Persuader Hardcover – May 13 2003
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Jack Reacher, the taciturn ex-MP whose adventures in Lee Child's six previous solidly plotted, expertly paced thrillers have won a devoted fan base, returns in this explosive tale of an undercover operation set up by the FBI to rescue an agent investigating Zachary Beck, a reclusive tycoon believed to be a kingpin in the drug trade. The novel begins with a bang as Reacher rescues Beck's son from a staged kidnapping in order to get close to his father--and trace the connection between Beck and Quinn, a former army intelligence officer who tried to sell blueprints of a secret weapon to Iraq but was murdered before he could pull it off. Or so Reacher thinks, until he spots Quinn in the crowd at a concert in Boston. As usual, Child ratchets up the tension and keeps the reader in suspense until the last page, although his enigmatic hero hardly ever seems to break a sweat. In the tough guy tradition, Reacher and his creator are overdue for a breakout, and this muscular, well-written mystery might be the one. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
The promo copy on the ARC of Child's new thriller proclaims, "We dare to make this claim: Lee Child is the best thriller writer you're probably not reading-yet." Hopefully the "six-figure" marketing campaign promised by Child's new publisher will make that statement obsolete, because readers will be hard-pressed to find a more engaging thriller this spring season. Child is a master of storytelling skills, not least the plot twist, and the opening chapter of this novel spins a doozy, as a high-octane, extremely violent action sequence sees Child hero Jack Reacher rescue a young man, 20-year-old Richard Beck, from an attempted kidnapping before the rug is pulled out from under the reader with the chapter's last line. The rest of the novel centers on the Beck family's isolated, heavily guarded estate on the Maine coast where Reacher takes Richard. Richard's father is suspected by Feds of being a major drug dealer and the kidnapper of another Fed, and also seems to have ties to a fiend who killed Reacher's lady 10 years before, someone Reacher thought he'd killed in turn, in a vengeance slaying. Tension runs high, then extremely high, as Reacher, ingratiating himself with the dealer and hired on as a bodyguard, pokes around the estate, looking for the kidnapped Fed and evading and/or disposing of in-house bad guys as they begin to suspect he's not who he seems. But then little in Child's novels is as it at first seems, and numerous further plot twists spark the story line. What makes the novel really zing, though, is Reacher's narration-a unique mix of the brainy and the brutal, of strategic thinking and explosive action, moral rumination and ruthless force, marking him as one of the most memorable heroes in contemporary thrillerdom. Any thriller fan who has yet to read Lee Child should start now.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
This story revolves around serendipity. There's a chance meeting where Reacher sees a man who should be dead . . . and Reacher wants him dead. When approached by DEA agents for an illegal penetration of a suspect's operations, Reacher wants in to finish the job he started ten years earlier.
The story revels in the sort of twisted villains, monster guards, pitched battles, and intrigue that make the earliest James Bond books so appealing. As a result, you get gore with a cutting edge of sadism. I don't recall a book about a different type of hero that's so much like Bond in the action. Perhaps You Only Live Twice.
That having been said, I enjoyed this book. Reacher recognizes a nemesis from ten years before who he thought was dead. When he does some basic questioning, the DEA is all over him and puts him on a mission to help them. He only doess so for his own ends - to get the nemesis. Child weaves the story from ten years before nicely into the present day plot so as to add depth to the main plot line.
Although, as noted, Reacher seems to be a super-hero, he and his Federal agent back-ups make some glaring errors that come back to haunt him and keep the plot moving with terrific misdirection.
This is a stark, well-written thriller/mystery. Child really can do a great plot. Not only do I recommend this book, I will go back and begin at Jack Reacher's beginning.
All that aside, I had one major problem with the plot. If you haven't read it yet, stop right here. Here's my issue: Reacher "steals" a Maxima from behind a mall. This Maxima links Beck's son's "attempted" kidnapping to some drug dealers in Hartford. So my problem is this: The Maxima was in no way related to the kidnapping attempt. It was supposedly a random vehicle, and the son would have explained this to his dad and associates. The fact that the car did belong to some Hartford drug dealers and had a fake license plate should have ratted out Reacher right then and there.
I still enjoyed the book, just bought the new one, and would recommend this book to anyone.
Child writes with razor sharp efficiency and clarity: a tight plot with no pretense of embellishment beyond the requisite violence and mayhem. Child's Reacher is the ultimate stoic loaner - Clint Eastwood's "man without a name" in a modern setting where the villains are meaner and the guns a lot bigger. Child writes with a clear and unambiguous sense of right and wrong, of good and evil. And while Reacher runs no risk on canonization, the bad guys are so devoid of any redeeming social value that the contrast is crystal clear. "Persuader" is high adrenalin fiction without excuse: blunt, brutal, and suspenseful: a true page-turner and the ultimate summer read.
Most recent customer reviews
Action adventure is just that. All you require is a plausible story, add some compelling characters, throw in some fancy military/police talk and plenty of sex and/or violence and... Read morePublished 2 days ago by J Reader
My first Jack Reacher novel. Very good, much better than expected. Pricey but I am buying a second. Moves along well.Published 2 months ago by Doug Burn
I admit, I am an adrenaline junkie. So I like the suspense, that's why I kept coming back to read Jack Reacher stories. But I've had it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Wolfgang Strigel
as always mr child is outstanding, a little wordy at times, but the best nonthelessPublished 8 months ago by sharon guy