This thriller is one of a series by Lee Child, (actual name Jim Grant), with an ex-military policeman, Jack Reacher, as the main character. From what I can gather, the only red thread joining all the books is Jack Reacher, and the books can probably be read in any order. For me, this was the first Jack Reacher book I had read, and I did not encounter problems through being unfamiliar with the past history of the series.
The book, all five hundred pages plus, moves at a very fast pace with each relatively short chapter ending with a 'hook', forcing the reader to turn the page simply to see what is going to happen. The writing, though not of any literary significance, is good with much use made of the short, terse sentence. Although Child is English, he lives in America, and he is obviously well-acquainted with New York; his explicit description of the underground map as well as different streets and buildings is very well-handled. Never having been in New York, I did not find the descriptions in any way confusing, instead, I feel that they actually add to the overall suspense. As with most books from this genre, co-incidence and imagination are the two big players, but I feel that the reader gets so swept away with what is happening that he/she does not feel a need to question the credibility of the characters, the situations and/or the background - the three things that finally tie everything together. This is a very big plus in Child's favour: I have read other books from this genre where the co-incidence factor is so badly managed that the book picks up a 'not-worth-reading' label after only a few pages.
Of course, there is violence, with some expert description pertaining to guns and knives which tends to heighten the feeling of authenticity, and there is sex (which, I believe is a must with this kind of novel). However, it was refreshing that the sex was more implied than centre stage.
All over, I enjoyed the book as a form of easy-to-read escapism. It did not necessarily raise any topics that challenged my thinking, and I did not continue to think about the characters and the plot after I had finished the book; however, while reading the book, it was enjoyable - probably a bit like eating chocolates.
Lee Child from www.theguardian.com