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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly implausible - hugely enjoyable
The review title may seem a contradiction but the sheer charisma of Lee Child's writing and characterisation allows the reader to wallow in the faintly absurd and come out the other side wishing that the book was twice the length. Let me explain.
Firstly, Jack Reacher is, was rather, a military policeman. At the risk of offending military police out there, who do a...
Published on 6 May 2003 by 3PARA

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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much soup!
‘Echo Burning’, the fifth book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, gave the impression of almost being two separate novels by two separate authors with differing writing styles.
Child’s previous books have established a tautness in the narrative and a fast-pacing through the use of short sentences – a ‘less is more’ approach...
Published 11 months ago by Enrico Grafitti


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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly implausible - hugely enjoyable, 6 May 2003
By 
3PARA (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
The review title may seem a contradiction but the sheer charisma of Lee Child's writing and characterisation allows the reader to wallow in the faintly absurd and come out the other side wishing that the book was twice the length. Let me explain.
Firstly, Jack Reacher is, was rather, a military policeman. At the risk of offending military police out there, who do a difficult and often dangerous job, theirs is not the world of CSI or Law and Order Special Homicide squads. 90% of their weeks work involves petty theft, drunk squaddies and mindless violence. Jack Reacher, whilst being the hardest man in the U.S. and the best shot, also manages to have the sort of investigative techinique that can only mean he was the illegitimate love-child of Hercule Poirot and Angela Lansbury.
Let me promise you, he didnt learn that in the M.P.'s.
The thing is though, and this is where Child is on an absolute winner....it doesnt matter. We WANT Reacher to be that ridiculously good, we need him to be that good, because in this day and age, if ever, we need our heroes to be bigger and better than anything that life can throw at them.
These books roll along at an incredible pace leaving the reader desperate to see what happens on the next page but reluctant to turn it as that brings us one step closer to the end.
A trimuphant return for Child and Reacher.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LEE CHILD ONCE AGAIN PROVES WHAT A TALENTED WRITER HE IS!!!, 29 July 2001
By A Customer
Last year, when I read RUNNING BLIND, I gave it a somewhat scathing review, stating that Lee Child hadn't produce a really exciting book since THE KILLING FLOOR, promising myself that I'll never buy another "Jack Reacher" novel in hardback for as long as I lived. As far as I was concerned, Mr. Child had three strikes against him and had struck out with me as a fan. Well, I broke the promise to myself with the publication of ECHO BURNING, and I'm glad I did. This novel turned out to be a winner in every sense of the word and represents the sheer craftsmanship that Lee Child is capable of bringing to his work. In his newest book, Jack Reacher once again returns and finds himself caught up in a game of lies, abuse and murder. While hitchhiking out of Lubbock, Texas in an attempt to escape the wrath of the law, he's picked up by Carmen Greer, a beautiful, married Latino woman who's driving a luxurious white Cadillac. Mrs. Greer is looking for someone to kill her abusive husband, Sloop, who's due to get out of prison, and she thinks that Reacher would be the perfect person to take care of her little problem. Since Reacher doesn't consider himself to be a cold-blooded killer, he politely refuses her kind offer. He does, however, agree to go back to the ranch where she and her daughter, Ellie, live with Sloop's family and to act as a protector for her. This leads to our hero finding himself in the middle of a really large domestic dispute. Except for Carmen and Ellie, nobody in the Greer family likes having his presence at the ranch, and they attempt to do everything within their power to force him to leave. When Sloop gets out of jail and returns home, only to be murdered on the night of his arrival, it looks as though Carmen decided to take matters into her own hands. No one believes that she's innocent, except for Jack Reacher. As he attempts to hire a lawyer to represent Carmen, while at the same time trying to find out who the real killer is, he becomes the focus point of a three-person "hit" team and must stay alive long enough to get to the truth. ECHO BURNING is a taut, suspenseful thriller that displays the brilliant writing that Lee Child is capable of penning. He captures the heat and isolation of the Texas landscape perfectly, while giving us characters filled with either an outright meanness or a hidden evil. Though Reacher is able to read people, judging how good or bad they might be, he may have just met his match with the Greer family. There are so many lies and half-truths being told by, and about, the family that our main character won't know whom to believe, and neither will the reader. Is everything that Carmen Greer told Reacher a lie so that her husband could be murdered, or is the Greer family really a nest of vipers, ready to kill to protect its own? In this novel, Mr. Child touches the inner core of what evil really is and how it hides behind the masks of ordinary people. Jack Reacher, however, shines at his best as he decides to take on a whole town, if necessary, to do what he feels is right, meeting violence with violence, and handing out death to those who want a piece of him. ECHO BURNING is one tough novel that gives us a deeper look at the character of Jack Reacher and the essence of humanity in him that reaches out to help those who are being preyed upon. This is definitely the kind of person you want covering your back when the bad guys are closing in. For those of you who loved THE KILLING FLOOR, Mr. Child has written another book that equals, if not surpasses, the quality of his first novel. It's one I'm proud to highly recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Echo The Dolphin, 17 Feb. 2014
I started reading this book with the expectation that I'd quit after five pages or so. I started it for the sake of it, just to be able to say I tried. Then I could delete it from my Kindle and move on. That was the plan. And yet I didn't quit reading. I was hooked.

