I figure it's about time to write something on Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, since I've been reading so many of them lately. Funny thing is, I never seem to be able to give any of them more than three stars, but I can't get enough of them. Bad Luck and Trouble
seems about par for the series. It suffers from the same things as the other Reacher books, but despite this I can't seem to get enough of Jack Reacher.
First off, some of Child's writing is kind of goofy. His style is terse and abbreviated. I like that. But sometimes he goes into excruciating detail on the most obvious things, like this (on the possible meaning of 650 at $100k per
, a clue):
abbreviation meant thousand
and was fairly standard among U.S. Army personnel of Sanchez's generation, coming either from math or engineering school or from having served long years overseas where distances were measured in kilometers instead of miles. A kilometer was nicknamed a klick
and measured a thousand meters, about sixty percent of a mile. Therefore $100k
meant one hundred thousand dollars
. The per
was a standard Latin preposition meaning for each
, as in miles per gallon or miles per hour."
Thanks for explaining that to me. Never would have figured it out.
Also, the Special Investigators, being such an elite bunch, have sort of a lame motto. "You do not mess with the Special Investigators." I think they would have come up with something better than that. That motto was repeated throughout ad nauseum.
And once, the goodguys just "forgot" about a meeting they had made with a potentially important contact once in the book. Seems like if they were so good at their work they would have remembered this. They followed up on it later, but still...
Despite these little issues, Jack Reacher is a pretty awesome character and Child seems like he's pretty unpretentious about the whole thing. He ackowledges that he's not writing a piece of literary fiction, just a kick ass tale and I'm on board with that, so I'll keep reading. The stories are fun and Reacher always comes out on top in some very ruthless ways. I tend to think he's just a little psycho and maladjusted, IMHO.
It's okay if these books never get more than three stars for me. I don't expect them to, but I like them all the same.
FWIW, I think of Reacher as looking less like Cruise and more like Dolph Lundgren. A big, scary dude.