Jack Reacher: Retrospective (kind of)

No it’s not a new book from Lee Child, instead it’s a bit of a retrospective view to the last 3 books I have just read. If you’re looking to start on the Jack Reacher saga then my recommendation is to get right into it. It’s a mix of heart-stopping action and tight tense moments where you just know the baddie has the upper hand but our good friend Jack is about to deliver the old one-two but in a way you didn’t expect.

For those who don’t know Jack then you need an introduction. He doesn’t talk much however when he stops shrugging his wide-shoulders he only says what he means and means what he says. Talk is a great way to convey a plan or buy a ticket but other things are better left unsaid or foolishly blabbered by the guy with the crap moral compass. Jack was born on an American Army base in Germany and his life from that point was simply moving from post to post with his Marine father and french mother. He’s been all over the world and never sat more than a semester in any particular school. When he graduated he joined the Military Police Corps and proceeded to do the exact same thing as his dad did by being posted all over the world at the same time becoming a sharp and highly respected Captain. One of the more interesting tidbits was information he shared with a police detective in the first novel “Killing Floor”, (and i am paraphrasing) was that the detective deals with citizens where as he dealt with trained killers, for any training the military had he (Reacher) had to be better than them to allow him to deal with them.

I won’t say that the stories are predictable because the elements are always different and what I really love is character development. Each character is intricately detailed and alive in your mind. That being said Jack the man himself is really just the tool to tell the story, I’ve been riding shotgun on his adventures for a few months now but I still feel like I don’t really know him yet he’s an old friend and travelling companion, albeit a very capable and dangerous one for the evil baddie bent on doing harm.

If you like:
– Doing anonymous things and minding your own business
– Meeting beautiful strangers while being anonymous or simply due to your investigative spirit
– Getting in trouble with baddies just because you met the beautiful stranger
– Getting in more trouble figuring out what the baddie’s deal is al the while witnessing some pretty gruesome ends of secondary characters
– Sex with beautiful stranger
– Annoying the heck out of the baddie by either pretending to side with or outsmarting them at their own game
– Killing baddies (Graphically) often with a fair amount of bloodshed, you being badass get hurt too (think John McClane)
– Sharing intimate moment where the beautiful stranger professes a deep seated connection and possible love
– Getting on you merry way because you are Jack Reacher and no matter how beautiful or amazing or connected you are to the girl, you never stay in one place very long and you have places to explore and no schedule to follow so don’t stop moving.

Right up there is the basic premise but don’t think it’s just the same story written over again. We all do the same thing everyday and if our lives were half as interesting as Jack’s then you could say it was a life fulfilled.


Killing Floor: The first Jack Reacher novel

Recently you may have watched a movie called Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise. What you may not have known is that it is based on a series of novels and short stories totalling 17. I had a chance to read the first novel, ‘Killing Floor” over the last few days and words that come to mind would be “wow” then maybe followed but “phew” because when the story sucks you in and the action goes into high gear, there is no putting down the novel. Sure in the initial parts you introduced to the world and the people. You start to like and dislike certain characters etc. but the intensity of the relationships and your perception of what is going on increases as each page turns.

Set in the purposely, unnervingly perfect and picturesque, fictional town of Margrave, Georgia we find Jack just minding his own business when he’s arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. The story gets interesting from there with tight twists and turns leaving you wondering how on earth Jack knows what he knows. Jack is presented to us as the loner, a drifter 6 months out of military service where he spent all of his youth and adulthood until now. He was trained as a Military Police special investigator which makes him the guy who catches trained killers (ok I cheat that was from the movie).

The story is told in first person mostly with Jack’s inner monologue. He talks when he needs to and doesn’t mind sticking it to the law which probably wins points with just about everyone. His incredible knack for physics and math make him the ultimate one man army with all the angles covered, it was particularly fun reading about him basically assassinating his assassins. They never saw it coming and they didn’t stand a chance.

It’s the dark uncertainty of all the supporting characters and the clear certainty that Jack can and will rip the enemy a new one that eggs you on, chapter to chapter.

Do yourself a favour and grab yourself a copy, be a fan of Jack Reacher, I know I am.