Echo Burning is number 5 in the bestselling Jack Reacher series, but I didn't know this at the time, and it doesn't matter anyway. The book works as a standalone. You don't need to know the backstory to enjoy it. And the story is a simple one: a woman and her daughter need to escape her abusive husband, and Jack Reacher is the man she ensnares to help her. That's the plot, broken down to its most simplistic form, yet it's larger than that, with a few subplots, some hired assassins, a few twists, and some okay dialogue in places (some wooden dialogue in others)--but that's the gist of it; at least at the beginning of the book. MAN SAVES WOMAN. However, as the story progresses, it grows into something bigger and more convoluted.

And although the twists (and especially the BIG REVEAL) were predictable, and occasionally clichéd, and despite the story seeming B-movie-ish and cheesy in some places, and even with the annoying repetition throughout the novel of key phrases and sentences, including the ubiquitous HE SAID NOTHING/SHE SAID NOTHING, I still found myself hooked all the way through, constantly wanting to read on. I finished this book in two days.

It read like a not-quite-as-good Robert Crais novel. It's basically a back-up Crais. That's how I felt when I read it. It was good, but not amazing. I liked it, and yet parts of the writing annoyed me (mainly all the repetition and overuse of certain sentence and scene structures, which made the writing seem lazy and the editor seem like an idiot), but even still--it's made me want to go back to the first in the series and read my way through all of the books in order, which is what I plan to do.

So the next few books I read are probably going to be Lee Child novels--unless I end up hating him, or hating all of his other novels, which is a possibility.

We'll see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Reacher book so far, 6 Oct. 2014
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This has been the best of the first 5 Jack Reacher books that i have read. Overall their are very similar charactor dynamics to the previous entries, however in this book there is actually a plot that will keep you guessing what is going on until the reveal towards the end, and despite the ridiculous deductive leaps and very fortunate coincidences there is a bit more of an authentic feel to the action in this book.
I think it helps that the female charactors do not look for any opportunity to fall in bed with Jack Reacher this time, and that a fair amount of set up work takes place for other charactors. I finally got the feeling that Lee Child had a story idea in mind before hwe wrote this, rather than just a badass charactor that stuff needed to happen to.
I was giving this book a last chance to get me interested in the series, and in a happy surprise it has done that, so i will continue on to the next book with my hopes a little bit higher.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clint, Bruce and Mel are comparative sissies, 10 Aug. 2006
By 
Mr. Joe (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Echo Burning. (Paperback)
Each generation, I suppose, has its favorite fictional Tough Guys. For my parents, it may have been Bogart and The Duke. For me, they've been Clint, Bruce, and Mel on the Big Screen, and the literary British spy Quiller. However, in the past couple of years, Jack Reacher has arrived on the killing fields. And he's perhaps tougher, certainly smarter, than any who've gone before.

