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on 8 September 2012
As any die-hard Reacher fan, I was counting down the days till release. I devoured the book in one sitting, and then tried, as I normally do, to read it again, at leisure, to enjoy it. I couldn't do it. Couldn't bring myself to read this again. I have the greatest respect for Lee Child, but I am wondering if all the Tom Cruise hoopla around his movie was more of a distraction than Lee was letting on.

As I don't believe in spoiling the book for those who haven't read it, all I will say is that the storyline is unimaginative, underdeveloped, and downright boring. You can't keep Jack in a car for half the book. It won't work. Sorry Lee, but you've written so much better. After the utter disappointment A Wanted Man was, I went back and started reading the Reacher epic from the beginning. It is fantastic. My favorite so far has to be Tripwire. The character development, storyline, and suspense are all there. Although, Die Trying and Killing Floor were very enjoyable as well. I guess early Jack is best Jack. Like my other favorite, Jack, Mr. Daniels.

I know Lee Child is a fabulous writer. I'm thinking he was either distracted, or maybe had this book written already and needed to bring his publisher another book to sell. Anyway, I am still a huge Reacher fan and I appreciate the work Lee Child puts into his novels. Just not this one. Sorry Lee. Gotta tell it like it is.
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on 7 September 2012
I'll give it 3 stars as it still got read every waking non working moment until finished. Starts well, definately tails off and the ending is poor compared to One Shot, a similar exercise in cleaning up bad guys in their own fortress. Not the best ever, but compared with the back catalogue that's still a cracking good read compared to the tosh Patterson is churning out. We should be glad Lee hasn't copped out (not with books anyway - don't start me on Tom Cr**se). Positives - good female characters and after the cringeworthy revelations in "The Affair" about what Jack likes to get up to behind the bedroom door the girls had a lucky escape this time. Jack gets plenty of good coffee. Just enough about guns and ammo. Negatives - Someone walks away from a Bar fight ! And the whole reason for the bad guys doesn't really stand up as credible. So where does Lee take Jack next ? Abroad I hope. Well at least after he's been to Virginia. One of my Favourites is "The Hard Way" where Jack comes over to England, it's great to see him in the Village Pub with all those (cliche) gap-toothed Brits. At least the driving is described as much better ! So lets go to 1) Quebec - bikers, French separatists, incredibly rude people, coffee. 2) Germany - maybe in flashback MP mode, always makes for a good tale. 3) France - Reacher speaks the lingo, has blood links. Marseilles etc full of gangsters and plenty of reasons to get his top off, get in a boat etc. Open to further suggestions ? Lee may stick to middle america due to readership but I think a little foreign adventure would be educational all round. So if Jack can get his passport sorted we should be good to go !
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on 14 September 2012
Have read most of the Jack Reacher series and as always this one was very hard to put down, a real fast paced action book, which for a change didn't have the hero in vividly described action with the main female character. I enjoyed the book yet felt that as the story started to wind up it was almost as though the author had lost interest in it and just wanted to get it over with. Anyone reading this book as their first Jack Reacher book would find little to complain about but somehow or other it is a little "thin" by comparison with some of the other excellent books in the series.
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on 12 September 2012
Where was the normal Jack Reacher formula that we know and love? Where was the 5th scene headbutt of a boorish local type? Where were the crashing elbows? How can a book be page turning and boring at the same time? When you're turning the pages in the expectation of something that wasn't there... Only crashing disappointment. Cut the geeky numberness and smack some skulls, Reacher!
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on 8 September 2012
I honestly cannot believe I'm writing a poor review about a Jack Reacher novel but I'm sorry, this book was not good at all, in fact it was awful. I've been a fan of the Reacher series since the beginning and one of the main things I remember while reading them was I couldn't put them down, however, with this one I found myself constantly doing just that, it's simply uncomparable to the others.

I like the stories I read to be fast paced, interesting dialogue, likable characters and intriguing plot, which the past Reacher novels usually dished out in bucket loads. Sadly this book does not deliver any of these. It shouldn't take over 75% of a book to be read before anything of any consequence actually happens and even when it does it seems rushed and detached.

