Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president.

Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.

This new heart stopping, nail-biting book in Lee Child’s number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris – and then to London. The stakes have never been higher – because this time, it’s personal.

Synopsis from goodreads

I tend to enjoy Jack Reacher novels pretty much always. That said this one was a bit slower and with a bit more filler and unnecessary descriptions. I think what happened is that Lee Child moved Jack Reacher to a different place – London in this case, which usually is a very good location for a thriller, but Lee Child literally takes us on a tour of London explaining mundane details about the most mundane places there – think Barking, and Ealing Broadway. All these descriptions were a real snooze and slowed down the pace of what is admittedly an otherwise thrilling story.

Here’s an example to illustrate what I am trying to say:

Bennett swapped places with Nice and drove us south, to the Bayswater Road, which was the northern limit of Hyde Park, and then east to Marble Arch, and then south again on Park Lane, into Mayfair, which was rich enough to be neutral territory.

I mean, Lee you can’t simply say that Bennett drove them to Mayfair, instead of transcribing the entire GPS route?

If you think I am exaggerating, here’s another example:

I asked him, “Where are we going?”

He didn’t answer for a long moment, because he had to get off Park Lane heading south and back on Park Lane heading north, which because of construction involved a high-speed 360 all the way around Hyde Park Corner, which was a hub just as crazy as the Place de la Bastille.

The book is full of stuff like this. It drove me a bit nuts, frankly.

The book’s premise is very similar to that of The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsythe, as in let’s catch the sniper before he kills the President, but because this is Jack Reacher, there is a lot more action and less thinking, which normally I don’t mind but somewhere in the middle of the story, it felt that the book was losing its direction a bit.

Initially, Jack Reacher is after a sniper assassin in Paris, which then turns into intervening in gang warfare in London. Throughout the major villain in the book is in the background, and it’s only in the end that he comes out and gets disposed of within a couple of paragraphs. I guess what I am trying to say is that the villainy doesn’t come off really strong and that was a disappointment. There was a nice twist in the end which I liked and which explains some of the randomness in the middle.

In spite of these disappointments in the plot though, it’s still a thrilling book and miles better than the run of the mill thrillers out there these days.

I am thinking that Lee Child tried something a little different with this book, and I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it seems like he was trying to make the book more on the lines of an international thriller, or something? I can’t say that his experiment worked well, but I appreciate that he is trying different things to keep the series fresh. Hopefully his next book will get it more bang on target.

Huge thank to Penguin Random House for sending this book for review consideration.

You can also purchase a copy of this book from Amazon

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