I finished this book this morning, after waiting for the other half to read it first and hand it over. It's the twentieth Jack Reacher book by author Lee Child and had some of the usual features one might expect from a Reacher story:
- A twisting tale
- Reacher managing to get involved in something totally not his business
- Bad guys
- A female associate
- Army references
The book starts with Reacher getting off a train at a small town called Mother's Rest, purely to find out if there is a story behind the name of the town. It doesn't take long however for Reacher's interest to pique regarding the locals odd behaviours and the presence of Michelle Chang.
Child's has written Reacher in much the same way, with little character development. Although, I feel like we're starting to see signs of Reacher aging, thrown into the mix. This general lack of character improvement is something I find reassuring, rather than disappointing.As Reacher has such a strong and competent personality, it's comforting to see that he continues to maintain it.
A character I didn't like as much was that of Michelle Chang. I felt she was very one dimensional, with hints of low self confidence that were never really explored. If I'm honest, I always have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Lee Child's leading ladies. They're frequently competent women, who engage well with Reacher and serve to genuinely move the plot along.
Child doesn't shy away from allowing Reacher to have consensual sex with these women, and we know it will always be consensual, because Reacher just would not accept anything otherwise. His approach to sex in general in his books is one I admire, discussing topics such as sexual harassment within the military, and giving characters the independence to be gay.
Yet, to me, Reacher's sex life has become very predictable, I can only think of one book in the series in which he doesn't initiate a romantic relationship! I feel a little bit disloyal for disliking this attribute of the books while admiring the approach in which sex is managed in the series but meh, it's just how I feel.
The storyline was interesting enough, and I some became invested in trying to guess what would happen.Of my two theories, one was nearly right. This is a shame, as it felt rather anti-climatic when the tale was finally revealed.
One final point, I felt that a few parts of the book have put in to lay down support for a future plot line. This has happened in past books occasionally but in this particular novel it felt rather clunky and didn't seem to really fit in.
Overall, I found the book okay. It wasn't my favourite in the series but I'd read it again. As a new addition to my reviews I'm starting to rate books out of 5 and this one is receiving a solid 3/5.
Have you read any of Lee Child's novels?