I am almost ashamed to say that I have never read a Lee Child book before this one and it may be that this may not have been the best one to start with. Perhaps I should have begun at the beginning, as it were, with book one.
However, I was quite looking forward to reading something thrillerish and fast-paced; plot driven rather than character centred; where good prevails over bad. And that is what I got in reading Jack Reacher, sort of.
It started off well as Jack Reacher notices something on the bus that he is sharing with others: a man with a very large amount of cash in his pocket being eyed up by some slippery toe-rag who Jack correctly surmises will rob the man with money as soon as he gets a chance. I liked the way that Reacher intentionally tries to help and accidentally gets drawn into a situation that threatens to catalyse into a war. In a time where there is a chance that if you get involved in someone else’s trouble, you may end up getting hurt, Jack Reacher is the man to show you how with elite military training and presence of mind, this may actually work out okay for you.
I’m not sure at what point in the story I began to lose my interest. It’s not that it completely went away as I wanted to finish the book; it was just that it started to become more and more difficult to continue to read once you could see that Reacher was going to triumph and organised crime was going to lose. Reacher is determined to find an individual who has disappeared with a whole load of money and is possibly being sheltered by or working for one of the two crime rings. The last few pages are all about getting to him and I found that I just skipped some to make it to the end, speed reading the core information to get the gist of the action but less of the detail. That is never a good thing.
This experience has not put me off Reacher but I do think that I would have enjoyed this story more if I’d have seen it as an action movie. Enter Mr Cruise, stage left.