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Personal (Jack Reacher 19) Hardcover – 28 August 2014
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Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president.
Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.
This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child’s number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris – and then to London. The stakes have never been higher - because this time, it’s personal.
"This is the 19th Jack Reacher novel. I've read all the others. If you haven't, start now. You can binge-read them all in three weeks. But then you will be sad. Because you'll have to wait for a year for the next one. They are blissfully pedantic whodunnits. And also seriously violent thrillers....[Child] is so good. He makes "literary" writing seem orotund...He generates relentless momentum...Child's dedication to suspense...approaches the Hitchcockian." (Guardian)
"Packed with arcane and fascinating detail...Child's almost trademarked and seriously addictive clipped prose and dialogue keeps Personal clipping along at breakneck pace with the tension ratcheting up satisfactorily to the inevitably bloody conclusion." (Irish Independent)
"Told in characteristic Child style - fast prose, smart dialogue, extraordinary detail - and with the hero in full revenge mode,it throbs with energy from the start...a pleasure to welcome him back to [Lee Child's] native land." (Daily Mail)
"He's a dangerous man to know but every year I am desperate to renew my acquaintance with the one and only Jack Reacher....Child brings it all together brilliantly. And often tersely...It ends in crunching violence - but Reacher readers queueing up for their annual fix expect nothing less." (Sun)
- Publisher : Bantam Press (28 August 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0593073827
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593073827
- Dimensions : 16.2 x 3.5 x 24 cm
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Top reviews from Australia
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Another ripping yarn, and it must have given Lee Chlld a warm fuzzy feeling researching this one in familiar territory.
No doubt there will be another, which I will read, regardless. I just hope it follow doesn't digress further from the 'norm' that we expect from Lee Child.
Top reviews from other countries
I was greatly amused by the middle third of the book, how a British author described events, places and so on within Greater London as if he were a foreigner (in this case American), over-explaining some things and making some mild mistakes; for example, I've never heard that Place of Learning being referred to as The University of Cambrige - it's always been Cambridge University to me although I have since seen it called that and perhaps I wasn't brung up proper.
It was nice. To see that. The narrative. Went through a phase. Where sentances were longer. Than Mr Child often writes. I noticed one sentance that went on for more than 25 words so all credit to him.
The fact that I noticed those descriptions and writing style indicates that I was not gripped by the story: as usual there was a significant amount of travelling around, beatings up, and so on. In that regard the book was like an episode of the original Star Trek; we knew where we were, where we were going to be and how it would end. After all, that's why we buy the books. The ending was all a bit sudden, leaving me with the impression of having consumed fast food and not haute cuisine.
The last 'decent' Reacher book was, IMO, Worth Dying For (no. 15). The others since then have left me feeling disappointed, and more than a little bereft. I missed my favourite action hero. But here he is, back again, large as life (pun intended).
I won't summarise the plot because other reviewers have done that. What I will say is that if you like your Reacher to be involved in fist fights, gun fights, and outwitting people with that oh-so-logical mind of his, then look no further.
I liked the location being moved (briefly to Paris, and then to London/Essex). I think the last time Reacher was in the UK was for The Hard Way, but that was a rural set-up, and it was good to see him in London (with some amusing, tongue-in-cheek observations about British peculiarities along the way). I know that the Reacher we know and love is the one doing his Littlest Hobo routine, moving from one US state to another, and those stories are still my favourites, but I don't think a change does any harm once in a while.
Living oop North, I don't know how realistic the Romford Boys are but really, does it matter? They made for a satisfying gang of baddies, especially 'Little' Joey who, at 6'11", is Reacher's largest adversary since (I think) the huge guy in Persuader. As someone who's never had any training in unarmed combat, nor often finds myself in situations I need to fight my way out of (thankfully), I always find the fight scenes fascinating. Lee Child is the only author I know who goes into such lengthy descriptions of a fight which only lasts for a couple of minutes maximum.
As regards the character of Casey Nice, I liked her. She was well fleshed-out and intriguing. She demonstrated that even CIA agents are human. Lee Child did a good job of keeping their relationship purely platonic/professional (the bit where Reacher has a right old perv at her arse notwithstanding). Nice is in her twenties, Reacher is in his fifties. A sexual relationship between them would have been gratuitous and inappropriate.
The reveal at the ending was a good'un - I didn't see it coming - and things were tied up nicely. All in all, a really satisfactory read. If you've not read a Reacher book before, you won't be disappointed. If you're a Reacher fan who feels he's gone off the boil of late, then take heart from him being back.
All we need now is for the next book to be Jack, on foot, righting wrongs in some dusty, sparsely-populated US state, smashing faces with his elbows and drinking gallons of coffee, for him to be right back on track. Yay!
This story gripped me from beginning to end and I hope this book marks a return to form for this series of novels. I don't understand why some people found it so different in feel or tone from the earlier books in the series - to me it was a return to the style of those early books. Yes, there are some implausible things going on (one of the main critiques of this book that I've seen) - but that has always been the case with Jack Reacher - at the climax of "Tripwire" (the 3rd book in the series, published all the way back in 1999) he survives an almost point-blank shot to the chest... so to criticise the implausibility of the plot devices in the newer novels seems odd to me. It's escapist fiction, and as such there will always be things which wouldn't be feasible in "the real world".
As for Reacher shunning his "lone drifter" status to work for the government, why is that getting so much flak? The character has done this on plenty of occasions before - "The Visitor" and "Without Fail" spring to mind. In short, I think most of the criticisms leveled at this book are unfair, and I enjoyed it immensely. It's not "great" literature, but it doesn't pretend to be - it's just a good escapist adventure yarn which will keep you entertained.