Series: Jack Reacher #8
Published by Transworld Digital on May 11, 2004
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
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Also by this author: Persuader , One Shot, The Hard Way, Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher, #11), Nothing to Lose
Jack Reacher. Hero. Loner. Soldier. Soldier’s son. An elite military cop, he was one of the army’s brightest stars. But in every cop’s life there is a turning point. One case. One messy, tangled case that can shatter a career. Turn a lawman into a renegade. And make him question words like honor, valor, and duty. For Jack Reacher, this is that case.
New Year’s Day, 1990. The Berlin Wall is coming down. The world is changing. And in a North Carolina “hot-sheets” motel, a two-star general is found dead. His briefcase is missing. Nobody knows what was in it. Within minutes Jack Reacher has his orders: Control the situation. But this situation can’t be controlled. Within hours the general’s wife is murdered hundreds of miles away. Then the dominoes really start to fall.
Two Special Forces soldiers—the toughest of the tough—are taken down, one at a time. Top military commanders are moved from place to place in a bizarre game of chess. And somewhere inside the vast worldwide fortress that is the U.S. Army, Jack Reacher—an ordinarily untouchable investigator for the 110th Special Unit—is being set up as a fall guy with the worst enemies a man can have.
But Reacher won’t quit. He’s fighting a new kind of war. And he’s taking a young female lieutenant with him on a deadly hunt that leads them from the ragged edges of a rural army post to the winding streets of Paris to a confrontation with an enemy he didn’t know he had. With his French-born mother dying—and divulging to her son one last, stunning secret—Reacher is forced to question everything he once believed…about his family, his career, his loyalties—and himself. Because this soldier’s son is on his way into the darkness, where he finds a tangled drama of desperate desires and violent death—and a conspiracy more chilling, ingenious, and treacherous than anyone could have guessed.
I have listened to another Lee Child’s book, this time narrated by Jeff Harding. I do miss listening to Dick Hill read to me, however, Jeff does a good job!
In this story, we are taken back to New Year’s day of 1990, the fall of the Berlin Wall and there has been a murder of a 2 star General in a seedy motel. At first glance, it seems that this General has had a heart attack whilst in the throes of passion, but being a Jack Reacher novel you know this won’t be the case! Especially as it turns out that his briefcase is missing with a very important agenda (there is always an agenda remember that!!) hidden in it and his wife turns up dead a few hours later. Whilst all this is going on, you find out that MPs are being moved about at the exact same time to completely different bases, all being signed off by Garber?! I mean really! It was nice however to finally meet the famous General Garber before being shipped off to Korea!
I really enjoyed this new look at Reacher. We get to meet Joe living and breathing and I loved their relationship that we are shown a little bit of but most importantly we get to meet one of their parents – their Mum! Unfortunately, it was not to be for long, and in the middle of the book to break the tension we are given more information on their relationship and her childhood.
This book had a few comical moments that I really enjoyed, Joe using Jack to get them upgraded on the flight to Paris by using his medals! A joke about a heart attack (sounds worse than it is!) really had me chuckling, I won’t ruin it for you but you will know the bit I mean when you read it (or listen).
This book also focuses on what is deemed as hard subjects especially for the era it is set in and with the army. The storyline follows gay soldiers and a woman MP who also just happens to be black. It was not the main subject but you felt it there and what was typically thought about these “categories” of people. It was really well written and when the subject of gay soldiers in the army was brought up especially by Willard, you just wanted to give him a large slap in the face for the cruelty in his words about the men.
Summer reminded me a way of Cole from the previous book, although I thought she was written much better. The “romance” with Reacher flowed so much easier than previously as it did not, to me, feel forced. I loved her character, as I was internally (and vocally) asking questions she was asking them for me and her reactions were the same as mine. She did not give up on any lines of thought, and like the reader, she was just a step behind Reacher most of the time.
In the end, Reacher is still an MP, which leads me to hope there will be another book where we are taken back to when he leaves the army and why. It is however obvious this book is a big factor in his decision. I found this story was more interesting because he was constrained by the army, but he knew how to play the system and he still did things his way and on his timescale.
There is a lot of hate towards the end by other readers for Reacher, for some of his actions. While they do not seem to be very “Reacherish” the way he has acted was to help the soldiers that did not have a chance to defend themselves, and because instead of standing up what they should believe and uphold, they were just a sheep. I think personally it was a fitting end.
I think eight books in the series that this is my favourite one so far!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: