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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
To be honest after reading some of the reviews here I was a bit wary of buying this in hardback. Fortunately I was pleasantly suprised. The last couple of Reacher's haven't exactly blown me away and I was quite unimpressed by "One Shot", but "The Hard Way" is a distinct improvement. The kidnap (or is it?) plot works well and kept me guessing to the end. Equally the body...
Published on 1 Aug 2006 by Peter Symonds

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same ole same ole from Child
Several years ago now, Lee Child (an English writer living in the US) developed Jack Reacher as the central character for his books. He's a former military policeman who 'went all Kung Fu' and decided to 'walk the Earth' after leaving the army (for want of a better description).

In the books, Child deposits Reacher in different situations across the US and it's...
Published on 31 Jan 2008 by Jamie Bowen


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it, 1 Aug 2006
To be honest after reading some of the reviews here I was a bit wary of buying this in hardback. Fortunately I was pleasantly suprised. The last couple of Reacher's haven't exactly blown me away and I was quite unimpressed by "One Shot", but "The Hard Way" is a distinct improvement. The kidnap (or is it?) plot works well and kept me guessing to the end. Equally the body count is pretty low, but as Reacher has probably killed a couple of hundred people in his past adventures (about the same number as Britain lost in the Falklands war!) it adds a bit of realism to the book.

I have to agree with certain other reviewers that "the Hard way" lacks the sense of danger thats been so strong in the early books. The best by far was "Killing floor" especially the scene where 4 masked killers dressed entirely in white disposable jumpsuits hunted Reacher through the driving rain. A bit more of this in this book would have been very welcome.

All in all this latest installment in Reacher's adventures is well worth reading- hopefully Lee Child can bring back some of the excitement of his first books for his next Reacher!
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the hardest way, 28 July 2006
By 
J. C. Duff "Peanuts" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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It is a testament to Lee Child's skill that despite this not being one of Reacher's best adventures, I still couldn't put the book down and finished it within 2 days.

The novel's opening gambit, a hook upon which the rest of the novel hangs is unfortunately quite flimsy. Not to give too much away, but in order to get the ball rolling Child has Reacher act in a way that will have regular readers scratching their heads; an action which is so out of character, the reader assumes it will be explained in some clever plot twist later on. But it isn't, and as such is an unusually weak opening.

Once over this little hiccup however, the novel trundles along nicely leading to a customarily understated finale. Other reviews have pointed to this being one of the more violent of Reacher's novels. I have to say I thought it was pretty tame compared to say, 'Persuader' or 'Without Fail', but no less powerful for that. Other reviews have also noted Child's now formulaic style as becoming stale. Again, I have to say this may have been true leading up to this novel, 'One Shot' for instance was disappointing in its format and predictable pace, but I found the Hard Way refreshingly different.

Indeed, Child shows a rare descriptive elegance, stepping outside his comfort zone of dusty rural Americana to deal with a shiny, frantic New York, satiric London and the comatose Norfolk countryside with consummate flair and no little amount of humour. Being a Brit who has mastered the American novel, it was a real pleasure to see him turn his eye to his native country, picking up subtle idiosyncrasies that are all the more amusing for knowing this is his real home-town.

Not his best, but still a great read from a very talented writer.

JD
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Reacher strikes again, 15 April 2007
Lee Child is by any standards an extremely accomplished novelist, and his 'Jack Reacher' books deliver consistent excitement and thrills. This book was perhaps a little more far-fetched than some of his other novels, but the plot has some interesting and unexpected twists, and some of the images he conjured up are with me still.

As always, Reacher solves the problems in his own inimitable fashion, and the book is an entertaining and enjoyable read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Character, A Good Read, 14 May 2006
By 
Peter Farmer (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Having followed Jack Reacher from the beginning, I was starting to worry that Lee Child was sticking a little too closely to formula. Don't get me wrong...I'm a big fan and I love the character, but the denouement of Persuader and the showdown in One Shot share a lot of similarities. While The Hard Way once again follows a similar pattern, the story had enough different angles to keep me entertained, and I couldn't put it down. Hopefully with the next book, however, we'll see Reacher thrown into a less familiar situation, forcing him to handle things a little differently.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same ole same ole from Child, 31 Jan 2008
Several years ago now, Lee Child (an English writer living in the US) developed Jack Reacher as the central character for his books. He's a former military policeman who 'went all Kung Fu' and decided to 'walk the Earth' after leaving the army (for want of a better description).

In the books, Child deposits Reacher in different situations across the US and it's up to Reacher to solve crime local to where he ends up. In this book, he comes across a husband whose wife has been kidnapped. Unfortunately for the guy, this isn't the first wife to whom this has happened, and as a result, Reacher decides to investigate the kidnapping (as much to satisfy his curiosity as to what is going on as anything else).

It wasn't a bad book, but I've read a number of his books now and they're starting to feel a little samey. If you want that, you will probably like this book. If you don't, you'd probably do better to look elsewhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars With a mirror on a stick, 12 Jan 2007
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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Jack Reacher is my very favorite fictional Tough Guy action figure. He could probably get Iraq squared-away single-handed. Unfortunately, his creator, Lee Child, seems to be giving him R&R for most of THE HARD WAY.