A former Army major assigned to the Military Police, Jack has been aimlessly roaming the United States through several novels, and attracting big trouble in each one. In ECHO BURNING, he's hitchhiked into sunburnt West Texas where he's given a ride by Carmen Greer, who's cruising the highways on the lookout for a Tough Guy. Carmen lives with her young daughter, Ellie, on an arid ranch with her hateful brother-in-law and mother-in-law while her husband, Sloop, serves time in a federal pen for tax evasion. According to the story Carmen spins, her spouse had been viciously beating her for years. Since Sloop is due to be released in forty-eight hours, Carmen expects the beatings to begin anew, especially since she was the one that ratted on Sloop to the IRS. Will Reacher kill him for her? No? Well, will he at least teach her how to shoot the dainty pistol she's purchased? (In the meantime, what's with that team of three professional assassins circling the ranch unbeknownst to all? Jack may discover his hands full.)

All those other Tough Guys I mentioned are smart, but not so much that they don't sporadically get beaten up and kicked silly by the Bad Guys. But not Reacher - nobody gets the drop on him. When the reader sees a violent confrontation looming, he almost feels sorry for the villains for the World of Hurt in which they'll soon find themselves. By his own admission, Jack's a hard man who likes cockroaches better than the men (and women) he's sometimes forced to exterminate.

Reacher is endlessly fascinating. Having gone from one Army post to another, first as an Army brat and then on his own as an MP officer, he's never known a permanent home. So, now he chooses to live as a near-vagrant, shunning commitment to material things and the occasional interesting woman. He travels only with testosterone and a toothbrush, buying cheap clothes to wear and discard as he goes. He's educated, intelligent and gentlemanly, but excruciatingly asocial (as opposed to antisocial, which he's not) and heroically ignorant about how a "normal" life - wife, house, mortgage, kids, dog, 9 to 5, and Lexus - is lived. This is a man whom all you single ladies out there would love the chance to improve. (Don't cave, Jack! Be a role model for the rest of us New Age men pining to be free!)

