Tag Archives: Lee Child

The Affair, by Lee Child

3 May

Format: Trade paperback, 432 pages
Published: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Bantam
Back cover blurb:
Everything starts somewhere. . . .For elite military cop Jack Reacher, that somewhere was Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997. A lonely railroad track. A crime scene. A cover up. A young woman is dead, and solid evidence points to a soldier at a nearby military base. But that soldier has powerful friends in Washington. Reacher is ordered undercover—to find out everything he can, to control the local police, and then to vanish. Reacher is a good soldier. But when he gets to Carter Crossing, he finds layers no one saw coming, and the investigation spins out of control. Local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux has a thirst for justice—and an appetite for secrets. Uncertain they can trust one another, Reacher and Deveraux reluctantly join forces. Reacher works to uncover the truth, while others try to bury it forever. The conspiracy threatens to shatter his faith in his mission, and turn him into a man to be feared.A novel of unrelenting suspense that could only come from the pen of #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child, The Affair is the start of the Reacher saga, a thriller that takes Reacher—and his readers—right to the edge . . . and beyond .With Reacher, #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child has created “a series that stands in the front rank of modern thrillers” (The Washington Post).

My review:
Ah, Reacher. So that’s how you and the army parted ways. I loved this book, and couldn’t put it down – primarily because one minute I thought one person had done it, and the next I thought it was someone else, and it wasn’t until the last half a dozen pages that it was really resolved. Rather permanently resolved, in fact. Brilliant.

This one was written in the first person – Lee Child likes to alternate, having some books in first and some in third – so we got to see inside Reacher’s head, which is always a fascinating place. I love his humour, his talent with the ladies, and of course his own particular way of dealing with the bad guys. Bonuses here also include Reacher’s pals Frances Neagley (who I love from at least two previous books), Karla Dixon and Stan Lowrey (from Bad Luck and Trouble), crusty old Leon Garber, and passing mention of his brother Joe to tie the storyline in with events in the very first book, Killing Floor.

This is a great addition to Reacher’s backstory. I can’t help feeling, though, that I can see the end of the road coming for him. Then I’ll be very sad.

My rating: 5/5

Update: Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011

2 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone! Well, I’m done with my 2011 reading challenges, and have surpassed my expectations – and those of the challenge rules – by quite a bit over the last year!

I read a lot of the mystery/thriller genre, so this challenge was ideal for me. Book Chick City‘s rules were:

  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 – 31 Dec 2011
  • Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)
  • You don’t have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
  • At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews. There will be a monthly prize too courtesy of the lovely Simon & Schuster – you must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw.
Now, there are many different sub-genres of mystery and suspense – you can choose from the numerous sub-genres, from cosy mysteries such as Agatha Christie to the more hard-boiled kind like V I Warshawski by Sara Paretsky, or romantic suspense written by the likes of Linda Howard, forensic crime such as those written by Kathy Reichs and even paranormal/supernatural suspense such as Kelley Armstrong. I’m sure this challenge will have something for everyone!

I was lucky enough to win one of the monthly prizes – Deadly Intent by Lynda La Plante, so thank you very much Book Chick City and Simon & Schuster for the prize.

So here are my books and the links to my reviews. I managed 22 for the year – 10 more than the challenge required – yay! I’m sure I probably read others that could have fallen into the category too if I had thought a bit harder about it.

