The Reacher books just keep getting better. What strikes me most about the books, now that I’m about a fifth of the way through the whole series, is how different each of them is from the others. We’ve had small-town rackets, crazy militias, Vietnam-era cold cases, and now, a bizarre serial killer mystery crossed with the bad blood of inter-governmental agencies working with each other. And a pretty solid argument against home ownership, if I’m being totally honest.
What doesn’t change is the quality of the novel. The consistency of the manner in which Lee Child builds the character of Jack Reacher from novel to novel is the sort of consistency that not only builds a fan base, but also allows for the stories to communicate about different issues of interest to Lee Child. Because we like Reacher so much, we come to care about, and learn about, those issues as well. Running Blind seems to be interested in the ways in which people circumvent bureaucracy, tell lies (though I suppose all the Reacher books are interested in this), and use systems of doing things against themselves to pursue a personal agenda. Reacher gets trapped in between local police, New York City racketeers, the FBI, the Air Force, the Army, his girlfriend, and his own yard. The suspense to catch the killer gets intensified by all of the red tape, and as the killer continues to strike, Reacher’s reflections on his own life circumstances give rise to the intense build-up to a resolution that contains a few really satisfying shockers for the reader.
At this point, there’s not reason to doubt each Jack Reacher book will bring more justice, more logical reasoning, more intense situations that seem to have no apparent solution, and more great tales. It’s hard to imagine wanting to read something other than Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books right now, as entertaining and engaging as they are. By the time I’m done with them, it will have been too soon.
8/10 – I’ve never read a more satisfying or interesting series of thrillers than the Jack Reacher books. Lee Child has created a character who is part comedian, part superhero, and part social commentator. Running Blind is the best of the books yet and leaves you wanting to see what kind of trouble Reacher gets himself into next.