It’s rather hard to believe that this is the 19th book in the Jack Reacher series, which doesn’t even count the Kindle shorts (short stories) that Child’s put out. And somehow, this series doesn’t grow stale, doesn’t get tiresome, and the predictability is always enjoyable.
The book opens with Reacher wandering, toothbrush in pocket, riding a bus. He finds an issue of the Army Times, and takes a look at the personals. He’s a bit surprised to find an ad with his name, but since he realizes it’s from a General that he owes a favor to, he follows it up and finds himself flying on a private jet to the Pentagon.
One of America’s best military snipers had killed a man, and Reacher was the military cop who proved it. John Kott served 15 years in prison, and a year after his release was suspected of attempting to assassinate the President of France. Since Reacher caught him before, he’s asked to try again. Except they are not 100% sure it’s Kott – it could also be a Russian or British sniper.
Reacher is off to Paris and London, with the usual double crosses, near misses, and plenty of action. He is teamed up with a young, inexperienced woman, who brings back memories of another young woman that was killed. Reacher still feels guilt about her death, so he’s extra cautious with his new partner, who appears to deal with stress via pharmaceuticals.
I loved the bad guy, Little Joey, who towers over Reacher and lives in a giant’s house. Child created some really vivid scenes between these two; what he didn’t create was any Reacher romance. Maybe next time.
It would be simple to say that this is just another chapter in the Reacher series. Personal is exciting as expected, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, but that is no easy feat to pull off. If you read any series, you know how difficult it is to create nineteen books that are really all terrific.
If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll love it. If you haven’t read any, this is a fine place to start.
9/14 Stacy Alesi
PERSONAL by Lee Child. Delacorte Press (September 2, 2014). ISBN 978-0804178747. 368p.