Ex-Army Military Police major Reacher, now demobbed from the service with the end of the Cold War and on the lam from a normal existence, is in New York City. Here, he becomes employed by the head of a mercenary-for-hire company, Edward Lane, to investigate the kidnapping of the latter's wife, Kate, and young daughter, Jade. Over the course of the first few chapters, $10.5 million are paid out in several installments, but with no return of the hostages. Kate and Jade are presumed dead, and Edward wants revenge. Jack's new instructions are to find the perp, at the conclusion of which Reacher will be paid $1 million. Complications arise when Jack discovers that Lane's previous wife, Anne, was also kidnapped and subsequently found dead. Anne's sister is convinced Edward was behind Anne's murder, as does ex-FBI agent Lauren Pauling, who's residual guilt from not having solved the first case compels her to team with Reacher on this one.

It isn't until page 342 of this 371-page book that Jack swings into action by breaking the gun arms of three bad guys with an iron fire poker. Up until then, Reacher is non-violently investigating, with a periodic time-out for sack time with the engaging Pauling. The book might as well be entitled JACK'S WORKING VACATION, and the role of Reacher himself could be filled by any world-weary police detective or private eye that's been featured in any other fictional series that you've ever read. Even Dirty Harry, knowing how to "make my day", shot an occasional scumbag at various times during a film to keep things interesting for the viewer over the long haul. It isn't until the last few pages that Reacher becomes satisfyingly lethal with the help of a mirror on a stick.

Mind you, THE HARD WAY isn't a bad book when considered in a vacuum. But, compared to the others in the series, it had me yawning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another gripping outing for Jack Reacher, 2 April 2007
By 
A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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Lee Child wheels out Jack Reacher for his tenth outing, and once again, he brings vengeance to the bad and justice to the good, and then rides off into the sunset for his next adventure (already out in hardback). This time, he is dealing with a seriously nasty leader of mercenaries who had his first wife assassinated, planned to inflict hideous mutilations on his [....] step-daughter, abandoned colleagues in African jails and has generally been a very bad boy. He has a team of lesser villains around him who do his bidding, and of course, into this world of corruption and violence walks Jack Reacher, slowly working his way through a convoluted plotline (and another romantic interlude along the way), and demonstrating his seemingly unlimited skills in wreaking mayhem and death (but only on those who deserve it).

Of course, this is what we buy Lee Child books for, and The Hard Way does not let us down. It is as good a "thriller" as all the previous volumes, and has a fine pace, that draws us along in 50 page chunks. It does not need too much concentration, and is a perfect book for travelling or holidays. Its not going to improve your mind, teach you anything new, or make you think too much, but heck this is entertainment from a professional writer who knows his trade as well as anybody and always delivers what is required. If you need a break from the more serious stuff, you won't really go wrong with a Jack Reacher novel.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars only just got 4 stars, 5 Aug 2006
By 
13 (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Lee Child has had a "mini-wobble" with this one.

Yes - its still excellently written. Yes - Reacher is still righting wrongs as only he can. Yes - you'll smile at Reacher's observations of the odd behaviour of brits.

BUT - the trouble for Lee Child is that he's set himself some very high standards and this is a tad below his best. He's still better than most which is why this gets 4 stars from me but I wouldn't pay up for it in hardback, put it that way...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thrill a Minute, 6 Mar 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
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Contrary to what many reader's believe Lee Child is British, but moved with his family from Cumbria to the United States to begin a new career as an American thriller writer. What probably fools a lot of people is that is rare for a British author to be able to write American thrillers with any kind of authenticity. He has won a number of awards with his books and he lives just outside New York City with his American wife Jane. The couple have a grown-up daughter, Ruth and when Lee is not writing he shares his time between music, reader and supporting the New York Yankees.

In my book, (no pun intended) Lee Child is probably the best thriller writer around at the moment. He has an aptitude for being able to draw the reader into the story so that they almost feel a part of the plot and his main character Jack Reacher has become almost like an old friend to the reader of Child's books. A hero with just the right amount of nastiness in him to make him a believable part of the world he lives in.

Jack Reacher was alone in New York City on a hot and sultry evening and that was exactly the way he liked it. Alone, that is, not the sultry nights. This time he is on the trail of a vicious kidnapper. He has just watched a man walk across to a parked car and drive it away. The car contained one million dollars in ransom money and the man who paid it is prepared to pay even more to get his family back . . .
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Jack Flagging, 17 Aug 2006
By 
Don Farquharson (Derby) - See all my reviews
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Sorry to say it, but coming so soon after the disappointment of The Enemy, which I thought got lost in its own wordiness, this time round our hero seems to be changing his spots.

Not only do we see the introduction of a close personal relationship but Jack shows he isn't one step ahead of us. Lee Child would do well to remember the creativity and twists of The Visitor, and the first half of Persuader when he starts on the next sequel, or perhaps change direction entirely and create a new character - Pauling would certainly extend his thought processes as I really felt he was writing this one by numbers.

Shame, because Jack is a great character, but bringing him to England was a complete farce.

Sorry Mr. Child, please try a bit harder next time or develop a new character for a while - after all thats what Michael Connolly has had to do as Harry runs out of steam a bit too often, so too does Robert Crais with Elvis so you would be in good company.

If you need any ideas let me know........
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The Hard Way: (Jack Reacher 10)
The Hard Way: (Jack Reacher 10) by Lee Child (Paperback - 6 Jan 2011)
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