That noise is the sound of me yawning through this latest Jack Reacher adventure by Lee Child. A few novels ago I almost stopped reading Child—really turned off by the feel of revenge porn, pure and simple, where violence and bloodshed seem to roll off Reacher like I don’t know, water off a duck’s back, or blood off of a serial killer’s plastic rain gear. Personally, I like my heroes and anti-heroes just a tad melancholy and tortured by the choices they make, and the best Reacher outings give more a hint of his inner life, such that it is.
Though occasionally unnerved by the body count, I’ve never found myself bored before but I was. It’s the same old story as many past Child novels. Reacher ends up in a small town in the Midwest and that small town has a secret. The only thing different is the town’s name—Mother’s Rest—a name that nobody can explain but is enough to make Reacher get off the Amtrak train to check it out. He meets a former FBI agent turned private investigator, Michelle Chang, who is looking for her partner and somehow gets involved in her case. Of course, the partner was onto something and Reacher and Chang need to figure out what that something is. As is usual, there is more going on and in this case, it’s particularly gruesome. Also as usual, Reacher and Chang get it on and I don’t quite buy it (and I’m also disturbed by how the two are constantly referred to as Reacher and Chang . . . not sure why).
I don’t go into a Lee Child novel expecting great things but he doesn’t usually phone it in quite so blatantly. So, my overall reaction is . . . . meh. What a sad way to end a good year of reading.