Tuesday, April 22, 2014

a wanted man

a wanted man
jack reacher #17
lee child
suspense/crime/general badassery
published 2012

Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning.  One man driving, another telling stories that don't add up.  A woman in the back, silent and worried.  And a hitchhiker with a broken nose.  An hour behind them, the FBI descends on an old pumping station where a man was stabbed to death - the knife work professional, the killers nowhere to be seen.

All Jack Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia.  All he did was stick out his thumb.  But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride.  He has tied himself to a massive conspiracy, in which nothing is what it seems, and nobody is telling the truth.

I'm not kidding you.  If you only reads books from one author, only read one series, it should be this one series by Lee Child.

Jack Reacher is one of the best fictional badasses that has ever graced a page.  He's freaking scary smart, can't stand someone being wronged (especially women and children, but men too - at least good men).  He kicks ass.  Literally.  And he gets revenge.  He gives people what they deserve.  But what I really love the most about him?  He has morals.  He can't just walk away when he knows he can do something about it.  The best example of that:
"It gives me some kind of chance to survive the night."  "How are those better odds?  If you come back with me, you're guaranteed to survive the night."  "No," Reacher said.  "If I come back with you, I'm guaranteed to die of shame."
These books are getting funnier as well.  The longer Reacher is out of the military, the more his dry humor comes out.
Reacher had no patience for people who claimed that y was a vowel.
For some reason that struck me as funny.

My favorite lines had to do with an annoying motel clerk.
"It's the FBI, for the man with the broken nose.  That would be you, I suppose." Reacher said, "Pretty soon it could be either one of us, if you don't stop yapping at me."
She hadn't shot the fat man.  She was clearly a person of considerable patience.
The story is fast and there is almost always something important happening.  And there's always this big conspiracy or crime going on (of course, otherwise what would be the point), but it's almost like a backstory.  The story is not about the crime or the mystery to be solved.  The story is how Reacher reacts to that story and the hell he brings upon the criminals.

It's truly a sight to behold.

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