RICHARD reads reviews: MIDNIGHT LINE, Lee Child

One of our favourite authors with a hero who is the star of many of his novels, Jack Reacher.

Child writes well and his detective stories are action-packed thrillers which will have you turning pages late into the night.

Jack Reacher is a hulk of a man, a war vet who worked as an MP officer while in the service. Upon honourable discharge, he has become somewhat of a recluse, living off his pension, travelling the roads on wherever his whim or urges push him.

Midnight Line
by Lee Child

The synopsis
source: GOODREADS )
Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?

So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness.

The deeper Reacher digs, and the more he learns, the more dangerous the terrain becomes. Turns out the ring was just a small link in a far darker chain. Powerful forces are guarding a vast criminal enterprise. Some lines should never be crossed. But then, neither should Reacher.

Richard’s review
The story starts off slow but becomes very engaging very quickly. You will be turning pages more and more quickly with increasing desire to hear what happens next. For the first hundred pages or so, the story is captivating, Jack Reacher draws you in more and more to sit like a fly on his shoulder and watch the unfolding of events.

It is exciting; it is engaging; it is entertaining.

Then the book bogs down.

More characters are introduced. More geography is covered. Curiosity and suspense grow but the details drag the story downward. It becomes more and more difficult to concentrate and not wander away mentally.

Child’s story seems to be at its best when he describes action and clashes between Reacher and his foes. But as Child paints his canvas, developing his story, the book drags. It becomes awash with too much detail, fatiguing the mind, distracting the reader’s focus, upsetting one’s concentration.

The book is a good story. The reader undoubtedly empathizes with the victimized vet. But the story bogs down, never really recovering to its lofty beginning.

Only diehard Jack Reacher/Lee Child fans will enjoy reading The Midnight Line. In short, we found it disappointingly below the quality for which Child is renowned.

 

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