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Thursday, 12 September 2013

‘Never Go Back’ By Lee Child

Published by Delacorte,
3 September, 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-385-34434-0

The good news is that the 19th Jack Reacher book is here, and it is just as wonderful as the first eighteen.  At this point, that would seem to be a given.

The title  notwithstanding, Reacher does indeed attempt to go back, to consummate [after a fashion] a telephonic contact he had made while in South Dakota in the 2010 entry in the series, “61 Hours,” with Major Susan Turner, the woman who holds his former title as Commanding Officer of the 110th Unit of the Army’s Military Police.  When he finally makes his way to Virginia, he discovers that she has been arrested and is incarcerated in some very serious charges.  To make matters worse, much worse, he himself is soon arrested and held on some pretty serious charges of his own, having to do with events that ostensibly took place nearly 16 years previously.  To say more would be to disclose unforgivable spoilers.

The tale moves quickly, with moments at irregular intervals that bring the reader up short, then plunges him/her even more swiftly ahead, with Reacher and Turner in jeopardy and then out, using a mixture of skill, brawn and intelligence to get there.  There is the usual quota
of Child/Reacher suspense and great writing, with just enough wit and humor to balance the inevitable violence.

Pedant that he admittedly is, Reacher delights the etymologists among his readers, going back to the original French and Latin derivations of words such as “affidavit,” “shrapnel,” and “expedition.”  I loved it!

I devoured this novel; finishing it in less than 24 hours. Meticulously plotted and ingeniously written, as I’ve said in the past the book provides just what Reacher and Mr. Child always do:  All you need, and nothing you don’t.
Reviewer: Gloria Feit

Lee Child was born in 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV’s “golden age.” During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars’ worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series. Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment. Lee has three homes—an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while travelling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born. Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Lizzie, personally I found the ending a little short on suspense as the baddies really seemed like push-overs in the end, but all together the entire journey was as usual great. Two things though - this is the 18th Reacher book, and not the 19th. And good news; in an interview with the book report radio show, Child told Elaine Charles that his next Reacher adventure is named "20 seconds ago" - I can't wait.