The Hard Way, by Lee Child

Jack Reacher is sitting in a diner one evening and sees a man get in a car and drive off. The next day he's in the same diner (he liked the coffee) at the same time, and is approached by someone who wants to enlist his help: turns out a kidnap has taken place, and the victim is the wife of an ex-soldier who now runs a mercenary business.

I enjoyed the first Reacher book I read enough to pick this one up from the charity shop. I remember feeling that the set-up for the other book felt a bit implausible but I now see that all the books have a more-or-less unbelievable entry point: it's the way that Reacher deals with the problems, and the way the plot twists, that makes up for any implausibility.

This one had quite a few plot twists in it, and I enjoyed this more than Echo Burning (maybe because I was just happy to go with it). One thing that helped keep it satisfying was that there were relatively few parallel stories: rather like the Starbridge novels of Susan Howatch, a chapter might end with a cliffhanger, but the next chapter takes up right there, so you're always tempted to read just a bit more.

Completed : 06-Dec-2014

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