After an epic and interrupted journey all the way from the snows of South Dakota, former military cop Jack Reacher has finally made it to Virginia. His destination: a sturdy stone building a short bus ride from Washington D.C., the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. It was the closest thing to a home he ever had.
Why? He wants to meet the new
commanding officer, Major Susan Turner. He liked her voice on the phone.
But the officer sitting behind his old desk isn’t a woman. Is Susan
Turner dead? In Afghanistan? Or in a car wreck?
doesn't expect to hear is that Turner has just been fired from her
command. Nor that he himself is in big trouble, accused of a
sixteen-year-old homicide. And he certainly doesn't expect to hear these
words: ‘You’re back in the army, Major. And your ass is mine.’
This selection for my book club starts our "Year of Reading Fluff."
After last year, in which we had two books featuring people dying of
cancer, one member declared that she didn't want to read any more
"cancer books" and the idea for the fluff year was born.
This was my first Jack Reacher adventure and it is apparently number
18 in the sequence, so there were a few assumptions made about the
reader's knowledge of Reacher that I couldn't possibly be privy to. I
was certainly able to enjoy the book despite that, as it rattled along
at high speed to an inevitable conclusion.
There are a fair number of women involved in this book--Turner, the
military commander that Reacher rescues/kidnaps because he liked "the
sound of her voice"; both of the lawyers assigned to Reacher's cases;
and of course Samantha, Reacher's potential daughter out in California.
But they are all, of course, focused on Jack and barely register each
other's existence. Bechdel test: Fail. And I ended up wondering what
Turner saw in Reacher, who seemed very sociopathic to me, even though he
seemed to have a "code" which he more or less adhered to (rather like
Dexter in that regard). Reacher is definitely an anti-hero and not
particularly likeable, though as a reader I didn't find that I held that
Just like a good murder mystery, but with military trappings instead
of forensics, the novel keeps you reading, just to see how Child is
going to wrap up all the loose ends and explain why it all got started.
Reacher and Turner are, of course, completely exonerated (despite a
fair bit of criminal activity) and return to their previous existences.
Not bad, as fluff goes, but not a series that I will be pursuing in the future.