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Lee Child

Bantam £9.99

Reviewed by Luke Croll

Another year on and Jack Reacher is back in Lee Child's seventh novel. This time, there's a slight difference, as Child has opted to return to the first person narrative that we saw in 'Killing Floor', putting us into the mind of Reacher, his compelling hero. Francis Xavier Quinn was the worst person that Reacher had ever met, and Reacher was glad to know that he was dead. However, outside Boston's Symphony Hall, he sees him again, very much alive. Then, when he sees a kidnap attempt, he takes the law into his own hands, but this time, a cop is killed. Reacher does not stay to explain. Has he finally crossed the line, simply because it is personal?
Child has undoubtedly produced another excellent plot and his decision to go back into the first person narrative is justified, since it allows the reader a deeper insight into the workings of Reacher's mind, and given that this is such a personal case, it permits an understanding that a third person narrative would not. It also makes Reacher more human, even though he appears at his most brutal during this novel, and allows more character development. The confrontation at the end of the novel is much anticipated, as Child spoon-feeds the reader with the shocking case that linked Quinn and Reacher in the past.
However, the denouement is over very quickly and some readers might have liked more details and a more epic struggle. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the rest of the book, which is fast, exciting and everything a good thriller should be. Recently, Child's books have been getting better and better. This one is no exception and is probably the best Reacher book to date. Although it was hard to top 'Without Fail', Child has managed it and 'Persuader' should have no trouble selling out.