I hate people who are good at everything.
I mean, doesn’t everyone? They are insufferable, whether or not they’re showing off their skills. And in the case of Jack Reacher, he’s doubly insufferable, because he still manages to be a fuck-up.
In this installment – the first one in a very, very long series – Jack Reacher is arrested on suspicion of murder. Having led a vagabond lifestyle after leaving the army, Reacher, on a whim, decides to get off the bus in the small, idyllic community of Margrave, GA. He soon finds himself involved in a murder case; first, as a suspect, later, when he discovers the victim is his long-lost brother, as the only halfway competent detective on the case, as he figures out that something is rotten in the state of, uh, Georgia.
I read 80% of this book in one day at a day spa and the other 20% the next day, in the bathtub. It is very well suited to days like these; high octane, undemanding, fun. And I did like Reacher’s deadpan wit. There is something to be said for a character who doesn’t make mountains out of molehills – if anything, Reacher does it the other way around. His deadpan pragmatics are refreshing, in a way. There’s not a lot of character depth here. The bad guys are greedy and/or violent, the good guys are devoted family men. The women, as always, get the short shrift here and are simply there to make the men look STRONG and GOOD and POWERFUL, like monoliths or, I don’t know, industrial refrigerators or something. Some of the plot twists work, some are predictable, some think they’re clever yet aren’t.
Aside from the woman-problem, though, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Five star meals are nice, but sometimes a burger from a fast food joint of choice is better. It’s the sort of book that lends itself perfectly for beach reading. I’ve already forgotten most of the plot, but that’s okay. Like Reacher himself, the book lacks pretension. Sometimes that’s all a girl can ask for.