Monday, June 13, 2016

Persuader, by Lee Child

Jack Reacher is one of those fictional characters I never get tired of.  I do have to admit that Persuader wasn't one of my favorites, but I did like it.  It's classic Reacher.  Lee Child, creator of Jack Reacher, writes about Reacher in such a way that the books can be read in any order, but in case you're counting, Persuader is book seven of twenty (and counting).

As Persuader opens, he has a brief encounter in Boston with a man he killed ten years prior.  As he attempts to find out more, he gets caught up in a DEA investigation of a Maine-based rug importer and suspected drug trafficker.  DEA agents convince him to go undercover, find an inside track to the rug importer's operation, and find another agent who has disappeared.  These rug guys are really bad dudes, and Reacher has a way with really bad dudes.  It's a twisting and turning tale, with lots of gun violence and hand-to-hand violence, and, especially, lots of cleverness on Reacher's part.

Things don't turn out like anyone expects, but Reacher gets his man (as Child's readers expect!).  Just as in the other Reacher novels, he comes and goes with only the clothes on his back, and in between he picks up what he needs to get the job done.  In the end, he drifts away to somewhere else, where eventually he'll get caught up in some other exciting crime-fighting adventure.  That ease of drifting away and blending in is one of the things that I like about Reacher, but at the same time bothers me as unbelievable.  The other thing is the coincidences that get him into these cases.  He kills a guy in California 10 years ago, then randomly runs into him on the street in Boston?  Why?  In the end, though, I don't really care.  It's an unlikely set up, but Child can be forgiven, since the ensuing story is so engaging.

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