I bought Lee Child’s “One Shot” purely by chance. We were about to leave for our month long vacation to Laos and I wanted to buy a few fiction books to read. Well, “One Shot” was all that I needed to get hooked onto Jack Reacher.
I wonder how I missed the entire series till now. The first book, “Killing Floor” was written in 1997. We were in our own financial mine field then, so I am not surprised that I missed it, but there has been a book every year since and I still didnt find them. Anyway, the good part is, atleast now I bought “One Shot”. As expected, Jack Reacher has had the desired impact. The guy is the modern version of Sherlock Holmes – cerebral, not all brawn. I may not be comfortable with the new girl in every book but I guess I don’t care too much about that anyway. What gets to me is the fact that he is able to live “on-the-go” all the time. It appeals to me because Krishnan and I like to live “on-the-go”. We don’t want the trouble that he gets into because we don’t have the skills to deal with that. 🙂
I got Krishnan hooked onto Jack Reacher too… and we have wolfed down 6 books so far. We should be buying a couple more and then I guess we would be satiated.
Here’s a quick review of the books we have read –
- One Shot – Fascinating to unravel the mystery shooting of 5 people, apparently random in the beginning using just the knowledge of how a sniper would generally shoot his target. The lengths to which criminals can go to hide their crime is again very interestingly written. The last stakeout is a little unreal, movie-like where all those who die are the bad guys and the two girls – a TV broadcaster and a lawyer somehow transform into marines. But discount that and the story is gripping. 5 stars, all the way.
- Killing Floor – This is the first book in the series. Again, impossible to figure out the plot of why Jack’s brother is killed and the whole operation of printing counterfeit notes is just brilliant. We end up getting a lot of information about counterfeiting and thats the good thing I realised about these Jack Reacher novels – there is always something described in detail so you are learning something new and not just reading an interesting novel. I didnt like the sudden cooling off of the relationship between Jack and Roscoe but I guess the romantic angle is just thrown in to make it like a movie. Probably 4 stars..
- The Enemy – I read the reviews for this book and bought it. Very happy that the reviews were spot on. Its another page turner. This one is set in the time when Jack Reacher is still in the US army. In this book you learn about how the US army is very uncomfortable with gay relationships and gays are shunned. The crime seems unsolvable and even Jack Reacher seems to be looking at the wrong guys till the penny drops in his head. The reader is just not able to deduce the plot though. This one deserves 5 stars.
- The Hard Way – This was the first book where I figured out the plot midway. Its about an ex-army guy who is command crazy and a nasty guy. A kidnapping is faked and somehow Jack Reacher is in the middle of the second kidnapping that is not faked. The twists and turns are still tight and interesting, but the minute I figured out the plot, the book wasn’t as gripping as the others. Probably 2 stars for this one.
- Gone Tomorrow – This one is up to being rated 4 stars. Very interesting plot and you learn all about suicide bombers and how to spot one. I just didnt enjoy the last blood bath – figuring out where the bad girls were holed up was fascinating, getting the arms from the ex-marine-now-aide to the senator was well laid out, but the gory scene at the end was just gory. Ofcourse it was also odd to see Jack Reacher struggling a bit in a physical fight.
- Without Fail – This one brings back the old Jack Reacher who deserves 5 stars. While there is blood and gore, you learn about how the secret service protects a VP-elect. Fascinating to read about the detailed plans and the amount of detail they look into. Its stressful just reading about it, can’t imagine how stressful it must be to do the job. The deduction about the first “threat note” being received by the VP-elect was classic, didnt see that coming. You learn all about a couple of guns, which for us is irrelevant. Just interesting to see how much countries invest in developing firearms :(.
Well, I also learnt that “One Shot” has been made into a movie in 2012 starring Tom Cruise !!!! Whatttt?? Well, Jack Reacher is 6’5″ and Tom Cruise is probably 15 inches shorter…. besides there are so many other folk who will fit the role better – Jason Statham (Ofcourse!), Russel Crowe, Gerard Butler, and probably Liam Neeson. Liam Neeson may be closest to Jack Reacher in terms of height, but is much older. Anyway, Tom Cruise has got the part and thats that.
For fiction lovers, the Jack Reacher series is a good one to get hooked to. So go on, buy one today and start reading… Just a word of caution, don’t start any of these books on a Monday morning if you are working. You will ruin Monday and Tuesday because the book HAS to be read. :):)