Whenever Jack Reacher takes the stage, Lee Child’s stories take flight. Jack Reacher is Child’s very colourful character that engages readers thoroughly if they like this genre of books: suspense, action and sleuthing. Child (and his character, Reacher) deliver action and excitement in spades.

The story can bog down when it delves into technology, ‘computerese’ and digital descriptions but as soon as Child returns Reacher to the stage, the action resumes.

As always, Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. One morning he ends up in a town near Pleasantville, Tennessee.

But there’s nothing pleasant about the place.

In broad daylight, Reacher spots a hapless soul walking into an ambush. “It was four against one” . . . so Reacher intervenes, with his own trademark brand of conflict resolution.

The man he saves is Rusty Rutherford, an unassuming IT manager, recently fired after a cyber attack locked up the town’s data, records, information . . . and secrets. Rutherford wants to stay put, look innocent, and clear his name.

Reacher is intrigued. There’s more to the story. The bad guys who jumped Rutherford are part of something serious and deadly, involving a conspiracy, a cover-up, and murder—all centred on a mousy little guy in a coffee-stained shirt who has no idea what he’s up against.

Rule one: if you don’t know the trouble you’re in, keep Reacher by your side.

Richard comments
Lee Child has co-authored this book with his brother, Andrew Child, a successful writer of nine thriller novels on his own. I do not really know how the collaboration has helped this book but the collaboration still delivers a very readable and engaging one.

Whenever Reacher is actively on the stage, the book takes off. It becomes more energetic, more exciting and more entertaining. In other areas, where a description is needed to develop or clarify the story, the book bogs down. However, these areas are needed to explain what is happening in the story.

A Jack Reacher story written by Lee Child never disappoints. This book holds true to that.

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