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A Wanted Man (Hardcover)
Readers of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series (Readers of Reachers?) may recall that last year’s entry, The Affair, ended with Reacher ready (this “rea” business has got to stop) to hitchhike from Nebraska to Virginia. It’s the middle of the night, in winter. Within an hour and a half he has a ride. There is, of course, a story behind why this particular car stopped for him.
At this point I got to wondering, did the author visualize the entire arc of the novel all at once, or did he simply think up the hitchhiking, which could almost be a short story, and then decide to follow that and see where it led? Next time Janine lures Lee out to Seattle with baseball tickets I’ll have to ask him.
Well, no surprise, it leads to a long story made entertaining by Reacher’s fascination with numbers, including Area Codes, and general trivia about the U.S. (Remember, he’s an American who had never lived here until recently, and he’s still roaming the country, learning about it.)
And soon enough things turn serious, not to say convoluted, as the plot unfolds. Some attempts to mislead us are easily seen through – Lee Child is very generous at letting us, as readers, think we’re smarter than Reacher. Briefly. And he’s such a good writer, that certain paragraphs shine like jewels. For example, faced by challengers, Reacher thinks “Decision time, boys. Either break eye contact and walk away, or don’t.” Which is followed by this gem:
“They didn’t… A challenge. Some kind of a brainless hormonal imperative. Reacher felt his own kick in. Involuntary, but inevitable. Adrenaline, seasoned with an extra component, something dark and warm and primitive, something ancient and prehistoric and predatory, something that took out all the jitters and left all the power and all the calm confidence and all the absolute certainty of victory. Not like bringing a gun to a knife fight. Like bringing a plutonium bomb.”
This is a fast-paced novel, figuratively and literally, with lots of driving up and down interstates at 100 mph. With Reacher at the helm, if not the wheel, it’s a wild and enjoyable ride.— Bill
A masterpiece of suspense from #1 "New York Times" bestselling author Lee Child
Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. One man driving, eyes on the road. Another man next to him, telling stories that don t add up. A woman in the back, silent and worried. And next to her, a huge man with a broken nose, hitching a ride east to Virginia.
An hour behind them, a man lies stabbed to death in an old pumping station. He was seen going in with two others, but he never came out. He has been executed, the knife work professional, the killers vanished. Within minutes, the police are notified. Within hours, the FBI descends, laying claim to the victim without ever saying who he was or why he was there.
All 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 that makes him a threat to both sides at once.
In Lee Child's white-hot thriller, nothing is what it seems, and nobody is telling the truth. As the tension rises, the twists come fast and furious, keeping readers guessing and gasping until the explosive finale.
Praise for #1 bestselling author Lee Child and his Reacher series
Child is a superb craftsman of suspense. "Entertainment Weekly"
The truth about Reacher gets better and better. Janet Maslin, " The New York Times"
Implausible, irresistible Reacher remains just about the best butt-kicker in thriller-lit. "Kirkus Reviews"
Like his hero Jack Reacher, Lee Child seems to make no wrong steps. Associated Press
Lee Child is] the current poster-boy of American crime fiction. "Los Angeles Times"
Indisputably the best escape artist in this escapist genre. Marilyn Stasio, "The New York Times"
Jack Reacher is much more like the heir to the Op and Marlowe than Spenser ever was. "Esquire.
About the Author
Lee Childis the author of nineteen"New York Times"bestselling Jack Reacher thrillers, ten of which have reached the #1 position. All have been optioned for major motion pictures; the first, "Jack Reacher, "was based on"One Shot." Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in almost a hundred territories. A native of England and a former television director, Lee Child lives in New York City."
“The indomitable Reacher burns up the pages.”—USA Today
“Furious action . . . [Lee] Child keeps the pacing swift and the surprises rolling. . . . [A] feverishly thrilling series.”—The Miami Herald
“Smart, breathless . . . [with] one of the best female characters in the whole Reacher series.”—The New York Times
“Subtle and nuanced [with] seductive writing and irresistible plot twists.”—Newsweek