The Enemy Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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From Publishers Weekly
Child (The Persuader, etc.) brings back his intrepid hero, Jack Reacher, for another excellent mystery, which steps back in time to the eventful first few weeks of 1990. The Berlin Wall has just come crashing down, marking an end to the Cold War, and as a result, the U.S. Army is facing a massive restructuring of purpose and personnel. During this turbulent time, 29-year-old Reacher, an MP major stationed to a base in North Carolina, is called on to investigate the death of a two-star general found dead in a seedy motel. Veteran reader Wolf, who has given voice to Reacher in seven previous novels, slips easily into this character; his calm, thoughtful delivery fits perfectly with Reacher's contemplative first-person narration. Wolf uses his voice to draw listeners into Reacher's investigation, as the MP ponders each clue and follows a trail of cover-ups and murder to the highest echelons of the military. Although Wolf struggles a bit with his French accents, his narration complements one of the best novels in Child's series.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
*Starred Review* Child's eighth Jack Reacher novel isn't a classic thriller in the mold of its predecessor, Persuader [BKL Mr 15 03], but it's just as compelling. This time Child sticks closer to the police-procedural formula, lavishing on investigatory detail and building suspense gradually rather than propelling the reader ever forward with high-octane thrills. The story, which hinges on the death of a general in a lowlife motel outside Fort Bird, North Carolina, moves back in time to the early nineties, when Reacher was an up-and-coming military policeman. Trying to recover the dead general's briefcase, which contains sensitive information regarding the army's post-cold war plans, takes Reacher and his partner, an African American female, deep into the treacherous heart of military bureaucracy--and into a tragic by-product of the "don't ask-don't tell" policy regarding gays in the armed forces. In a subplot involving Reacher's mother, ill with cancer, Child also incorporates some fascinating backstory regarding Reacher's childhood as an army brat. Known for his hold-your-breath action scenes, Child proves equally adept at portraying how a criminal investigation uses the smallest of building blocks (a yogurt container) to construct a compelling circumstantial case. Combine that with finely textured relationships--always an extra dimension in this series--and you have a novel that takes Child in a new direction (more Michael McGarrity than Stephen Hunter) but does so flawlessly. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Enemy is a 'prequel' to the other novels - Reacher is still in the army, a young MP and rising star in the elite 110th investigative unit. Being in uniform doesn't seem to cramp his characteristic style that much - he still resists authority and does what he likes in pursuit of justice, helped by the best kind of female sidekick - attractive, talented and emotionally undemanding.
The Enemy does not entirely live up to its promises - the falling of the Berlin Wall adds surprisingly little symbolism or color to the book - it's like, in a far off land some wall is coming down, now lets get back to the story here. The plot seems repetitive in the middle, with a lot of driving here, there, back and back again for Reacher to glean obscure clues that he doesn't deign to share.
We get interesting insights into Reacher's family, although he seems very flat about some quite momentous discoveries & events. But, that's what he's like, and that's what we like. Reading this book right now (May 04), it's impossible not to wish there were a few real life Jack Reachers - decent guys with a conscience, but tough as guts - to fix matters up in Iraq...
If you haven't read any other books in the series, you may actually like the series better if you start with this book rather than Killing Floor which was the first Jack Reacher novel written. If you decide to do that, then go back and read Killing Floor next and follow the chronological order of publication thereafter.
The most unusual characteristic about Jack Reacher is that he is so unconnected to people and places. The Enemy does a fine job of translating that quality into a military setting.
Mr. Child has decided to focus on an unusual period in recent military history: The moment when the Berlin Wall was falling. The story does a good job of developing how a military organization adjusts to its victories.
For those who want to know more about Jack Reacher, the book is also interesting for what it reveals about his family life.
The action in the story builds around the circumstances that follow the unexpected death of a general in a place where he wasn't expected to be found. Reacher is brought in to cover up the details to protect the Army and the family. But he's soon on the trail of crimes . . . and an officialdom that seems committed to covering up those crimes as well.
As usual, Reacher takes it on himself to find out the answers . . . regardless of orders and the personal consequences.
Anyone who has been in the military will delight in his many carefree challenges to authority.
The story itself is more than a little far-fetched, sort of along Tom Clancy lines. But the action redeems the lack of credibility in the story.
Have fun with this one.
I could go on, but as I say, it's a good thriller and I enjoyed it in spite of its shortcomings. Mr. Child, the next time you write about the US military, get an American familiar with the subject to review and comment, both on your facts and on your use of US English.
I've found that I prefer Childs take on the mystery more so than his action stories. The characters all seem a little more human, vulnerable. The Enemy shows how intellegent Reacher is. He's forced to think his way out of situations. The evolution of the story also gave me some more insight into his development. He seems to have an ability to detach himself emotionally from pretty much any situation and The Enemy gives us some insight as to how he became this way.
The Enemy has a fast pace and a plot that will keep you interested and flipping pages. The story is focused on the series of crimes being solved and some ongoing family issues. There are no distractions away from the main push of the plot. The concept could be viewed as a little weak but I'm no military man or army scholar so I bought the whole thing. I'm a Ludlum fan as well so I'm somewhat inclined to follow conspiracy stories without much question.
For anyone who's already familiar with the Reacher character. You will be satisfied by this exploration of his early years. He is pretty much exactly the same person as a militiary man as he is after discharge. Smart, bold and afraid of nothing.
For more Lee Child hits and misses check out my other reviews.
Most recent customer reviews
Great story line and a pace that doesn't stop from start to finishPublished 2 months ago by peter lynch
I have read Lee Child on Jack Reacher before with some enjoyment. This tome was bogged down with detail. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Con
A book with action and detail. One that made Reacher more human and one I couldn't put down. I you have not read one of the series before, this is where to begin.Published 4 months ago by philm6
Even through a massive headache... I enjoyed reading this book. :)
Plots and intrigue, twists and turns, evilness and goodness. Read more