2011 Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge books:

1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke – Completed January 2, 2011

2. Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child – Completed January 14, 2011

3. 61 Hours by Lee Child – Completed January 16, 2011

4. Worth Dying For by Lee Child – Completed January 20, 2011

5. Hotter After Midnight by Cynthia Eden – Completed January 26, 2011

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – Completed February 6, 2011

7. Killing Floor by Lee Child – Completed February 17, 2011

8. Feed by Mira Grant – Completed April 14, 2011

9. Necrophenia by Robert Rankin – Completed April 17, 2011

10. Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux – Completed April 23, 2011

11. Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child – Completed April 26, 2011

12. The List by J.A. Konrath – Completed August 6, 2011

13. Echo Burning by Lee Child – Completed August 26, 2011

14. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb – Completed September 7, 2011

15. Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price – Completed October 13, 2011

16. Without Fail by Lee Child – Completed October 30, 2011

17. Criss Cross by Jordan Castillo Price – Completed November 2, 2011

18. Persuader by Lee Child – Completed November 8, 2011

19. Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke – Completed November 15, 2011

20. Get a Clue by Jill Shalvis – Completed November 18, 2011

21. Deadly Intent by Lynda La Plante – Completed December 2, 2011

22. Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke – Completed December 24, 2011

Looks like I’ll be signing up to this one again in 2012 🙂

Bad Luck and Trouble, by Lee Child

26 Apr

Format: Paperback, 396 pages

Published: April 2, 2007

Publisher: Bantam Press

Back cover blurb:

Now on his own for 10 years, Reacher has an ATM card and the clothes on his back—no phone, no ties, and no address—he’s a hard man to find. A loner, comfortable in his anonymity and solitude.

Performing the impossible isn’t so difficult for Frances Neagley, who manages to locate Reacher by using a signal only the eight members of their elite team of army investigators would know. She tells Reacher a harrowing story about the brutal death of a one of their own. Soon they reunite with the survivors of their old team and race to raise the living, bury the dead, and connect the dots in a mystery that grows more opaque with every new piece of information. With lives at stake, the team falls back together with apparent ease; their motto still holding true: You do not mess with the Special Investigators.

My review:

So now I’m going back to read the Reachers I missed when they first came out, and I have to say this one – the 11th in the series – is one of the best. Jack is his usual bad ass self but has moments of self-doubt, which may be new for him. Here he is also teamed up with his old unit, so we get the bonus of additional people with Reacher attitudes = WIN! Two are women and we get some sexual tension thrown in too. In fact, I got the feeling both women had a little thing for Jack.

The storyline moved along swiftly, and even though I was a little ahead of their deduction at one point, the fast pace and plot twists meant I couldn’t put it down. The only problem I had with the story was when Reacher robbed some drug dealers to get cash and I felt let down by him. I know they were scumbags, but I always thought Jack was better than that. Still, they had their uses and were helpful in the end, not just for their money.

Most of all I loved this story because it was about intelligent, ruthless people using their brains to work out a complex chain of events. There were codes and number series to work out, the best of which I thought were messages between the investigators themselves – notably Dixon and O’Donnell’s communications to Reacher and the bank account amounts. Very clever and very brilliant.

My rating: 5/5

Killing Floor, by Lee Child

1 Mar

Format: Paperback, 528 pages
Published: April 2, 1998 (first published January 1, 1997)
Publisher: Bantam
Back cover blurb:
When Jack Reacher suddenly decides to ask a Greyhound bus driver to let him off near the town of Margrave, Georgia, he thinks it’s because his brother once mentioned that the famed blues guitarist Blind Blake died there. But it doesn’t take long for the footloose ex-military policeman to discover that there are plenty of strange–and very dangerous–things going on behind Margrave’s manicured lawns and clean streets that demand his attention. This first thriller by a former television writer features some of the best-written scenes of action in recent memory, a crash course in currency and counterfeiting, and a hero who is just begging to be called on for an encore.
My review:
I’ve read a lot of Jack Reacher, but it took me ages to get around to reading this, the first in the series. What a debut! The plot is tight, a more personal story for Reacher than some of his subsequent adventures, and I was gripped right the way through. I wish I could come up with plots like this.
My rating: 5/5

Worth Dying For, by Lee Child

21 Jan

  • Format: Trade Paperback 416 pages
  • Published: 30 September 2010
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd

Back cover blurb:

