‘Persuader’ – Lee Child
Never forgive, never forget.
Jack Reacher lives for the moment. Without a home. Without commitment. But he has a burning desire to right wrongs – and rewrite his own agonizing past.
Never apologize. Never explain.
When Reacher witnesses a brutal kidnap attempt, he takes the law into his own hands. But a cop dies. Has Reacher lost his sense of right and wrong?
This is the first Jack Reacher novel I have read and regardless of the fact that it is the seventh book in the series by Lee Child, I did not feel like I was missing out on a back story. Straight from the beginning I was hooked into the story and with the opening (but lengthy) chapter finishing with an unexpected ‘I’m in’, I just couldn’t put this down from start to finish.
Truth be told, I have seen the ‘Jack Reacher’ film with Tom Cruise so I guess this did help me to understand his character. And, of course, I could quite easily imagine Tom Cruise playing Jack in this story, albeit the key fact that Child describes Reacher as being over six foot tall… ‘Persuader’ was equally exciting as the film, if not more, and I was glad that the first Jack Reacher book I picked up was not the one that was used for the basis of the film.
Child’s narration took a bit of getting used to. Reacher is very matter-of-fact and straight to the point and this is reflected in the sentence structure. With lots of simple sentences used, I initially found it frustrating that everything was being simplified and events reported so factually. But as I learned more about Reacher’s character, it is clear that Child is doing this deliberately to reflect the calculations Reacher processes in any given situation. In contrast, the chapters are quite lengthy and I think this just encourages you to devour the book even more rapidly.
There are so many exciting moments in this book that I almost enjoyed the lull in action (although they are few and far between). The pace is fast and you are barely given time to process what Reacher has done before he is in the next dangerous situation. At times, I found his calculating way of measuring how he could injure the person he is speaking with very similar to the scenes in the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films where Holmes describes how he could also take down his opponent. As such, I think this novel could very easily be turned into a film.
This is a great read and I cannot recommend it more. I have never read a novel by Lee Child and I rarely read thrillers. This was an exciting surprise and I am really keen to find another Jack Reacher novel. I just hope that the next one I read will live up to the same high standards because this was such a gem of a novel!