Night School: (Jack Reacher 21) Paperback – 6 Apr 2017
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"Ever more gripping...Night School is the closest that Reacher has come to being a secret agent, making this expertly paced thriller and addictive combination of spy yarn, detective story and beat-'em-up fightfest." (Sunday Times)
"I know I say this every year...But. Best. Reacher. Ever." (Karin Slaughter)
"Reacher... wins all fights, charms all women and outsmarts all rivals, friend or foe.What makes Night School the best of the Reacher novels I've read is that Child has concocted a brilliant plot...battling to save America, or maybe the entire civilised world, from a terrorist plot that is original, engrossing and all too believable...one of the best thrillers you'll read this year." (Washington Post)
"Dripping with irony and oozing dread...utterly gripping...Acute observation reveals "every detail of the glowing scene". Many so-called literary novels lack such skill." (Mark Sanderson Evening Standard)
"This latest instalment has all the classic ingredients: a great setting, a good villain, and a mystery that draws you in efficiently, escalates unpredictably, and has a satisfying resolution." (John Lanchester New Yorker)
About the Author
Lee Child is one of the world’s leading thriller writers. He was born in Coventry, raised in Birmingham, and now lives in New York. It is said one of his novels featuring his hero Jack Reacher is sold somewhere in the world every nine seconds. His books consistently achieve the number-one slot on bestseller lists around the world and have sold over one hundred million copies. Two blockbusting Jack Reacher movies have been made so far. He is the recipient of many awards, most recently the CWA’s Diamond Dagger for a writer of an outstanding body of crime fiction, the International Thriller Writers’ ThrillerMaster, and the Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.
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1. A European city for location (not the back of beyond in USA), and involvement in a global incident
2. Sex scenes. Not Lee's writing strength at all in my opinion, but a requisite element of most Hollywood films these days. And gives an good director a chance to show off his artistic skills. In earlier books, I don't recall him always bedding a woman. In the later books, it has become a certainty, like James Bond.
3. Uneccesary bestiality scene. I'm no prude, but it seemed to be there to add some Hollywood shock factor, rather than be an integral part of the story.
4. A large group of key players, giving the chance to assemble a stellar cast.
5. Reacher as self-imposed judge, jury, and executioner. Yes, Reacher kills, but this time his murders seem almost gratuitous, and somewhat out of character. Far better when he badly hurts the transgressors. In this book, I felt he was little better than the "baddies" from a moral standpoint.
I'm not sure how I felt about him working as part of a team that he wasn't in charge of. In some ways it highlights his maverick nature, which I like, but I suspect it was necessary to create a situation where he could be involved in such a potentially global incident.
For a book hoping to be turned into a film, there was surprisingly little "action" for Reacher. I'm sure this was a disappointment for many readers.
I didn't find the plot as boring as some reviewers, nor as riveting as others.
Overall, I would put this on a par with other thriller novels I have read, whereas the best Reacher novels stand head and shoulders above the rest, with a twist or development to every chapter end that makes you want to move on to the next. This wasn't the case for me with this book.
One final point. I know Lee Child has defended the choice of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, and has even gone so far as to say that it isn't easy to find an actor that fits his stature. One thing's for sure. Tom Cruise is the antithesis of Jack Reacher, whatever his acting abilities. I refuse to believe that there isn't a decent actor out there, who would be a better fit, physically.
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