Monday, September 30, 2013

Never Go Back - Lee Child

Never Go Back is the 18th book featuring Lee Child's iconic recurring character Jack Reacher.

Reacher Creatures everywhere have been waiting to see if Jack will at last get to meet Susan, the voice on the other end of the phone line.

Jack is former Military Police. Now, he criss crosses the country, with no home, no luggage and nowhere to be. What Jack does seem to find is trouble - or I should say it finds him.

For the last few books, Jack has been making his way to Virginia to meet Susan, who now leads his old unit. In Never Go Back he finally makes it there. But Susan isn't behind the desk as Jack had imagined. Instead, she's been arrested and locked up for a serious crime. And the guy behind the desk now? Well, he hits Jack with a one/two punch. Jack's to be held as well, facing military charges from an event far in his past. He's been reinstated in the army at his former rank while awaiting his military trial. But rather than wait for that to play out, Jack instead decides to take matters into his own hands.......'Cause all he really wanted to do was ask Susan out to dinner......

Child has again come up with a plot that holds the reader's attention and lets Jack do his thing - government shenanigans, bad guys and lots of action. Memorable scenes are Jack fighting with his hands behind his back and quietly taking care of business - on an airplane.

Lee Child has created a character that appeals to all readers, men and women. He's the quintessential hard boiled hero. No backing down and tough as nails. He has a firm moral compass, carefully delineated lines on what's right and wrong, but has no problem using questionable methods to get to the bottom of things. He's big, strong, smart and....well.... kinda sexy too.

I liked the insight that Jack himself provides into his character in this book - being the lone wolf as it were....

"I think ninety-nine of us grow up to love the campfire, and one grows up to hate it. Ninety-nine of us grow up to fear the howling wolf and one grows up to envy it. And I'm that guy."

I've heard some other readers complain that they wish Jack's life would move on. I don't - I'm quite happy to pick up the latest Reacher book and know that Jack is gonna kick some butt - again. And then head on down the road. Child writes pure escapist novels - and this reader is happy to go along for the ride. Reacher is a white knight in rumpled clothes with his toothbrush in his back pocket and his thumb stuck out for a ride. Do yourself a favour - pick up Jack and settle in for a great read. Read an excerpt of Never Go Back.

You can find Lee Child on Facebook and on Twitter.


bermudaonion said...

I've read one Reacher book and didn't quite "get" Jack. I need to go back and try some of the earlier books.

techeditor said...

I read this. My opinion is quite different from yours.

Jack Reacher fans will be glad to see NEVER GO BACK, the next book in Lee Child's series, and they will probably love it. I didn't.

This story is corny, even cartoonish. Jack Reacher is an all-knowing superman with supersenses and an ability to predict the future. Almost everything that happens is either impossible or unlikely.

By comparison, Child's ONE SHOT is less corny and even enjoyable. Perhaps that is because Child could write anything he wanted about the fictional places and circumstances in ONE SHOT. Whereas, in NEVER GO BACK, Reacher goes back to the U.S. army, where his actions are questionable; no one could get away with what he gets away with in NEVER GO BACK.

Luanne said...

Kathy - it's my escapist,Bruce Willis kind of movie reads. Same format, but fun.

Tech Editor - thanks for your thoughts.