Wednesday, December 20, 2017

56. Persuader by Lee Child

Nothing like a Jack Reacher novel for when you need to warm up your genre fiction reading gears after going cold turkey from a deep videogame addiction.  This one has been on my on-deck shelf all year and been brought on I believe every trip I went on and yet never actually read until it was the easiest thing left as I struggled to pull myself out of an Assassin's Creed: Origins tailspin.

This one starts off with a bang.  Reacher interrupts an attempted kidnapping of an undergrad at a small private college somewhere in New England.  He drives the kid to his parents isolated and super-protected home on a walled and gated rocky peninsula on the Maine coast.   We learn early on that the kidnapping attempt was a giant set-up to get Reacher into the family so he can save a discovered undercover agent and get to an old nemesis he thought was long dead.

It's a great premise and stays nicely focused.  Reacher has to stay with the family and so we get some nice unity of place.  He gets up to some extreme badassedness in the Reacher style (like simply killing the dude who cottons on to him by breaking his neck in the trailer office while the rest of the baddies are waiting for them outside).  There is some real nasty stuff as well and the lower-level baddies are creatively horrible.  Unfortunately, the two main antagonists are without any character at all and remain ciphers which robs the ending of its impact.  Still all in all a really enjoyable read.  Has a nice Jack Reacher/Lee Child nerdy factoid that I particularly liked:  Villaneuva is spanish for Newton.  Think about it.

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