Author(s): Lee Child
Series: Jack Reacher #17
Published by Dell on 05/28/2013
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Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. One man driving, another telling stories that don’t add up. A woman in the back, silent and worried. And a hitchhiker with a broken nose. An hour behind them, the FBI descends on an old pumping station where a man was stabbed to death—the knife work professional, the killers nowhere to be seen.
All Jack Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia. All he did was stick out his thumb. But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride. He has tied himself to a massive conspiracy, in which nothing is what it seems, and nobody is telling the truth.
The 17th full novel in the Jack Reacher series, A Wanted Man continues the series formula, which has worked for Child so far and works again here. Reacher is a solid protagonist and you never go wrong reading on of these books.
The first thing that struck me in this book is that it carries over some threads from the previous novel in the series, and leaves some threads at the end for the next novel in the series. This may not seem that odd, but for a Reacher novel it is. Except for three books early in the series that were also mildly connected, the Reacher novels are fairly stand alone, never referencing the events of previous books. You could pick up a novel in the middle of the series without ever reading any of the others, and the experience of reading it would be the same. That isn’t to say the connections in this novel require additional reading, in fact they are little more than a nod in the direction of there being other Reacher adventures. But it’s there’ll the same and struck me as notable, considering the rest of the series.
As a story this book does what most of the rest of the Reacher books do. There is a small amount of character development, mostly with the supporting cast as Reacher stays pretty constant from book to book. The pacing is top notch with the action flowing nicely. There is a little more mystery in this book than in other Reacher titles, but that really isn’t the focus of it. The dialogue is great, the action scenes are well written and the book as a fairly satisfying end.
Really there isn’t anything to complain about for this book. It’s about average for a Reacher novel, but that makes it still a darn good read when compared with non-Reacher novels. Childs has a formula on his hands that works, and hopefully he continues to stay true to it.
Review by Travis Starnes