Tag Archives: lee Child

Review: Blue Moon by Lee Child

Blue Moon (Jack Reacher, #24)All Jack Reacher wanted to do was prevent an old man from being mugged. But Reacher’s assistance causes some long-simmering issues to boil over and before he knows it, he’s at the center of a turf war for the heart and soul of a town.

As with many of the recent Jack Reacher novels, it feels like Lee Child has a great idea for a short story here that’s been expanded into a full-length novel. Reacher helping the underdog facing long odds is nothing new and the elderly couple forced to sell everything and borrow from loan sharks to afford a radical treatment therapy for their daughter is timely enough. But once Reacher saves the old man from being mugged for carrying a lot of cash to pay off his loan shark, things become a bit of a slog.

Reacher is a wild-card in the equation and watching two sides of a long-simmering turf war slowly come to a full boil because Reacher steps-in seems like it should be fun and entertaining. Instead, it leads to a middle third of the book where Reacher seems to try and leave but keeps getting pulled back in for one reason or another. At first, it’s to help the couple in question, then it becomes because he flirts with a waitress named Abby, who also becomes an inadvertent victim because she helps Reacher out.

In the past, I’ve described Reacher as the modern equivalent of James Bond. And Blue Moon reinforces this view. Reacher seems to rarely grow or change from story to story and he’s always presented as the smartest guy in the story with the exact set of skills needed to solve whatever problem comes along. And, of course, there is Reacher’s love of diners and motels that take cash that seems to be a common theme of every novel.

I’ve read most of the Jack Reacher books at this point and it what started out as an entertaining, character-driven series is slowly starting to feel like a series being put on auto-pilot by its creator. The tropes are becoming a bit too familiar and I find myself wondering if I’ll continue the series as they continue to hit shelves.

Of course, I said that after the last Reacher book and here I am coming back to see if Child might return to form. (It did seem for a while that alternating Reacher books were great).

Maybe it’s time for Child to try something new with Reacher or push the formula of the series a bit for the next installment.

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Review: Make Me by Lee Child

Make Me

After a couple of a disappointing entries in the Jack Reacher saga, it’s nice to see Lee Child get back to form with Make Me.

Traveling cross country by train, Reacher stops in the town of Mother’s Rest. Curious about how the town got its name, Reacher inadvertently steps into a conspiracy and cover-up. He meets up with Michelle Chang, a private investigator who came to Mother’s Rest at her partner’s request. Now that partner is missing and Reacher is drawn into the mystery behind his disappearance.

The set-up for Make Me is classic Reacher. And for the first half, watching Reacher take swings in the dark as to exactly what he’s stumbled across is a great deal of fun and makes for a compelling mystery. It’s once we get to the second half of the story that that things begin to break down a bit. It’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination and it certainly fits well into the Reacher mythology. But I couldn’t help but feel a bit like, “That’s it?” when we finally figure out what’s going on in Mother’s Rest and meet the various forces behind a massive cover-up. Continue reading

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Review: Not A Drill by Lee Child

Not a Drill (Short Story)

Hitchhiking his way across the country, Reacher ends up in Maine near the Canadian border. Picked up by tourists from Canada, Reacher shares a ride and a meal with them (in a diner, because where else would Jack Reacher have a meal?!?), he parts ways with them. Only to find a few hours later that the trails are closed and the military police are out in force.

Reacher is drawn into the mystery of what happened to the hikers and what the military police are so intent on hiding from the world at large.

As far as Reacher stories go, this one is a perfectly entertaining enough one. Honestly, it felt a lot more complete and enjoyable that the last longer Reacher novel in the series. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and it tells an effective little mystery.

One of the better Reacher novellas that Lee Child has published in the last few years.

I listened to this one as an audio book, read by Dick Hill.  It runs ninety minutes and it never felt like there was any dead period where my interest waned.   I’m grateful my local library allowed me to download this as part of their digital audio collection.

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