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Taking on the FBI and a serial killer with only a toothbrush,
This review is from: The Visitor (Jack Reacher) (Hardcover)
As I've indicated in my previous reviews of Lee Child's novels, his hero-with-an-attitude, Jack Reacher, former Army Military Police major turned vagabond-who-attracts-trouble, is one of my favorite squinty-eyed tough guys - right up there with Dirty Harry himself.
In THE VISITOR, Jack finds himself being coerced by a very nasty and un-American FBI to help the agency track down a serial assassin of ex-Army women, who, while in service, had been the objects of sexual harassment and had subsequently complained. Each of those murdered has been found in her bathtub submerged in camouflage-green paint, with no evidence of a struggle or apparent cause of death. Initially, he FBI tries to enlist Reacher's co-operation by pretending he's the chief suspect. When that ruse falls flat, they indirectly threaten to have his current girlfriend tortured and murdered by a local sadist. I mean, is this the FBI of Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. that those of us old enough to remember all know and love? (The "FBI" was a TV series in the late 60's/early 70's, in which the House That Hoover Built was depicted as the righteous, square-jawed defender of God-blessed America from sea to shining sea.)
Inasmuch as Child has Jack pursuing a serial killer, this latest potboiler swerves close to becoming a conventional who-dunit. However, the usual excellence of a Reacher thriller is achieved by Jack's ability to stare down and outwit the Feds, carry on relationships (of a sort) with three very different women, and nail the Bad Guy besides. With a Man's Man like this, who needs Harry? The latter is definitely passé and out to pasture in Carmel.
The absolutely very best thing about THE VISITOR is the plot twist identity of the Perp. Even Reacher himself is fooled for a brief moment. ("Say it ain't so, Joe!") Because of this, I must say that this is Child's finest effort to date. Bring on the next one 'cuz I'm ready to buy!