help of a number of people, and he isn’t the main man, as it were. He comes across as an old man, one whose time is almost up. A man who might not survive to the end of the book.
This was supposed to be the last Reacher book that Lee Child was going to write, until his younger brother stepped in. The early books mention that Reacher was born in 1960, which means that he is definitely on the road towards the end.
The Sentinel (Book #25)
Reacher is minding his own business, drinking copious amounts of coffee in a local diner, when he spots a man walking into an ambush. Its four against one, and the victim has no idea what is about to happen. Reacher happens. The man he saves is the town’s IT manager, recently fired for incompetence, but has opted to stay in the town to clear his name. Obviously, this being a Jack Reacher book, there is a lot more going on in this town apart from dodgy computers.
This was the first book written by both of the Child brothers, and to be honest, the book doesn’t gel. Lee and Andrew, for want of a better phrase, don’t appear to be on the same page. There are some neat ideas. Reacher being a complete technophobe having to rely on the computer savvy accomplices. Also, Reacher feels younger than he was in Blue Moon.
Better Off Dead (Book #26)
A backwater town and an ex-army FBI agent working off the books, searching for her twin brother. Is this town the site of a terrorist bomb making facility? Who is the local crime boss? What the hell is going on?
There are some very mixed reviews for this book and a lot more negative ones. I felt that this was an improvement on The Sentinel, but the plot is fairly thin and one dimensional, without enough interesting characters. Many of the reviews are inclined to suggest that the working arrangement between the two brothers isn’t working, and that maybe the whole Reacher series might be better off dead.
In summary, 26 books in one series is a great deal of reading. There are a couple of duff books, but even the poor ones are still very readable. You never feel the need to re-read a few pages as the story never gets too complicated in any of the books. I hope that Lee and Andrew continue to write another Reacher book a year for many years to come.
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