Review: Personal – Lee Child

4 of 5 stars

Series: Jack Reacher 19

My version: Paperback
Fiction Thriller
Bantam Books

Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s his own boss, going where the mood takes him. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president.

Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.

This new heart-stopping, nail-biting book in Lee Child’s addictive series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris – and then to London. He must track down a killer with a treacherous vendetta. The stakes have never been higher:

Because this time, it’s personal.

Very good, I enjoyed this one. It’s a solid, intriguing story, that he gives time to evolve and unravel. The tension is generally at a high level and the action scenes are mostly well done.

I suppose it was inevitable that Reacher would have an adventure in the UK, though I will admit to being a bit disappointed that Lee Child couldn’t have found a way of bringing Reacher to Birmingham. Maybe he thought it would be a bit confusing for his American readers? To be fair, I’m often asked by patients where I work, where I come from and I say ‘Great Britain.’ To which 99% reply that they’ve been to London…as if we all know each other over there. So, no judgement, for or against.

Without (hopefully) giving too much away, I did feel that the end, of the action sequences, could have either been written better, or changed to be more compelling. More devious. But it’s a minor point.

The main point is an unusual one for a Reacher novel. The explanation of what we missed (‘hopefully,’ says Lee Child), because we didn’t realise they were clues, or they got lost in the welter of (mostly) meaningless and annoying over-egging, is all a bit ‘you’re probably wondering why I’ve gathered you all here.’ As I always say, if the author feels that that amount of explaining is needed, they either haven’t done their job well enough earlier, or think their readers couldn’t have figured it out themselves – because they haven’t done their job well enough. That sort of thing.

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