Hey, all you other Tough Guys of lore and legend, move aside and make room for a Real Man.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clint, Bruce, and Mel are comparative sissies, 8 Dec. 2002
By 
Mr. Joe (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Each generation, I suppose, has its favorite fictional Tough Guys. For my parents, it may have been Bogart and The Duke. For me, they've been Clint, Bruce, and Mel on the Big Screen, and the literary British spy Quiller. However, in the past couple of years, Jack Reacher has arrived on the killing fields. And he's perhaps tougher, certainly smarter, than any who've gone before.
A former Army major assigned to the Military Police, Jack has been aimlessly roaming the United States through several novels, and attracting big trouble in each one. In ECHO BURNING, he's hitchhiked into sunburnt West Texas where he's given a ride by Carmen Greer, who's cruising the highways on the lookout for a Tough Guy. Carmen lives with her young daughter, Ellie, on an arid ranch with her hateful brother-in-law and mother-in-law while her husband, Sloop, serves time in a federal pen for tax evasion. According to the story Carmen spins, her spouse had been viciously beating her for years. Since Sloop is due to be released in forty-eight hours, Carmen expects the beatings to begin anew, especially since she was the one that ratted on Sloop to the IRS. Will Reacher kill him for her? No? Well, will he at least teach her how to shoot the dainty pistol she's purchased? (In the meantime, what's with that team of three professional assassins circling the ranch unbeknownst to all? Jack may discover his hands full.)
All those other Tough Guys I mentioned are smart, but not so much that they don't sporadically get beaten up and kicked silly by the Bad Guys. But not Reacher - nobody gets the drop on him. When the reader sees a violent confrontation looming, he almost feels sorry for the villains for the World of Hurt in which they'll soon find themselves. By his own admission, Jack's a hard man who likes cockroaches better than the men (and women) he's sometimes forced to exterminate.
Reacher is endlessly fascinating. Having gone from one Army post to another, first as an Army brat and then on his own as an MP officer, he's never known a permanent home. So, now he chooses to live as a near-vagrant, shunning commitment to material things and the occasional interesting woman. He travels only with testosterone and a toothbrush, buying cheap clothes to wear and discard as he goes. He's educated, intelligent and gentlemanly, but excruciatingly asocial (as opposed to antisocial, which he's not) and heroically ignorant about how a "normal" life - wife, house, mortgage, kids, dog, 9 to 5, and Lexus - is lived. This is a man whom all you single ladies out there would love the chance to improve. (Don't cave, Jack! Be a role model for the rest of us New Age men pining to be free!)
Hey, all you other Tough Guys of lore and legend, move aside and make room for a Real Man.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much soup!, 1 Jun. 2014
‘Echo Burning’, the fifth book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, gave the impression of almost being two separate novels by two separate authors with differing writing styles.
Child’s previous books have established a tautness in the narrative and a fast-pacing through the use of short sentences – a ‘less is more’ approach that works for me.
The first half of this novel didn’t have any of that, classic Child only emerging during its conclusion. Instead of the curtailed conciseness of Child’s previous works, here we are treated to endless pages of description that puts the brakes on the tale. Yes, it can be said that, for me at least, the first half of the novel fairly plodded along, like the horse that Reacher is forced to ride for the first time in his life. Yes, the Child we expect was present through some action scenes, although extremely briefly and occasionally somewhat arbitrarily, almost as a reminder of the novel’s genre, yet lyrical prose dominated.
I found myself wondering if the author was doing this deliberately to condition the reader for the second half of the tale.
Usually thriller novels of this type have a three-part structure: there is the set-up (where the characters and their situation is introduced); the development (where the problems arise, are addressed, and new, bigger, greater problems presented); and the denouement (where everything is satisfactorily resolved in a climatic fashion). Again, habitually, these sections tend to take up 25%, 50% and 25% of the overall book length approximately. Except for this novel. The first 50-60% of the book was clearly set-up, spiced, as mentioned, with a few fleeting moments to wake up the reader, then the ‘old’ Child finally kicked in to deliver an exceptional tale where twist is piled upon twist in a rollercoaster of deceit and betrayal. It’s a complex tale, yes, but not one that justifies so much setup. There’s an old writing adage that states ‘never underestimate the intelligence of your reader’ and here, as the author repeats and repeats salient points during the prolonged setup phase, I think Child forgot this.
Unfortunately, you can’t just read the second half of the book if you are a Lee Child fan expecting the usual Jack Reacher.
The question is, was it worth struggling through the bland soup to get to the meat course? Overall I’d say yes; the tale itself, the storyline, is interesting and intriguing, and, as mentioned, the twists just keep coming (in the second half of the tale). However, a little less quantity in the first course would have been appreciated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great title, 9 Oct. 2013
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I was unable to guess the reason for the title of the book. Unlike the previous titles it is very obscure - almost meaningless. But that is part of the appeal of Child's novels. They are largely the same in terms of formula but always slightly different in some way which is why they are so clever and I keep reading them.
