Review: The Visitor by Lee Child

The Visitor Lee Child4
 of 5 stars

Jack Reacher  #4

My version:
Fiction Thriller
Transworld, Bantam

Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cooke have a lot in common.

Both were army high-flyers.

Both were acquainted with Jack Reacher.

Both were forced to resign from the service.

Now they’re both dead.

Found in their own homes, naked, in a bath full of paint. Apparent victims of an army man. A loner, a smart guy with a score to settle, a ruthless vigilante.

A man just like Jack Reacher.

With 20-odd (and counting) books in the series, I bet even Lee Child would be hard pressed to remember what happened in any one randomly selected book. So, is The Visitor memorable for us?

Well, the story isn’t really important in a way, as long as it delivers Reacher, fights, shootings and a puzzle for him to solve before we catch on. If that’s what your reading Reachers for, it does all that.

One thing that bothers me. Do serial killers like this, ones that use the same methods each time, or base their methods on something, like, for example, the seven deadly sins, exist in the real, non-film, book, world? I think not. I can’t come to think of any themed killers, leaving a trail of impossible to figure out clues, who are then undone by someone exposing something to ultra-violet light (or similar) and noticing something everyone else has missed. Doesn’t happen. They don’t leave little clues, either. They don’t want to tease the Police hoping to be caught. Outside of books and films. Not for me, anyway. So, this once it is clear it is ‘one of those’ has to offer something more.

Does it? Yes. Thankfully. However, he is STILL incarcerated inside the first 30 pages! Again. You noticed that? Not sure why he does that. Maybe it’s a theme, I’ll have to keep it in mind for the next one. Need to move on from that one, Lee. The Visitor shows not only that LC has been getting better at this thriller writing lark as the series has progressed, also that he can step back from the character and the need to deliver the serial killer story once in a while and add another layer to the formula. It’s long, but actually more compact than previously long ones, which were long, for the sake of being long. Not a lot of padding, is what I mean. Reacher here isn’t the punch/shoot his way out of a problem, more a solve the crime by working the clues type. Just holding back from going all Navy CIS cobblers on our ass. There’s less of a use of Bourne-like technology (looking at the publish date, that hasn’t been invented yet), “Get me that web-cam people?!” “What’s your password boss?” “What?! Hang on a mo. Where did I leave my iPhone people?” And the film’s over…Reacher is more Bourne in the real world.

And Reacher gets extra marks for not calling his arms associates ‘Ladies’ at every side-clutching absolutely hilarious moment. Him being an American army man, and all.

You can buy The Visitor at The Book Depository

Related reviews on Speesh Reads:

Killing FloorDie TryingTripwire Lee Child




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