three-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
18-Sept-Oct-2005
By: 
Lee Child
user_rating: 
0

A Jack Reacher Novel

A-OneShotA madman has his sights set on a small Indiana town. Six shots are fired, five people die, and all of the evidence fingers ex-infantry sniper Jack Barr. When the suspect is apprehended, he has only one thing to say: "Get Jack Reacher for me." Oddly enough, the peripatetic police investigator is already on his way. He knows Jack Barr and knows he’s done this before. But this is the 9th Jack Reacher novel. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems.
Delacorte. 384 pages. $25. ISBN: 0385336683

Milwaukee Jrnl Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars
"Child [also] takes a moment or two to display his spot-on perceptions of things, like the way our modern-day media like to concentrate on only the negative and create an atmosphere of dread." Dorman Shindler

New York Times 4 of 5 Stars
"… Mr. Child’s tough talk and thoughtful plotting make an ingenious combination, turning novels like his new One Shot into pure, escapist gold."
Janet Maslin

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 3 of 5 Stars
"While his hero is at best a two-dimensional sort and he recruits his villains from Central Casting, Child is a clever plotter with a novelist’s sense of place and detail." Bob Hoover

St. Petersburg Times 3 of 5 Stars
"… without question Lee Child’s best outing with protagonist Jack Reacher in several years. … It isn’t until you finish the book and heave a deep sigh that you might wonder why the crime at the core of the story doesn’t quite fit ..." Jean Heller

Washington Post 2 of 5 Stars
"Child is a skillful writer, but at its worst this book reads like one of those really lame thrillers where bad guys who limp or have a scar on their face slink around wielding diabolical powers until the hero outfoxes them." Patrick Anderson

Critical Summary

"Not for nothing do reviewers tell readers to disconnect the phone when the latest Reacher knockout comes along," writes the entirely convinced Janet Maslin of The New York Times. She’s not alone; several others rank One Shot (after 2004’s The Enemy) as the author’s best thriller in years, filled as it is with detailed procedural insight, dry wit, and page-turning disclosures. However, there is a caveat. Those bad guys? Truly too much to believe (the Washington Post was particularly offended). If strained credibility can’t sway your enjoyment, hold on for one wild ride.

Cited by the Critics

The Enemy A Jack Reacher Novel (2004): An investigation of a general’s embarrassing death serves as a prequel to the other seven entries in the series.