The meaning of the title becomes readily apparent fairly early on in the book and makes complete sense. I won't go into any detail as I don't want to introduce any spoilers.
Needless to say the plot is enjoyable and keeps the reader guessing.
One of the nice thing for me about the Reacher novels is they are written chronologically and form a chapter in the life of the central character. The current novel always refers back to characters or events which have occurred in the previous books (although Child clearly has to write them for new readers reading out of context so there is always some repetition but this is kept to a minimum). One side effect of this progression afforded to the regular reader is the ability of compare Reacher's character across different stories. In Echo Burning, some of his violent (but always justified) actions are executed more brutally than in, say the previous two novels. This may be because in Echo Burning is on his own again (without a female companion) and doesn't have a romance with the leading female characters.
In some ways Echo Burning reminded me of Killing Floor which I found refreshing - Reacher in a small dysfunctional county town.
As usual Child has produced another great thriller with some interesting themes. I couldn't put it down.
I've already started Reacher 6.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Romping but huh?, 29 April 2013
By 
Matthew H "Matthew H" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Echo Burning: (Jack Reacher 5) (Paperback)
Jack Reacher's world is populated by attractive women. No, let me clarify that - hot women; pure sex; women with soft, translucent skin and ripe... and so on. Reacher never meets ugly women. He walks into a lawyer's and the lawyer is sexy and sweaty; but in a good way, like she has to stand up and rub a cold can of Sprite all over her body. Anyway, this is Jack Reacher's world and it comes as no surprise when Jack meets another beauty, of Mexican stock, driving the highways of America, looking for a man who looks just like him. Why? Why would anybody do this? Well, her husband, nasty cruel wife beater that he is, is getting out of jail and she needs protection. Obviously, the most obvious course of action is to roam the highways of America looking for a man who looks just like Jack Reacher. Except, this isn't the reaction anybody would have. Nobody, in pending trouble, would do this. But SHE has to because she's mexican and everybody in Texas (the story takes place in Texas) hates Mexicans; even the law enforcers. So she resorts to this ridiculous plan. And, hey, after some discussion Reacher goes along with her. And this is my biggest problem- why does he go along with her? Why does he care? He doesn't even get to have sex with her; his usual reason for doing stuff; she offers but he declines. Even when he meets her family - a family whose sons could also call their sisters, mom - and agrees to work for them I couldn't get my head around why he was sticking around. He meets another woman, by the way; a lawyer, who is hot and sweaty in her badly air conditioned office, but attractive with it; surely he's staying around for her then? But no, she turns out to be a lesbian. SO, there is no reason for Jack Reacher to find himself in any of this situation and want to stick around.
Despite this, the book is an enjoyable romp: Hot women; crazy inbreds; corrupt lawyers; lesbian lawyers; Mexicans; shoot-outs; impending thunder storms; cheap motels; long roads; VW beetles - what more could you want?
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4.0 out of 5 stars What you see is what you get with Reacher, 31 July 2011
By 
Jonathan Clark "Great Black Hawk" (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Echo Burning: (Jack Reacher 5) (Paperback)
Admitting to reading/liking Lee Child (Jack Reacher) books is sometimes hard as Jack Reacher is the same in every book you read and you know that he's indestructable, will have some kind of ramoantic attachment with a Damsel in distress and use his unbelievable powers to be able to find a needle in a Haystack.
To those who are new to Reacher he is 6'5", 250 lb ex-military policeman who travels light and hitchhikes nearly all of the time staying in cheap hotels.
A classic itinerant.
Other ideosynchrochies are that he buys cheap clothes and throws them out instead of getting them (dry) cleaned.
I've never really sussed how he gets his money though!
So arguably he could be boring.
But somehow Lee Child keeps me engaged and I have now read over 50% of his output.
Echo Burning is an interesting book and you suspect what might be going on early on but it still keeps you interested and up late at night.
There are some flaws in the plot but again somehow this doesn't matter.
This is the 5th book in the Jack Reacher series and brings Reacher to the State of Texas.
After having some trouble with a local cop in a hick Town he hitches a ride with an attractive female called Carmen Greer.
She has Hispanic origins and is married to a husband called Sloop Greer who, she claims, violently abuses her.
She has a six year old daughter (Ellie) who she cares for enormously and wants to recruit Reacher to make Sloop disappear.
Sloop is in prison serving a sentence for tax offences and is due to be released and she is scared that the same pattern of abuse will happen when he (Sloop) geats back.
There is a parrallel story which includes a hit squad who take out one of Sloop's friends (Al) and you know that this will merge into what Reacher ultimatley gets involved in.
However they are a largely faceless team who whilst quite smart could have played a more overt role in this book.
In summary this is a highly engaging book with a few flaws but, for Reacher fans, will not dissappoint.
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Echo Burning: (Jack Reacher 5)
Echo Burning: (Jack Reacher 5) by Lee Child (Paperback - 6 Jan. 2011)
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