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Lee Child
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
As ever, Reacher is on his travels in the USA, never staying anywhere long, hitchhiking to wherever takes his fancy at the time. This book opens with Reacher standing at a crossroads with one sign to Laconia, New Hampshire. This is where his father was born, raised and lived in until he joined the USMC. Reacher then decides to see where his father came from but on arrival finds that the story told by his father does not seem to be going the way he told it.

Very quickly Reacher is drawn into a situation where he has to step in and rescue someone being bullied which he does in his usual robust, violent way. The young man he chastises (well breaks his arm and puts him in hospital) is the offspring of the big shot in the area who sends a group of men to sort out this newcomer who does not seem to recognise his place. Again, Reacher is faced by a group, always seems to be five men, who are very quickly and soundly beaten. So ‘outside muscle’ from Detroit is flown in to deal with Reacher – with prejudice.

In the meantime, a young Canadian couple are driving down from Canada to Florida to set up a ski-hire shop on the beach – well that is their dream. To fund this they have a large, unwieldy and heavy suitcase full of ‘something’. Their car plays up so they pull into a remote motel. Strangely they are the only guests staying but in the morning their car won’t start. This begins a series of events leading to them realising that they are in fact being kept prisoner. More guests arrive and the young couple are told what they need to do to get out. Not good.

Flicking back to Reacher, he is busy taking out the people sent to take him out which he does with his usual panache and speed. The local cop is former Military Police as well, female, who while not exactly helping Reacher does little to stop him and just wants him out of town and out of her area of responsibility. One thing for sure Reacher certainly boosts the medical and funeral director’s fees while he is in town.

Leaving town, Reacher tries to book in at the remote motel but immediately senses that something is not right and is soon sorting out the issues there as well riding quickly on his white stallion, figuratively speaking, to the aid of the young couple.

The denouement is violent, bloody and U.F.R – Usual For Reacher!

The book follows, more or less, the formula that Child has brought with this character. The story is well written as one would expect of the author and fast paced. I finished this in a couple of sessions as each bit left one wondering what was going to happen on the next page – a good sign in a book. This is a very good book for non-serious reading in your spare time and is continuing the enjoyable romp through the USA through the eyes of Jack Reacher “just Reacher!”

The book ends in the customary fashion also with Reacher at the side of the road, thumb ready to hitch a lift.

4/5 Mr MRHs for this book.

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