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.