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Saturday, September 13, 2014


5 stars out of 5

As part of the "praise" for the book here at, another favorite author of mine, Stephen King, calls this "The best one yet." It may not be the best in the series that I've ever read, but it's sure close to the top. The only real downside was the monumental effort it took not to envision the comparatively scrawny Tom Cruise in the role of 6-foot-5-inch, 250-pound-plus Jack Reacher in the 2012 movie of the same name. 

If it's action you want, you'll get an overload here. It begins as Reacher is called back into service for the State Department and the CIA, who inform him that someone has taken a shot at the president of France. The bullet was American-made, and the super long-distance shot could have been pulled off by less than a handful of snipers (even though it missed the target by a few hairs). One probability comes to mind immediately - John Kott, who, thanks to Reacher, spent the past 16 years in prison and was released recently.

Almost all of the time, Reacher works solo; but this time, he gets a rookie partner named Casey Nice (young and beautiful, naturally) - and it's hard for Reacher to forget thinking about a different female partner who bit the dust on his watch a few years earlier. Nice proves herself to be competent, which is nice, but he still doesn't want the same thing to happen again. 

Trying to catch the shooter before he tries again - the conventional thinking is that the next target will be one (or more) of the world leaders who will be attending an upcoming G-8 summit - puts both Reacher and Nice within shooting distance of mobsters from various countries and, of course, whoever turns out to be the sniper. If it is Kott, the whole scenario could change on a dime; his reason for killing (and his intended target) could turn out to be very (you guessed it) personal.

Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Delacorte Press September 2014); 369 pp.

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