Maybe a little too technical, maybe too straight forward, maybe without any poetry even in the encounter our hero has with the attractive officer Vaughan, maybe too skeptical and still managing to entertain in spite of all these maybes, that’s Lee Child’s book in a nutshell. If you want more keep reading.
Jack Reacher is a lone army veteran who walks through America. He’s a combination of modern Batman (without the gadgets) and a backpacker (without the backpack). In a western movie he would have a horse and a gun and a big battered hat and maybe a red bandanna. In this book he makes do with an ATM card, a foldable toothbrush and the clothes on his back. He walks and sometimes manages to get a ride from people who are not scared by his impressive physique and threatening mien.
His travels lead him through two small towns, Hope and Despair. In Despair he is thrown out and made to understand he’s not welcome back but nothing can stand in the way of Reacher’s curiosity. Not the town deputies, not the wealthy Mr. Thurman, and not even the danger he puts himself through time and again. And when young women start to arrive in Hope looking for their husbands or boyfriends, his curiosity is at its peak. There is a reason why nobody is allowed to linger in Despair and he’s determined to get to the bottom of it.
It was difficult at times to accept Reacher’s self-assurance and the manner in which he sometimes talked but in the end it was a nice change of pace from the romantic storyline of The Thirteenth Tale. The language is uncomplicated, the story believable and the characters while not as detailed as I wished for, still managed to fulfill their roles – the equivalent of a thriller movie.