Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Nothing to Lose, by Lee Child

Jack Reacher: drifter, ex-MP, vigilante, and vagrant.  At least that's what the police of Despair, Colorado call him.  They pick him up for vagrancy and deliver him to the town line, returning him to Hope, where he spent the previous night.  But he's curious, doesn't like to be told what he can or can't do, and has a dogged determination to find out the truth.  In Nothing to Lose, Reacher is traveling cross country, on his way, eventually, to San Diego.  After a night in the small town of hope, he heads to despair, where he finds even stopping in for a cup of coffee is unwelcome.

After being told he should never come back to Despair, he does.  Again and again.  He single-handedly takes down the whole police department.  And he gets to the bottom of a scandalous plot that includes and end-times nut case preacher, the cover up of U.S. military operations in the Middle East, a company town whose company's contracts are questionable, an operation smuggling AWOL soldiers out of the country, and a beautiful police woman who may or may not be available.

Child does not disappoint with his detailed descriptions of Reacher's fighting prowess, his ability to put the pieces together in the mysterious puzzle, and the ease with which he attracts the beautiful woman without becoming tied down.  Once he suspects something is fishy, he won't quit until he figures it out.  The police woman observes that he can't be a one-man Department of Justice; Reacher disagrees.  I wasn't comfortable with some of the unanswered questions Child leaves hanging, but Reacher was comfortable enough to keep on moving. 

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