When it comes to crime thrillers, one author sits a rung above the rest on the ladder. I’ve read most if not all of the series, and the books are ones I wait for impatiently when I hear of an impending release. Jack Reacher, military cop and the bad good-guy, returns in Lee Child’s latest thriller, “Personal”.
A sniper has taken a shot at the President of France. From a range only few snipers are capable of achieving. Miles away, in the United States, the hunt is on for Jack Reacher. An ad in the army newspaper left in a bus by two army officers finds its way to Reacher. He can choose to ignore it. But he owes a favor, and he decides to pay it. He’s called upon to find that sniper, who may be American. And one who Reacher had had put away in prison. And a chase begins across continents for John Kott, the sniper. He’s assisted by Casey Nice, and in Britain by one who’s tracking another sniper, an Englishman.
Right… the nitty gritty. For those die-hard Reacher fans like me, this book does offer a snap of the military dude we know and admire. There’s action and a search for vengeance and a motivation that is based on righting a wrong. From the moment Kott angers Reacher, the book begins to look like a Reacher novel. Unfortunately, that moment for me comes way deep into the storyline. Till then, it’s a mixed bag full of “possibly” and “maybe”, with a heavy dose of details. At places, it seems interesting, like when o’Day gently puts the possibility of Kott in front of Reacher. At other places, it seems boring. Like Casey Nice meeting with Reacher. And we don’t see the lover boy part of Reacher either. He goes on two trips with Nice, and no reaction there… a very, almost too professional side to Reacher that I didn’t like. It was like reading a Jack Reacher novel without the essence of Jack Reacher. It was fun, but on some level, there was something missing… something that I can’t quite place my finger on. The pace lacked and for the first time, I found myself distracted from the book when it was a Reacher novel. The ending was a bit of “much ado about nothing”. I could guess the ending about two or three chapters before it.
I honestly hope that this novel was a one-off miss in the series. I’ll await the next one “Make Me” which is expected late next year. This one wasn’t amazing, but I wouldn’t call it a waste of time either.
Series: Jack Reacher #19
Author: Lee Child
Genre: Crime Thriller
Publisher: Bantam / Random House India
Price: INR 399
(16th December 2014)