Jack Reacher digs deep into the past–his own and his country’s–and what we get this time around is an urbane mystery that develops and burns slowly, but contains more great Reacher moments and the best, most awesome conclusion that Lee Child has yet given his readers.
This one carries forward from Die Trying somewhat, as Garber and Reacher’s past relationship takes the form of the inciting incident for this story. From there, we travel deep into America’s military culture, visiting cities across the country, visiting different military structures and getting a glimpse into how Jack Reacher might have operated as an MP. There are some great chase sequences in New York City, some slow games of conversational chess in St. Louis and in Texas, and a lot of interesting insight into the Vietnam War. There’s a mystery about a missing solider that Child gives to us as a sort of inherited questline for Reacher and that also doubles as a romantic subplot, and when it all comes together, Child has given us a great mystery for Reacher to solve, a few superb action sequences (Reacher goes shopping for guns and pizza at the same time), and even a bit of a setup for where we’ll find Reacher when the next novel opens.
The most impressive aspect of this book, however, is in the the way that Child makes use of the details that he establishes early on in the book throughout them. What seem like cursory, setting-friendly details, like the idea that Reacher has drifted to Florida to dig swimming pools by hand, are used steadily throughout the story, the cause of a series of effects that range from humorous to crucial. What makes Child such a good storyteller, aside from the total appeal of Jack Reacher, is that he builds complex stories with simple prose. He makes use of the details expertly and weaves a story that not only builds the legend of Jack Reacher, but also has the reader focused on the next adventure.
8/10 – Tripwire adds to the adventures of Jack Reacher with another, different sort of situation that is part history, part overcoming the monster, and part romance that stands up easily with the first two and sets the stage for what is sure to be yet another terrific Jack Reacher from Lee Child.