Friday, December 18, 2015

Without Fail, by Lee Child

Once again, Jack Reacher is living as anonymously as possible, minding his own business, when one of his late brother's colleagues tracks him down.  Lee Child's Without Fail, the sixth Reacher novel, doesn't fail to develop Reacher's character and showcase his personality and skills.

Readers will recall that Jack's brother Joe was killed in Killing Floor, the first Reacher novel.  At the time, Joe was investigating a counterfeit ring.  Joe's secret service colleague (and ex-girlfriend) uses her resources to find Jack, seeking his assistance in the vice president-elect's protection.  Jack's investigative instincts assist in the investigation of a series of threats as they track down the would-be assassins.

The personal wrinkle in Without Fail is Reacher's romance with Joe's ex.  Does she want to be with him as Jack, or as a replacement for Joe?  And are Jack's feelings for her enough to make him want to settle down a bit?  Needless to say, Jack keeps his skill at remaining anonymous and rootless, even as he's at the center of a high-profile case.  And while he temporarily becomes burdened with a bit of luggage, by the end, everything is back to how he likes it: just the clothes on his back and whatever's in his pockets.

I haven't read a Reacher novel I didn't like, but I liked this one better than most.

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