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Silly and overlong, but oddly enjoyable
on 7 September 2016
This was the second Jack Reacher book I've read, and in my usual "do it the wrong way" style the first one I read was the most recent book, "Make Me", and the second was this, the first in the series. I thought "Make Me" was enjoyable but descended into farce towards the end, and I'd heard that the earlier books were better, so I decided to go back to the beginning.
The books starts well. Reacher arrives in a small town in the middle of nowhere after walking in the rain for several hours and is eating breakfast in a diner. The police enter and he is arrested for a crime he didn't commit. Hauled off to the local police station he is thrown into a cell and the accusations begin to pile up against him. Eventually he is taken to the local prison for the weekend, but there appears to be a mix-up and he is placed in the lifers' wing, and from then on things really start to look bleak.
It's a page turner, but personally I thought it was way, way too long, probably by 200 pages or so, and the whole book is utterly unbelievable but remains strangely enjoyable. Having read two Reacher books now my suspicion is that they all follow the same template, as both of the ones I've read have had very similar story arcs, but I've got a few in my pile still to be read so I'll reserve judgement until I've worked my way through those.