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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

‘A Wanted Man’ By Lee Child

Published by Dell,
May, 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-440-24631-2

The action in this newest in the Jack Reacher series begins with a body discovered in what is apparently an abandoned pumping station in rural Nebraska, an eyewitness able to give only scant details of the two men he saw with the victim, and who drove away in a bright red car afterwards.  Very shortly thereafter, in addition to the local police, representatives of several governmental agencies designated by groups of letters such as CIA and FBI descend on the area.  An alert is quickly put in place on all highways along the area interstates for the two men.

Jack Reacher is variously described here as ex-military, specifically a former major in the Criminal Investigation Division of the Military Police, now unemployed and essentially homeless, self-described, most pertinently here, as “just a guy, hitching rides.”  On the same mid-winter night, he has been standing at the side of an on-ramp for over an hour when he is given a ride in a car with two men and a woman inside, his ultimate destination being Virginia.  That destination and his present appearance, the main feature of which is a badly broken nose, are the aftermath of events at the end of the last book in the series; an imposing figure overall, the broken nose is probably the main reason why it took so long for him to be offered a ride.

Initially the points of view alternate between Reacher and Julia Sorenson, the FBI Special Agent first called to the crime scene, a very capable 25-year Bureau veteran out of the Omaha field office.  Eventually their paths cross, and they work together to get to the bottom of what turns out to be anything but your average murder. 

The book is everything one can expect in a Lee Child/Jack Reacher novel, including terrific plotting and characterizations, and especially Reacher himself, who, when asked by one of the men in the car that picked him up, “You don’t like to be pushed around, do you, Mr. Reacher?” responds “I don’t know.  I’ve never been pushed around.  If it ever happens, you’ll be the first to find out whether I like it or not.”  He demonstrates once again his vast knowledge of relatively arcane trivia, such as the population and area codes of almost any spot in the United States.  It’s great to have him back, and the novel, one I swiftly devoured, is highly recommended.
Reviewer: Gloria Feit

Lee Child is one of the world's leading thriller writers.His novels consistently achieve the number one slot in hardback and paperback on bestsellers lists on both sides of the Atlantic, and are translated into over forty languages.His debut novel, Killing Floor, was written after he was made redundant from his television job in Manchester, and introduced his much-admired maverick hero, the former military cop Jack Reacher.Born in Coventry, he now lives in America.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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