From Publishers Weekly
While reader Hill has proven himself to be an all-purpose narrator with a 200-plus audiography, his specialty is interpreting suspense and crime fiction like this bullet-paced thriller. Written lean enough to make Hemingway seem chatty, the ninth novel to feature the resourceful ex-military cop Jack Reacher begins with a bare-bones description of an unemotional sniper prepping for and carrying out a mass slaying in the business area of an unnamed Indiana city. The killer's dispassion is chilling, and Hill, who has narrated the author's previous titles, matches the mood with an objectivity that raises the goose-bump level even higher. When Reacher, one of fiction's more reticent heroes, arrives on the scene, Hill provides him with a brusque, confident, properly manly voice, but adds a note of wariness that subtly suggests the adventurer's cynical nature. This tops a gallery of smart audio portraits, each with his own identifiable accent. Child has purposely designed the novel to move forward unfettered by stylish flourishes, and Hill follows that plan, concentrating mainly on increasing the pace as the story speedballs to its satisfying conclusion.
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Jack Reacher has been doing his best to live off the grid, but his past as a military policeman keeps coming back to bite him. This time the biter is a former Gulf War sniper accused of killing six civilians in an unnamed Heartland city. Despite mountains of evidence, the accused claims he's innocent and says enigmatically, "Get Reacher." But why? Reacher, it turns out, has every reason to want the man convicted. Soon enough, though, Jack finds himself working for the defendant's attorney, who happens to be the DA's daughter. As he did in last year's The Enemy
, Child combines detail-building procedural style with an all-systems-go thriller narrative, but this time the mix doesn't quite emulsify. In The Enemy
, the procedural elements held our interest, but this time we feel like Child is keeping the reins on his story, like a jockey rating a horse that's begging to run. Child finally uses the whip--and the finale is a doozy--but it's a bit too little too late. Still, even a slightly off-stride Reacher can run away from most of the competition in the thriller sweepstakes. Bill OttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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