I'm a huge fan of Child's writing and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the Reacher books so I truly hope that the next one is back to what we know and love.
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on 9 September 2012
I love Reacher books & was looking forward to this latest offering.

Unfortunately the book just wasn't up to the usual high standards of a Reacher novel, I thought the storyline was dull, support characters flat & even the action was lacking. Overall this is the worst of the Reacher novels in my opinion & I hope Child is not sacrificing quality for his promise of 1book per year.

Either that or he's been too busy messing about with the Reacher film.

To summarise then this book is about as good as the decision to cast Tom Cruise as Reacher.
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Despite having such an great and iconic character, Lee Child has recently struggled to avoid repeating himself with his Reacher stories. But somehow he always delivers a satisfying and entertaining read. But this one is a brave and successful attempt to try something different.

A murder in the middle of no-where and the bad guys decide having an additional person in the car may help them get past police roadblocks. Luckily they spot a hitch-hiker, not quite so luckily it's Jack Reacher wanting to head out of Nebraska and towards Virginia. The first half of the book is either placed in the car as Reacher realises there is more to the occupants then he first assumed or back at the crime scene where various agencies arrive with differing levels of knowledge and agenda. Key is a female FBI agent, almost a female image of Reacher who is the lead investigator.

The second half of the book has our agent catching up with an abandoned Reacher and another shocking murder puts them firmly on the trail of the bad guys. As the reader we are treated to the usual short sentences, the menace of Reacher and the bleak American landscape. (And by the way, try reading with Springsteen's Nebraska or Darkness at the Edge of Town on in the background, they are almost soundtracks to Reacher's wandering). We also know there is a fair bit of mystery around the original murder and the background is gently released throughout the book, so as Reacher gets nearer to the bad guys, we get to finally understand the full picture.

With the exception of some strange blinking Morse code that felt like Lee Child was trying to be too clever, this whole books works very well and the car scenes are very taut and claustrophobic. A welcome addition to the series.
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on 8 September 2012
To buy this at full price NO NO NO. Lee Child and Jack are Worth Waiting For. But not this. No real story. To be honest the first 1/3 of the book was worthwhile then it became tiresome to read. But you soldier on because you expect something more and I'm still waiting. C'mon Lee lets have some real Reacher. Maybe you've sold out with Tom Cruise but hell we expect better!!!!! So glad I didn't pay top dollar. Sorry lee may have to revert to Vince Flynn and Mitch Rapp
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on 2 October 2012
Is it ok to actually be angry about a book? I am. I have listened to every Reacher story in audiobook format and I listened to this one too. I have really enjoyed all the previous ones. Yes some have been better than others but they have all been good so when this one turned out to be such an awful stinker I was angry.

I just can't understand how a writer can fall so far. I felt like I was listening to a parody. All the Jack idiosyncrasies seemed magnified to a silly degree. We know Jack has an strange talent with numbers but does he have to know the height, weight, distance and age of everything?

I found myself speaking back to the book and telling him to "get on with it" as he stated a detailed deduction and then stated it again, and then laboured it a bit and then a bit more until finally smashing the point home with a sledgehammer. I have to say too, that some of the theories were incredibly tenuous especially those to do with use of language.

Was it just me or did Jack get bigger in this book? Early on he is described several times and it seemed to me that he was painted even bigger than before. Now I know that Jack is a big guy but here he is likened to a gorilla at one point and other descriptions make him sound monstrous. Is he fighting against the view of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher? Who knows?

The story was all over the place and there were times that I almost didn't continue with the book but being and audio reader is a fairly passive role so I continued. Not good.

I love finding books whith a great recurring central character (Spenser, Elvis Cole etc) and Reacher was one of those. I enjoyed the excitement of an impending new book. I think that romance with Jack may be over. That book was just bad. If I had read it first I would not be reading anymore. I hope he can turn it around.
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on 3 October 2012
I have read every reacher novel. Yes they are formulaic but I like the security of there being a fight, a girl and jack being tough. But this is my least favourite of the series. It is very drawn out, little action until the end and I found the very long car sequence boring. I hope jack returns to form as evils such a great character but more action please
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