“One Shot – Jack Reacher #9” by Lee Child – better than the movie but that’s not saying much

one shotI almost didn’t find this book because it has been relisted as “Jack Reacher: One Shot”, linking it to the movie “Jack Reacher”

Don’t let that put you off. The book is better than the movie if only because I didn’t have to watch 5’7″ Cruise playing 6’5″ Jack Reacher.

This book starts a sniper killing people in a public square. The police do a thorough and efficient job and quickly find the killer. An absolute slam dunk. No doubt about it. Which immediately tells anyone who has read the other Reacher books that nothing is as it appears to be.

For once, Reacher is not pulled into the action by a damsel in distress but by a clever plot device that places him in an ambiguous position about wh0’s side he’s on and which undermines his credibility with the police.

Reacher’s violent nature and huge size are used against him to force him into hiding. He then has to solve the case and kill the bad guys on his own. Except the plot doesn’t quite allow for that so he recruits a temporary “Scoobie Gang” and takes them all with him to get the job done.

There are some good things in this book: great exposition of the original police investigation, lot’s of stuff on how to shoot with a long gun that’s actually kept quite interesting, a fight staged like a ballet and a reasonably well-drawn set of characters.

Unfortunately, the elaborate plot and the implausible violence of the denouement stretched my suspension of disbelief so far that it snapped and came back and hit me in the face before the end of the book.

“One Shot” is an enjoyable read but far from Lee Child’s best.

If you’d like to hear an extract from “One Shot”, click on the SoundCloud link below.


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