Posts Tagged ‘Lee Child’

Super-detective Jack Reacher stars in Lee Child’s taut ‘Tripwire’

May 21, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
May 21, 2013

Jack Reacher, the über-capable fictional former Army detective, made his feature film debut in the 2012 movie that bears his name. But the ex-MP who could has been around since 1997, when England-born Lee Child released Killing Floor, the first of what is now a 16-book series.

Some months ago, I read and enjoyed Echo Burning, which lists as the seventh Reacher book in its narrative (not real-world publication) chronology. A few weeks ago, I began Tripwire, which dates to 1999.

The story begins when a New York City detective searching for Reacher encounters our hero in a strip club in the Florida Keys. Reacher, wary of attention, lies about his identity. A few hours later, the detective is dead, and the hero knows that he must find out who killed him and why.

The quest leads Reacher to the New York City suburbs, where he unexpectedly finds himself attending a wake for his friend and former commanding officer, Leon Garber. Yet this discovery, like many in Tripwire, simply leads to more questions. Jodie Garber has been searching for Reacher because that was what her father was doing. But why was Leon doing so? Read the rest of this entry »

Über-detective unravels a Texas family’s tangled legacy in ‘Echo Burning’

February 5, 2013

You can’t beat Jack Reacher one on one. You can only hope to outmaneuver him.

That, in a nutshell, is the essence of Jack Reacher, the super-competent über-detective who is the star of Lee Child’s series of thriller novels. Reacher is a retired Army MP, or military policeman, an efficient killer with a razor-sharp intellect and in-depth experience with forensics and human psychology. If he had to engage Superman or Batman in man-to-man combat, Reacher could win — given enough time, information and resources to prepare effectively.

Before this week, I was familiar with Child’s work only through the recent movie Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise. On a relative’s recommendation, I dove into Reacher’s 2001 novel, Echo Burning, in which the almost oppressively effective hero finds himself plunged into a messy situation in the hot, sparsely populated Echo County in rural Texas.

The book pits Reacher against at least two sets of antagonists. One is the Greer clan, a tight-knit family with extensive roots in Echo that doesn’t cotton to outsiders.

Unfortunately for them, while hitchhiking in Texas, Reacher is picked up by Carmen Greer. A Latina out of California who has married into the family, Carmen is still considered an outsider, despite having borne her husband a lovely daughter. Worse yet, her husband beats her savagely. Even worse he’s about to get out of prison. Worst of all, the improbably named Sloop Greer blames Carmen — correctly so! — for his having been sent to prison on tax evasion charges.  Read the rest of this entry »

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