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This Lee Child book featuring Jack Reacher was disappointing as the story was weak and there was very little "rock 'em sock 'em" action I've learned to expect and enjoy from his other Reacher books. Still, it was certainly worth reading.
Many different people, with as many different reasons, approaching a common point of conflict from different directions.
I've long been a fan of Jack Reacher, but less so since someone approved Tom Cruise to play him - what an absolute disaster he is as Reacher. You know who would have made a GREAT Reacher? Gary Sinise (Lt Dan, Forest Gump). He has the intense, piercing look of Reacher...
After Clancy sold the rights to Jack Ryan with Harrison Ford playing him, it felt like Clancy was writing more to fit Ford than to be true to Jack Ryan. I haven't seen that with Lee Child, YET, probably because the Cruise movies are a compilation from several books not just one. Still horrendous, although after the first mess on film I refuse to watch when my husband brings home the DVD.
That said, 'The Midnight Line' is typical Reacher (and I'm not sure that's a compliment to the writer) finding trouble or having it find him in this case by a lost West Point ring. The story of the ring went off in all directions and then, of course, at the end completed the circle that caught all the bad guys and put Reacher with his thumb out in some remote place looking for a ride.
Part of me suspects (maybe even hopes) Reacher is going to have a breakdown one of these days. He's too smart to be so simple and if he compartmentalizes as he is presented to do, eventually that compartment explodes.
Will I keep reading? You betcha! I've learned a lot from Reacher, not the least of which is situational awareness, and was entertained in the process!
4 stars, mid-B because the frame work for the stories are beginning to look formulaic: start with a bus... be confronted with a damsel in distress or an angry guy looking for trouble, take out a bunch of people using geometry and run it all through your head in the seconds before your fists hit a throat and/or your head butts someone across the nose (which, my husband tells me, is very effective) which leads to a police officer and curiosity about what the guy with the punched throat/bleeding and broken nose is trying to hide... How many times can one great, good guy end up in the wrong place? I would hope for a little introspection, but alas, that leads us back to compartmentalizing. And Lee Child squares the circle again.
One of the best Reacher outings, highly recommended for rainy cold days by the fire, really! :-)
I liked many of the positive comments below and felt this was a strong Reacher outing. Also enjoy the non-traditional / illegal aspect to this one and in particular the unexpected romance.
After reading the short story collection, 'No Middle Name' this is the first Jack Reacher novel I tried. The setting is evocative and a simple premise (a little slow to develop) turns into a well-developed story. Child is a skilful writer who makes even an old-timer like me rethink the ethical issues raised. Additionally, Child does not shy away from ugliness and portrays it with brutal, jarring honesty. There is no formulaic approach which makes Child very skilful and original.
Having previously read most of his other books, this one was somewhat disappointing !
I think this is one of Reacher's worst adventures: an ok read, but the bad guys seem more like 2-bit hoods than anything else.
I liked this book, actually rather more than I usually like the Reacher tales. The fights were still part of the story, but it was a story that contained fights, not a series of fights strung together by a story.
I don't know if Childs is moving in a different direction with Reacher or if this was a one off, but either way, I enjoyed it.
Great job in describing Wyoming and the Western mentality. He included a number of details and reactions that are common to the area and often missed by writers who have not spent much time in the Rockies and their surrounding land.
Best book in a long time in the Reacher series. Child is starting to have a discernible theme to his stories in this case the horrible treatment of our maimed and wounded warriors by an uncaring nation/political system. Always ready to throw them into the fray never ready to give a damn about them. Pentagon is equally at fault as these are their people and must be protected/cared for, forever if necessary that is the debt owed and the contract assumed.
Shockingly boring and ridiculously unrealistic. I think Child wrote this for the paycheck. Even Tom Cruise could not redeem this disappointing story.
The best Jack Reacher novel in quite a while. Keep 'em comin'.
Agree with the comments that this book gets back on track--the last few, following Never Go Back, have been peculiar or worse. One area in which Child excels (beyond gratuitous violence, of course) is his portrayal of physical settings. Here he created a fictional Wyoming environment that is fully palpable--you feel as if you've really been there. (In fact, I HAVE been there: Mule Crossing is actually Tie Siding, Wyoming, where I also went into the flea market to ask directions, just like our Jack.) Child's depiction is right-on, other than suggesting a lot more trees and topography than can be found along the actual gravel road extending off to the southwest--you can follow it on Google Streetview. In addition, Child viscerally portrays opioid addiction from the addict's perspective. Never really understood how it must feel until reading this. And as a final closure [spoiler]: the image of Arthur Scorpio tumbling inside a clothes dryer turned on high is indelible.
Yes, it is Lee Child's Jack Reacher formula yet again.Cliches abound both in language, people and situations but... I think Lee Child in this one feels duty bound to give an insight into the sad fates of those veterans of the wars the US has participated in who have fallen through the cracks on their return home The underlying theme of neglect and drug dependency hidden in small town mid west America is handled well.Not for the squeamish or anyone looking for a light touch and an entertaining read but an informed commentary indicative of the current state of the world in general and USA in particular..
Finally, Chlid returns to writing a decent Reacher tale.
As Jack ages, it seems he maims & kills fewer in his adventures.
And we learn what female feature charms him the most.
very nice Jack Reacher start. got extended almost to the end. whimpering end. Lee Child seems to have run out of steam
Totally unbelievable. I guess if you are a fan of Wonder Woman and Batman, you will like this book. Put your mind in neutral and you can get through it. I did but it was an endurance test. Don't waste your time.
Wow, such a page-turner! Very formulaic Reacher (damn, I wish Cruise hadn't played him in the movie, I can't I'm now getting the wrong mental image as I read the novels), which if it works for you, continues in this novel. Very interesting characters, story line, engaging.
Really disappointed, not much action, a lot of geography. Actually Tom Cruise could have done this one. It is the only Jack Reacher book that this could apply to. I kept reading only because I thought there would actually be some action.
After his disappointing effort on the last book, Lee Child seems to be getting back to the style that made most of his books great. I say "seems" because there is still a little too much fluff for me as a Reacher fan. We are not used to seeing him working as a part of a team, and his fighting style is pretty tame. Maybe the aging Reacher is mellowing out?
Great book! More like some of the original Jack Reacher books. I read it within a couple of days, it was so interesting.
Did Lee Child actually write this? He has rediscovered what made the series enjoyable. The best Reacher novel in a while.