Top critical review
Good points but not his best
Reviewed in Australia on 13 November 2016
I have loved all of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books - including this one, but it wasn't his best. My main criticism was the pace - it got off to a slow start and never really picked up to the breathtaking urgency that is typical of a Jack Reacher novel. I could put this novel down easily in the first third. That doesn't usually happen with a Jack Reacher book.
There were, however, many things to like about this novel for dedicated Jack Reacher fans. For one thing, it gives us insight into how his military career helped to shape the man he became after he left the army. He undertook sanctioned missions that were not unlike the causes he pursues in his later years. And he exhibits the same degree of ruthlessness and righteousness, the same capacity for vigilantism. This novel also showcased Jack's early ability to make connections and predict behaviour based on a combination of analylitical skills, experience and gut feelings. This skill is at the centre of his career as an MP and serves him well in his post-Army life.
I also noted that he didn't take a bag overseas and pressed his trousers under his mattress. I always worry about him not changing his underwear, not to mention his clothes, and this novel was no exception.
I also liked that this novel showed Jack cooperating with others - not so much the alphabet soup of the fake school, but with the local police and other trusted army colleagues. I found the relationship in this one less convincing, the mission leader seemed as though she would have more common sense than to become involved with a subordinate.