four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
24-Sept-Oct-2006
By: 
Lee Child
user_rating: 
0

A Jack Reacher Novel

A-TheHardWayJack Reacher—ex-military policeman, fixer, and a man for whom "the remorse gene was missing from his DNA"—returns for the tenth time. While in New York, Reacher is approached by an employee of Edward Lane, the head of an organization that provides skilled, covert military support to governments worldwide. Lane’s wife and eight-year-old stepdaughter have been kidnapped, and Reacher is the only man who can ensure their safe return. Reacher has no idea, of course, that such a tragic case is nothing new for the shady Lane. The kidnapping quickly becomes more convoluted than even Reacher could anticipate.
Bantam. 384 pages. $25. ISBN: 0385336691

Denver Post 4 of 5 Stars
"The imperfections Child adds to his protagonist’s character this time out, such as Reacher’s not catching onto all of the questionable dealings early on in the novel, give Reacher a much-needed vulnerability. All in all, The Hard Way is a breathless, well-paced thriller that will satisfy die-hard fans and newcomers." Dorman T. Shindler

NY Times Book Review 4 of 5 Stars
"Crime writers will do anything to grab attention in a book’s opening paragraph, but Mr. Child achieves this without breaking a sweat. … Reading Mr. Child is not only a mentally transporting experience but also, at times, a physical one." Janet Maslin

Orlando Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars
"The Hard Way … is icing on the cake for [Child’s] legion of fans. … For the squeamish, there are some grisly scenes …" Ann Hellmuth

Philadelphia Inquirer 4 of 5 Stars
"The last several books in the series have all been excellent, but the latest is his best yet. … [The Hard Way] is a straight-ahead, high-octane thriller that drops the reader down in the middle of the story and keeps you turning pages until the plot speeds to its thrilling conclusion." David J. Montgomery

Entertainment Weekly 3.5 of 5 Stars
"There’s always been a strong streak of sadism in Child’s books, probably an outgrowth of his testosterone-soaked prose. … And while there’s no denying that the Reacher books are formulaic masculine fantasies, it seems pointless to fault a concoction composed of such electrifying elements." Gilbert Cruz

Critical Summary

Lee Child has become one of the most popular writers in a genre known for the hard-earned loyalty of its readers. Fortunately, his character Jack Reacher, "the literary heir to Mike Hammer, Sir Lancelot and, perhaps, Jack Paladin" (Denver Post), shows no signs of cooling off. Critics applaud Child for bringing fresh observations and endearing quirks to Reacher’s character (keep an eye out for the clothing in this latest effort), who was first introduced to readers in Killing Floor (1997) and most recently appeared in One Shot (2005). The books also contain a sense of humor, which contrasts nicely, at times ironically, with scenes of intense violence and cerebral intrigue.