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The Enemy: (Jack Reacher 8) Paperback – 6 Jan 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 797 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857500112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857500113
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (797 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Lee Child is a quiet, undemonstrative man who is phlegmatic about his success in the thriller field. The Enemy will no doubt attract the usual enthusiastic acclaim, and it deserves to. One thing that is guaranteed to please Child is the open-mouthed astonishment of American readers who learn that this writer of the most idiomatic American thrillers (with brilliantly realised US locales) is actually English. But there's never a sense of striving for effects in such taut Child novels as Killing Floor and Die Trying. Child simply delivers the goods, US-style--and The Enemy is no exception.

Child's usual protagonist, the tough and resourceful Jack Reacher, is in North Carolina on New Year's Day, 1990. Elsewhere, world-shaking events are underway, such as the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. But Jack's job as a Military Police Duty Officer has him concerned with what initially seem to be less significant happenings: a soldier has been found dead in a sleazy motel and when Jack goes to the house of the soldier (a two-star general) to inform his wife, he finds her also dead. Needless to say, events in another part of the globe are having fatal repercussions in the US, and Reacher is soon up to his neck, with the body count rising.

As a glimpse into the early life of Jack Reacher (now securely one of the most admired heroes in contemporary thriller writing), this is meat and drink to the Child aficionado. Child foregrounds characterisation in his pacy narratives, and this eighth outing for Jack has all the adrenalin-producing qualities of its predecessors. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Complex, classy crime" (Mirror)

"One of the best writers in this genre ... And nobody does it better" (The Sunday Telegraph)

"The thing about Lee Child's books is that you can't put the damn things down... there's something about his writing that's addictive. The Enemy is no exception...Superb" (Independent on Sunday)

"Lee Child fans will love this prequel to the bestselling Jack Reacher novels. At last Child shares the events that shaped the maverick hero of his last six novels into an ass-kicking, irreverent good guy. If you're one of the few people who haven't sampled the sublime thrill of a Child novel, this blast from the past is the best place to start" (Scottish Daily Record)

"An unforgettable hero...may be the best Reacher book yet" (Newsweek)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In the taut, staccato style reminiscent of Raymond Chandler or John D. MacDonald, Lee Child presents his eighth Jack Reacher novel, a police procedural with a difference: Reacher is an MP, an army Major at Fort Bird, North Carolina, obedient to a different set of rules and objectives. Recently transferred from Panama to be MP Executive Officer, Reacher must immediately investigate the death of a two-star general who has died in a seedy, nearby motel, presumably with a prostitute. His briefcase, containing the agenda for a top-secret conference in California, has disappeared, and when Reacher and his aide, Lt. Summer, go to break the news to the general's wife, they find her dead, too, bludgeoned to death with a crowbar within hours of the general's death.
With almost military precision, dramatic complications unfold, and Reacher soon finds himself facing two new deaths, one of which is a gruesome butchering which takes place on the base. Ordered by superiors to cover up the murder by calling it a "training accident," Reacher and his aide investigate surreptitiously, soon discovering that his MP XO counterparts at twenty more bases throughout the world have also been newly appointed to their positions, all of them on or around December 29. Obvious questions arise about who is pulling the strings, who has the power to transfer so many MPs to new posts, and why someone would want to do so.
Child is a meticulous writer whose plot follows a strict chronological order and moves at a breath-taking pace, with one dramatic scene following hard on the heels of another. Reacher and his aide Summer are not fully developed characters, but they do not need to be as they struggle to learn who is controlling the grisly chess game which has resulted in four deaths.
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Format: Hardcover
This latest novel by Lee Child is sure to please long time fans of all-American hero Jack Reacher, as well as newcomers. The story grabs you from the first few pages and keeps it's grip right through to the end.
It's January 1st, 1990, just past midnight and Reacher receives a phone call concerning the death of a General in a rather seedy motel room. Although a heart attack is established as the cause of death, the forthcoming investigation uncovers a lot more, starting with the murder of the General's wife and a missing briefcase belonging to the General, the contents of which gives others reason to kill. The body count begins to mount and Reacher is warned by his new commanding officer to stop investigating. Although in this prequel, Jack Reacher is under the restraints of military protocol, Reacher fans will not be disappointed. Child finds a way to allow Reacher to be the "One man army" that fans have come to love. We see that, even wearing a soldier's uniform, doesn't stop Jack Reacher from seeking the truth, no matter where it leads, facing the inevitable charges of misconduct and insubordination. Even the threats to his own life don't deter him, but instead lead him deeper into the dark and secretive world of military politics and cover-ups. For true thriller fans, there are enough bone-chilling scenes and suspense to satisfy even the toughest critic. Through Lee Child's superb writing, we see that you what makes someone a true soldier, is not the uniform, but the man.
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Format: Paperback
Lee Child raids Reacher's back story and takes us back to the great man's last days in the military police, linking the story to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Reacher is bright enough to see what the "peace dividend" is likely to bring in terms of power struggles and military mis-management. This link to real events gives the story a strong foundation, though it is fun spotting the points where Child uses hindsight to make his predictions.

Child has clearly done his research well, for the novel brims with military jargon and procedure, all of which feels right and is delivered effortlessly, rather than dropped in as window dressing. The tale provides the usual generous helping of of murder and mayhem and is tricky enough to keep the reader interested right to the end. We even get to see Reacher make a mistake - proving that he's human after all.

I'm not sure if this is the only Reacher novel written in the first person but, if so, the change makes it a more personal and satisfying experience. Reacher feels right at home here and The Enemy is worthy of its place in the collection.
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Format: Hardcover
Last year's "Persuader" was one of the great thrillers of 2003, and implied good things about this series as a whole - chiefly that Child was hitting his stride and discovering new confidence in both his character and his writing - so made me very eager for this prequel. I was intrigued to find out what the young Reacher would be like and how he would have changed from his army days, and the promise on the bookjacket of a Reacher far different from the one we have come to know and love seemed to bode well. Except - and here's the thing - save the ease with which he is able to travel internationally, there is no difference; he is the exact same character - same mistrust of authority, same go-it-alone attitude, same guy just several years younger (not that you'd even notice that). Obviously there are limits to what we should anticipate -Reacher is Reacher, after all, and so expecting him to be too far removed from the character in the previous (later) books would be foolish - but while not quite expecting to pick up this novel and find Reacher working as a mime at Butlins I had hoped Child might at least offer some changes to his personality. Given how Child has hinted at the possibility of more prequels, I for one would have been interested to see some differences in the character here that would have been worked out in the prequels until he became the Reacher we meet at the start of "Killing Floor". Seeing as this is the same Reacher, the only difference between the prequels and the "current" novels would be the date and setting - Reacher himself, the towering, compelling focus of all the books, is unmoved and unchanged, and this seems to render the idea of more prequels pointless.Read more ›
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