So today is the day that the Starbucks red cups came out. It is now officially christmas time. And I am a sucker for soya toffee-nut lattes. Don’t worry, I realise that makes me a prick. But being a special occasion, and the fact that my housemates are never home anymore, I decided to shack up in Starbucks for a while after work and finish my book. Said book being A Wanted Man.
I can never fault Lee Child for giving me an easy and compelling read. He is, after all, the ultimate master of the single-word-sentence. Bam. Yeah, you liked that, didn’t you? If I were to pick a bone with the series as a whole, it would be that, once read, each book is barely distinguishable from any of the others. Pair this with similar, non-descript titles and it can be very difficult to remember which ones you’ve read. So read ’em all, I say.
Book 17 begins with Jack Reacher, a 6″5 ex-military cop, trying to hitch a ride. INTERLUDE – can I point out that Tom Cruise was picked to play Jack Reacher in the film adaptation. Tom fucking Cruise. How tall is he? Nowhere near 6″5, the height of the REAL Jack Reacher which is mentioned a gazillion times in all 17 books. Ok, Interlude over – as you can tell Tom Cruise makes me very irate. With a recently broken nose, bandaged with some good old duck tape, Reacher is not setting himself up for an easy hitch-hiking experience. So who picks him up? Two men and a woman.
The book flips between Reacher’s road-bound narrative and that of FBI agent Julia Sorenson. There’s been a murder. One man dead, two suspects. And the continuing presence of nosy outside agents shrouds this death in mystery.
Reacher, with his sharp military eye, picks flaws in his car-companions and after an extensive blinking session, works out the woman’s secret code. Karen Delfuenso has been kidnapped. At the same time, Sorenson’s case gets murkier and murkier.
A few of gun-shots later and nobody is who they first seemed to be. And finally, Sorenson and Reacher cross paths.
I would like to point out that there is no sex in this book. This Mr Child, I think is a serious mistake. One reads a Jack Reacher novel expecting a lot of violence and at least a smattering of sex. And there were TWO viable women in this book. And no sex.
Nevertheless, an enticing tension builds between Sorenson and Reacher as they set out to solve this intriguing mystery against many opposing forces.
All in all, this book was ok. It felt a little static considering the amount of driving in the novel. I kept wondering when the action was actually going to hit – which it does in a thrilling climax, but a little too late and a little too lack-lustre.
In Lee Child style, here’s my short sentence round-up: Page-turner. Gripping. Not exactly ground-breaking.