When it was announced that Lee Child would be retiring and turning over his Jack Reacher series to his brother, Andrew, I had mixed feelings. I’ve read a few of Andrew Grant’s books (the actual family name of the brothers) and he writes a good thriller. I was happy that Lee didn’t kill off Reacher (which he has threatened to do in past interviews!) and that the series would continue. But just because brothers both write thrillers, doesn’t mean they write the same way. Grant has never had the success of his uber-successful brother, but frankly not many writers do. So here we are. The first Andrew Child (nee Grant) book, written with Lee Child, in theory. I am happy to say the Jack Reacher appears to be in good hands.
That said, I didn’t love this book. It is probably all in my head but it felt like someone was trying to copy Child’s distinctive writing style but maybe overdid it? The short, choppy sentences. The brawls. The clock in Reacher’s head. The hitchhiking. All were there, yet it didn’t quite meld together for me. The story was interesting, although a piece of it felt like it was thrown in at the last minute because of the publication timeline and current events.
I read it, although it took me a few days because I kept putting it down, and I don’t recall ever doing that with a Jack Reacher book. But I definitely can see the potential, and I think the books will get better as the new Child finds his own Reacher voice, as it were. If you are a fan of the series, you won’t be disappointed. If you are new to the series, try a few of the older books first.
10/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE SENTINEL by Lee Child & Andrew Child. Delacorte Press (October 27, 2020). ISBN 978-1984818461. 368p.