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meganbaxter

meganbaxter

I'm a grad student, an avid reader, a huge nerd, fervent roleplayer, wife, cat lover, tea snob, and obsessive keeper of lists.
A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher, #17) - Lee Child

This is the third Jack Reacher novel I've read, but I've been jumping around in the chronology. I believe I've read the first, and then this and one other, which I believe are both fairly recent. I suppose I could look that up, but it's not all that important. But my point was that I was a little surprised by the characterization of Jack Reacher in this one.

Sure, I get that he's essentially a huge, bearlike Sherlock Holmes, who can occasionally burst out into incredibly effective violence. But I wasn't quite expecting commando Jack Reacher. I'm not sure what I think, or how this fits into the rest of the series.

Because in this one, Reacher storms the castle, pretty much single-handedly. It's interesting, but without further knowledge of the series - is there precedent for this?

At any rate, the case seems to start the way many of his cases do - Reacher drifting through the wrong place at the wrong time. He's hitchhiking, and is picked up by two men and a woman in the car. One of them eventually manages to signal to him that the other two are not what they appear - and that both of the extra passengers are in the car to help fool roadblocks.

But the ground gets even muddier from here. After an attempted shooting, Reacher has to fend off the FBI (who want to arrest him) in order to follow the kidnappers and attempt to free the other person who was being held. This culminates in Reacher storming an old military installation by himself. That's the part I found a bit weird.

But these books have always struck me as an enjoyable and relatively undemanding way to spend a couple of hours - and when I'm deep in a weighty tome, that is exactly what I need. I'm reading another long book that is resting heavily on my shoulders, and which I'm mostly finishing out of sheer cussedness. And it was a delight to escape from that to here, an interesting mystery that I was pleased to read, but which I don't feel needs to solve the mysteries of the Sphinx, or come up with the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything. (I doubt the weighty tome will come up with 42 as an answer.)

I don't have a lot else to say, I guess. This is a mystery series I do quite enjoy, and Reacher is a strange bear-like Sherlock Holmes crossed with a drifter. The knowledge he has strains credulity at times, but it's not like I'm reading this for absolute realism. The last two I've read both center around military secrets parked out in the heartland during the Cold War and forgotten, and that theme is very interesting, if unsettling.

But most of all, it was fun. And I read it when I needed fun.