About the author:
Lee Child is an English author, best known for his series of thriller novels, starring Jack Reacher, the ex-cop from the US Army.
Cover and blurb:
A hitchhiker on a mostly empty and dusty road is on the cover. The blurb indicates the hitchhiker, Reacher, gets into the wrong car. And the car’s occupants are possibly the bad guys. That forms the base for the thrill.
Does trouble follow Reacher, or Reacher follow trouble? Eighteen books into the series, I still don’t know. It is part of the thrill in the thriller I guess. Even when he tries to get a ride out of trouble, he finds himself getting into it. What are the odds on that? With Reacher, it’s definitely likely to happen. He’s a wanderer, with no luggage and an old passport, going where he wants to go. Sometimes he takes a bus, sometimes he hitches rides.
Maybe it’s the way a Reacher plot goes, but you could know the car that stops would be the car with the bad guys in it. The bad guys who have been reported to have executed a yet-to-be-identified victim, the professional hit style escalating it from local police to FBI territory and even bringing the CIA into play. FBI special agent Julia Sorenson is assigned to the case. She later becomes Reacher’s ally. To escape the roadblocks the authorities place to stop them, the bad guys pick up Reacher as a smoke screen, and also, as we later find out, a woman. However, Reacher does find out soon, and after that, it’s the usual Reacher v/s the Villains plotline that’s been tried and tested over the series.
Call it the aftereffect of reading a lot of the series, but I could think along with the actions and the predictability was a little more than I wanted at first. I could guess what’s going to happen, or what has happened. But Lee Child, the writer that he is, does bring in an unexpected turn or two as the story progresses. The lusty one-night stand is missing in this novel, though indications to one was there. The Reacher character has his usual quirks, the obsession with having one set of clothes, or number riddles (this one was a good one though), and smart mouthing but it lacked zest a little. Again, possibly it was the predictability after going through a lot of the series. I liked the character of the little girl, brought in to confuse and to keep the thrill going, and also the woman in the car, but the villains, portrayed from the eyes of the cops and law upholders as terrorists or such, their characters in the end didn’t live up to the billing.
Overall, an interesting story. The thrill is there, yet not there. It waxes and wanes, but still, being a fan of Jack Reacher, I think to the most extent it works. Not the best, but not the worst either.
Title: A Wanted Man
Author: Lee Child
Publishers: Bantam Press
Price: INR 650
(2nd Oct 2013)