Tuesday, May 23, 2006

THE HARD WAY by Lee Child

Alice Kendall reviews THE HARD WAY: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Delacorte Press, 2006).

This is the latest in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child and is everything we aficionados have come to expect. Jack Reacher -- ex-Military Police officer; very large, very strong, very intelligent; defender of the victimized; righter of wrongs; no home, no wardrobe, no responsibilities -- finds himself in the middle of another puzzling situation and can’t walk away until he figures it out and makes things right.

Lee Child has developed a character that he can place in any setting. In The Hard Way, we find Reacher in New York City where he becomes involved in trying to rescue the kidnapped wife and step-daughter of the leader of a gang of mercenaries. We follow him as he travels from the West Village to Central Park and the Dakota (possible sighting of Yoko here), trying to find the kidnappers and their victims. When it becomes obvious that the two are probably dead, he is determined to avenge them. The plot twist, when it comes, is not that surprising, but still satisfying.

While this book is able to stand on its own, if you like it you may want to go back and read some of the earlier books in the series. The Enemy, in particular, gives the character more depth and the reader more insight. But if all you want is a well written action/suspense/mystery pageturner, you can’t go wrong with Lee Child.

Alice Kendall, Parkway Village Branch Library

Read a profile of Jack Reacher. Contains spoilers.

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As a major Jack Reacher fan, I appeciate Alice's review. My interest, as if that's necessary :)), is sparked, but she's allowed me to enjoy the ending. THE HARD WAY is next on my list to read.
I haven't read a Jack Reacher novel yet. What is his connection with the "leader of a gang of mercenaries" whose wife and step-daughter are kidnapped? Why does Jack help this seemingly unsavory character? BUT, only tell if it doesn't ruin the suspense.

By the way, Clark didn't mention--in the previous comment--that a longtime Raleigh customer introduced her to Lee Child. Now I want to read him too.
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