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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I do love a Jack Reacher/Lee Child book
I do love a Jack Reacher/Lee Child book. This one is as good an offering as usual. It has a big plot, a great change of scenery (Paris/Essex) and some humorous moments as Child writes offering a foreign perspective on his own homeland through Reacher's American eyes. This leads to some good observational stuff though the line 'what the locals call' does get repeated a...
Published 8 months ago by Miss C M V Thomas

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208 of 217 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well below the standard of the early Jack Reacher books!
I always used to look forward to the next Jack Reacher adventure but the last few books have been a poor imitation of the early stories.

The latest in the series, "Personal", starts off OK but soon loses it's way and lost my interest as well. Sad to say, it became very boring and I couldn't wait to finish it.

For the last few years, I have been...
Published 8 months ago by Jimmy C


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208 of 217 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well below the standard of the early Jack Reacher books!, 20 Sept. 2014
By 
Jimmy C (Fareham Hants) - See all my reviews
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I always used to look forward to the next Jack Reacher adventure but the last few books have been a poor imitation of the early stories.

The latest in the series, "Personal", starts off OK but soon loses it's way and lost my interest as well. Sad to say, it became very boring and I couldn't wait to finish it.

For the last few years, I have been reading the Gabriel Alon spy/assassin series of books by Daniel Silva which I find far more exciting, realistic and a damn good read.

Quite honestly, I lost respect for Lee Child when he approved the casting of Tom Cruise in the film "Jack Reacher" (who is also due to star in the sequel "Never Go Back"). Wouldn't Jason Statham have "measured up" to the role far better than the diminutive Mr.Cruise?

Sadly, it now seems that Mr.Child is writing to order for his publishers rather than his fans and is bereft of new ideas.

P.S. If you haven't already tried it, read "I Am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes, without doubt, one of the best books of the past 5 years.
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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please bring back the original Jack Reacher!, 7 Sept. 2014
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Very disappointing! I feel sad that the great Jack Reacher character has gone from being an interesting laconic lone drifter, to an International CRUISE missile.The storyline was very poor and seemed contrived to attract Hollywood interest.
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It sells Jack reacher short, 6 Sept. 2014
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I had waited a few months for this having pre ordered it back in April. I am sad to say that it wasn't really worth the wait. I read my first Jack Reacher book about 12 months ago and then felt compelled to read the the other 17. I would have give 5 starts to all of the preceding 18 books in this series and I really can't put my finger on what this one is lacking. Don't get me wrong, this is my rating based on my having read the earlier books in the Reacher series and it may well work as a stand alone read for you. There is just something with this book doesn't work. Maybe it is down to the fact that this story is based more in the UK and not in Reachers home country (America) where he drifts from state to state. As a UK reader I enjoy the journeys as Reacher is very good at describing rural and urban America. Romford just doesn't conjure up the same mystique. Perhaps the fact that Reacher was created by an English Author and our hero is an American unfamiliar with England compels the author to over egg it.

The story moves from the US to Paris to London and starts with the possibility of three potential assassins working together, or alone to assisinate one or more of the worlds leaders at a conference in the UK. A couple of the characters just seemed to be there to pad out a thin plot as we soon find out that two of them are dead so we are back at square one with our main suspect. Reacher has a Russian and a UK counterpart who drop in and out of the story in fact the most intriguing one drops out very early on. So we then find ourselves in England but to be host it could have been anywhere.

Now in England our leading villain is a caricature of a London gangster. Apparently a huge man who is an enforcer for two stereotypical Ronnie and Reggie type characters. Our giant heads up a crew called the 'Romford Boys'. I am sorry to say they may as well have been called the 'Bash Street Kids'. The not so gentle giant lives in an over scaled house and Reachers description of the interior was overworked to the point of being annoying. When Reacher describes this man I couldn't get the image of a cross between the BFG and Shrek out of my head. Believe me Reacher is my hero but this was a fusion of Jack and the Beanstalk and the Borrowers. I can see how this would work for non UK readers who themselves are not familiar with the territory or the 60's / 70'stype London gangsters. All we seem to be missing is a pearly king and queen and The Sweeney for a full set (Sweeney = Cockney rhyming slang used for the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad and a very popular Television series in the UK for the benefit of non UK readers. Jack Reacher meets Jack Reagan. That would have been more credible) Well the Sweeney are not around any more so lets throw some Eastern Block gangsters in to the mix. That just seemed to predictable. I am sort of flapping around here to try and get a grip of why this doesn't work and I think there is just too much going on, too many characters who don't justify their presence.

Reachers companion is a vulnerable, pill popping US government employee who frankly, didn't evoke any sympathy or empathy. Reacher normally has a strong female character in his stories and the sexual tension and banter between them is all part of the enjoyment. With this one you wanted her to get over herself and the old Reacher would have told her so. She is weak and could have been anyone. Her addiction to pills seems to have been thrown in to make her more interesting but she may as well not have been there. She doesn't bottle it at the end and proves her worth by saving Jacks life. Well we never saw that one coming, honestly.

This could have been a short story and to be honest it should have been because I wouldn't have read it. Every other book I have read by Lee Child has been bought for around the £3.50 mark. Maybe that's it. I paid £8 + for this and it was only worth £3.50 That said even then I would have felt short changed having waited so long for it.