“61 Hours” ended with maverick loner Jack Reacher trapped in a desperate situation from which escape seemed impossible. Even for him. But Reacher has done the impossible before. Now there’s deadly trouble in the wilds of Nebraska…and Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing eight-year-old girl, already decades-old, that Reacher can’t let go. The Duncans want Reacher gone – or dead. And it’s not just past secrets they’re trying to hide. They’re awaiting a secret shipment that’s already late – and they have the kind of customers no one can afford to annoy. For as dangerous as the Duncans are, they’re just the bottom of a criminal food chain stretching halfway around the world. Reacher – bruised and battered – should have just kept on going. But for Reacher, that was impossible.

My review:

I’m starting to worry about Jack Reacher. Maybe he’s been alone too long.

As I read this book I began to worry that he was taking the law into his own hands a bit more than usual, executing people when they were really no immediate threat to him. This new development makes me wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Reacher; certainly Lee Child has indicated there will only be a few more books.

Worth Dying For was written in a totally different voice than the previous book. 61 Hours was all short sentences and ticking clocks; this book was full of long train-of-thought paragraphs. For that reason it required more concentration to read, but was nonetheless a great story. The extent of the Duncans’ secret came as a complete surprise, and the ending was most satisfactory.

I just hope Jack can meet up with Susan from his old unit, the 110th. I fear he won’t, given that at the end of 61 Hours she was posted to Afghanistan, but I think he really needs her voice of reason right now.

My rating: 4/5

61 Hours, by Lee Child

17 Jan

  • Format: Trade Paperback 400 pages
  • Published: 18 March 2010
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd

Back cover blurb:

Winter in South Dakota. Blowing snow, icy roads, a tired driver. A bus skids and crashes and is stranded in a gathering storm. There’s a small town twenty miles away, where a vulnerable witness is guarded around the clock. There’s a strange stone building five miles further on, all alone on the prairie. There’s a ruthless man who controls everything from the warmth of Mexico. Jack Reacher hitched a ride in the back of the bus. A life without baggage has many advantages. And crucial disadvantages too, when it means facing the arctic cold without a coat. But he’s equipped for the rest of his task. He doesn’t want to put the world to rights. He just doesn’t like people who put it to wrongs.

My review:

This is the best Jack Reacher thriller in recent years, and I could not put it down. Jack is stuck in South Dakota in a blizzard and the clock is ticking – a device which makes this book a thoroughly gripping read as we anticipate what will happen when the 61 hours are up.

Although I picked the killer about halfway through the book, I wasn’t 100 percent sure and the climax still managed to surprise.

Moving on to the next one already…

My rating: 5/5

Gone Tomorrow, by Lee Child

14 Jan

  • Format: Trade Paperback 448 pages
  • Published: 23 April 2009
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd

Back cover blurb:

Suicide bombers are easy to spot. They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs. Mostly because they’re nervous. By definition they’re all first-timers. Riding the subway in New York at two o’clock in the morning, Reacher knows the twelve giveaway signs to look out for. Watching one of his fellow-passengers, he becomes sharply aware: one by one, she ticks off every bulletpoint on his list. So begins the new heartstopping new thriller starring today’s most admired action hero, the gallant and enigmatic loner Jack Reacher.

My review:

Jack Reacher is a man of few words, but he always gets the job done. In this book, Reacher sees a woman commit suicide on the subway and feels responsible for forcing her actions. When he tries to find out why she did it, he becomes drawn into a conspiracy involving Pentagon secrets, a politician and foreign nationals with a penchant for knives.
Lee Child writes crisp, short sentences and chapters which match the fast pace of the novel and Reacher’s character. The twists and turns keep you guessing right until the end, when Reacher always manages to hit the road, sans luggage, ready for another adventure.
I’m starting the next book in the series now in an effort to reduce the pile on my bedside table. DH has been given all of them as gifts and once he’s finished I inherit them. Not that I mind – Jack Reacher is always entertaining.

My rating: 4/5