Saturday, September 19, 2015

Brief Applause: MAKE ME, Lee Child (Jack Reacher #20)

US cover, left; UK cover, right.
Lee Child's books don't need extra reviews -- they have a global audience, and I'm one of probably millions who see the ad for "the next book" and make a mental note to read it as soon as possible.

MAKE ME (released 11 days ago) opens with Jack Reacher stepping off a train at a tiny American town in the midst of miles of wheat fields, just because he likes speculating on the source of the name of the place: Mother's Rest. His late-night arrival coincides with a number of odd events in the town, and, predictably, he finds a courageous but baffled former FBI agent (now private detective) who needs his skilled assistance. Michelle Chang is good with firearms and with "situations" but she doesn't have anything like Reacher's years of experience with complexity and, let's face it, evil.

I enjoy the snappy pace of Lee Child's writing, and the clean ethics that drive Reacher, along with his old-fashioned appreciation of each new woman in his life. As someone who cut her mystery-reading teeth on John D. MacDonald (among others), I do worry for those women ... but along with crafting an intriguing explanation of the Deep Web and related tech routes, the author is pushing a new line for Reacher's relationship this time, and I'm fully intrigued! Can hardly wait to see what this approach does in the next title.

By the way, the UK cover is much more suited to the plot than the US one. But I suppose the US one signals "thriller" more effectively. Hmm.

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