Please do not let this review put you off any of the other 18 in the series. They are great. I just feel sorry for Jack Reacher as he has been sold short. Lee Child must up his game for the next one as I fear that Jack Reacher will be like the comic act that does one season too many and is playing to empty seats.
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ghost written?, 3 Sept. 2014
By 
MARTIN CLAYTON "cruedo" (Summer Wine Country, West Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I've read all the Reacher books and, as usual, looked forward to this but it was poor. I skimmed a lot of it as it was boring and implausible. What was all the rubbish on the bowling green? If someone told me Lee Child didn't write this, I'd believe them. Poor
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed. I have read all previous books and devoured ..., 21 Jan. 2015
Very disappointed. I have read all previous books and devoured them for the fun non-stop action thriller they are. A long time ago I concocted that Jack Reacher was based on Clint Eastwood, being a cross between Dirty Harry and High Plains Drifter. He is tall, doesn't say much and gets results. Two things have spoilt this, Tom Cruise being farcically miscast in the movie and now this book which I cannot believe got past the publisher...who should have asked Lee Childs where the plot had gone? I got 1/3 of the way in, realised it wasn't going to get better but plodded on in the hope that it might bounce back into life...it didn't. If you want great plots read James Lee Burke...Lee Childs seems to have cashed in.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I do love a Jack Reacher/Lee Child book, 4 Sept. 2014
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I do love a Jack Reacher/Lee Child book. This one is as good an offering as usual. It has a big plot, a great change of scenery (Paris/Essex) and some humorous moments as Child writes offering a foreign perspective on his own homeland through Reacher's American eyes. This leads to some good observational stuff though the line 'what the locals call' does get repeated a bit. Dialogue is a bit sparsely signed, I had to re read to figure out who was saying certain things since some of the characters seem to have started talking very much like Reacher. If you haven't read this series before you could start with any one of the 19 books but the earlier ones have the best magic. Reacher had more passion then and seemed to want to save the world. In this outing he seems to put in a performance merely because he has nothing better to do. I think as a character he is best when he feels some real moral outrage. But nonetheless this is still better than just about everything else that hits the thriller shelves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost giving up with Reacher now!, 16 Oct. 2014
By 
J. France - See all my reviews
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I used to be a huge Lee Child fan and counted this series as one of my favourite. But the last few books have fallen way below the standard of the first ones. This is the 19th book in the series and looking back I think the first 10 were amazing, but from the 11th onwards they have been very hit and miss. I no longer waste my money buying them, but I do lend them from the public library each September hoping Child will get back some of the storytelling quality that he used to have. Unfortunately Personal is probably the worst one yet. It is so boring at times that I found myself skimming the pages to where something, anything of any interest happened! Please Mr Child either give it up now or find some inspiration from somewhere to revitalize the Reacher books as it would be a pity for such a great character to just fade into oblivion.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time For A Rest, 5 Sept. 2014
By 
J. E. Parry "Jeff Parry" (Pontypool, Wales) - See all my reviews
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I am a big Reacher fan. I have read every book and they have been one of the most look forward to events of the year. Unfortunaterly something has broken. In reality I think they have been hit and miss since 61 Hours. However even an average Reacher has been entertaining, just not at the same level.

Personal has ended that run.

I have found this hard to maintain interest in. The story should have been more gripping than it was. The pace has been much slower than usual and with little of the action and adventure you normally expect. This will sound like heresy to many of the other Reacher Creatures but maybe it's time for a rest. Time for Lee Child to try something else and regain his vision and re-hone his skills.

Another problem is that he has become so successful that there are now imitators aplenty. Therefore Reacher has begun to lose his unique selling point.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never Say Never, 31 Oct. 2014
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
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Avoiding a Jack Reacher book has been my forte over the years. I thought it might be too formulaic, like other series I have read that turned out to be the same but with different names/places, not the kind of mystery that interests me. However, I never say never, when the nineteenth Reacher book was offered to me, I thought I have nothing to lose.

From the first page to the last I became engrossed in the storyline. Jack Reacher as everyone knows who follows the series, is a loner, one man against the world. Reacher travels by bus, from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon and finally to Seattle. We don't know what his business was in the first two cities, but in Seattle, he found a military newspaper, 'Army Times', with a message for him in the personal columns. Since Reacher doesn't have a cell phone, he finds a pay phone and off we go on an adventure.

The President of France was targeted to be killed, but the bullet did not go through the protective window. The man who contacted Reacher wants him to find the sniper before more are killed. The sniper it turns out was a man Reacher put behind bars. Now, Reacher teams up with a new agent, Casey Nice, to track down this sniper. From the US to Paris to London, they look for the man and his accomplices. To say that there are turns and twists, states the obvious, but the ending is very fitting.

Lee Child, the author, has a great way with his writing. He is able to entice us into the life of the loner, ex-military Jack Reacher. This is a man that has the characteristics we would all like to have in our lives. Intelligent, savvy, no man's fool, charisma, the kind of person that is attractive to all. I have no idea how the author has been able to maintain the credibility of this man through nineteen novels. 'Personal' seems to be the kind of novel that anyone could read without having any idea of the past eighteen novels, as I did. Being able to achieve this capability gives the author, Lee Child, a strength that we don't find in many authors. I just may read another one of the Reacher novels.

Recommended. prisrob 10-31-14
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't express enough how disappointed I was with this book, 2 Oct. 2014
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Can't express enough how disappointed I was with this book .... an avid Jack Reacher fan and have read all the books .... this is by far the worst .... it was nothing but a run of the mill detective thriller and even failed to thrill at that level....it's almost as though Lee Child has retired on the proceeds of the film and got someone else to write this book for him .....I was disappointed with the film as well - Tom Cruise at 4 foot nothing and clean cut is nothing like the 6 foot 8 inch hard nosed drifter character .... it was clearly aimed more towards making money than for bringing to life this epic character - but at least other than the casting the film was entertaining - sadly I cannot say the same about the book. Worst book I have read in a long time.
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