Reach for Reacher
The Jack Reacher novels that Lee Child generates have won just about all the awards the publishing industry, and his contemporaries, give for action/thriller/ mysteries. There are eight books in the series so far, and I believe all have reached some high level or other on the bestseller lists. Those of you who have read some of my previous materials know that I dont usually take the bestseller lists as a recommendation on good reading material, given some of the less-than honorable activities that the publishing industry uses to manipulate the lists. Since I discovered and liked Childs work well before his publicists started their work, however, I dont think Im departing from my standards with this review. I believe the awards and decorations are deserved. The Reacher series is quality entertainment, and I think you will enjoy any or all of the episodes.Reacher is primarily a very strong man, both physically and mentally. At the start of the recorded adventures, he is only 64 and 230 pounds (in The Enemy), but at one point, in Key West after a summer of digging swimming pools by hand all day in the hot sun, he somehow manages to grow to 65 and 250 pounds, all of it pure hard muscle. (This last is from Tripwire. I dont know how he managed to grow an inch taller in his 40s maybe its an artistic license thing.) Needless to say, Reacher doesnt usually need much help in applying a lot of heavy convincing to the numerous bad guys he manages to come up against in his travels.And travels he has. Reacher is an ex-military policeman, having attained the rank of Major in the Army MPs before getting sufficiently disgusted and burned out that he now lives basically as a homeless transient. But that time in the MPs is essential to establish Reachers credibility in the series, since his investigative techniques and criminology skills are paramount to the plots. The eighth book in the series, The Enemy, is a prequel to the rest of the series and places him in the military in 1980. If you like your action heroes sequentially developed, I think you could read this one first and understand Reacher a lot better than if you read the books in order of their release. If you do this one first, youll understand his family and professional background that allows him to function in the essentially loner vigilante business hes adopted. The one that hooked me, Killing Floor, was first published in 1997. To say it is intense is an understatement. The action is non-stop and relentless, and its easy to get caught up in the story to the point that the tension leaves you with sweaty palms. Ill give away nothing of the story, other than to say the many deaths are violent, Reacher is very physical and Child is very descriptive. My usual caution: In these days of CSI graphics on prime-time television, Im not sure kids havent already seen way more gore than anyone should in a lifetime. But I would still like them to be a little older before theyre asked to visualize some of the scenes Child introduces.I see by the flyleaf that Child is currently working on the ninth book in the series, One Shot, which is due out this summer. So I just called the library and put myself first on the hold list. How much do you want to bet its about a sniper? Cant wait.
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