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Monday, March 25, 2019

2 more Jack Reacher Novels by Lee Child Die Trying and One Shot

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Two more Jack Reacher's by Lee Child as I work thru the stack I  scooped at the book sale last fall.  I am fascinated by these featuring that bad ass, Jack Reacher and cannot read them fast enough.  I read Die Trying December thru January, published in 1998, paperback edition has 422 pages.  In this Reacher, ex Army Major, MP is an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time as seems to happen to this character.   A mysterious  woman is kidnapped and the ransom amount is exorbitant. Reacher happened along and was  taken along for the ride.  Although she urges him to escape and leave her, and doesn't ask for his help,  Reacher will help her. 

 It begins, first paragraph, "Nathan Rubin died because he got brave.  Not the sustained kind of thing that wins you a medal in a war but the split second kind of blurting outrage that gets you killed on the street." and page 2, " Jack Reacher stayed alive because he got cautious.  He got cautious because he heard an echo from his past.  He had a lot of past and the echo was from the worst part of it. He had 13 years in the Army and the only time he was wonded it wasn't with a bullet"   page 3, "He was standing next to a woman.  He was holding her arm.  He had never seen her before.  .....They were in Chicago, Center of the city, a busy sidewalk., a Monday last day of June.  Broad daylight, bright summer sunshine.  ..."  Page 50, " He had no problem with how he had gotten grabbed up in the first place, just a freak of chance had put him alongside Holly Johnson at the exact time the snatch was going down.  He was comfortable with that.  He understood freak chances.  Life was built out of freak chances, however much people would like to pretend otherwise."  Their abduction  in the van will take thme across the midwest.  Holly will have military connections too.  As in all the Reacher novels, there is a lot to learn about topography and observation and usually  details about something I would never have known.  Pages 258-259  detail firing a sniper rifle, from the mechanical engineering of the rifle,optics and geophysics. The novel twists with  unsuspected characters, someone in the FBI is crooked, or is it higher in the military.   Another 5 *****.novel.  

The second is One Shot, the only Reacher novel to have been made into a movie, and now that I have read several of these and am familiar with the physical description of Jack Reacher, I cannot understand why Tom Cruise would have been cast as the character, he simply does not fit the description, too short, etc.  That is another  discussion.  I recall enjoying the movie but really did not remember much of it and read the book totally unaware of the outcome.  Copyright in 2005, but mass market published in 2012 by Dell, the paperback edition has 466 pages and a prologue into another Reacher novel.  It is set in the heartland too, Indiana,  page 1 begins, "Friday, Five o'clock in the afternoon.  Maybe the hardest time to move unobserved through a city.  Or maybe the easiest.  Because at five o'clock on a Friday nobody pays attention to anything except the road ahead."   In this novel Reacher's military background  proves  that all is not as it seems, the shooter is not the one who confesses to the massacre, Jack knows but no one else does.  Reacher is drawn back into the  back story of James Barr. a former Army sniper who got away with murder in the Army and yet asks for Reacher.  More characters of intrigue, the cop, detective, DA, Helen Rodin who is the defense attorney and also the DA's daughter,  and a reporter, Ann Yanni,  who will become  Reacher's alibi.   Of interest in this book was the information about boat shoes on page 288, .."boat shoes had been invented by a yachtsman looking for better grip on slippery decks.  The guy had taken a regular smooth soled  athletic shoe and cut tiney stripes into the rubber with a straight razor.  He had experimented and ended up with the cuts lateral and weavy and close together.  The had done the trick, like a miniature tire tread.  A whole new industry had grown up."   Reacher will also have a brief reunification with a former Army fling, Eileen Hutton sent up  from the Pentagon to cover the story  about Barr.  Another 5 *****

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