Title: Personal by Lee Child
Jack Reacher Series Book 19
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Jack Reacher returns in the latest fast-moving, action-packed, suspenseful book from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child.
You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely, notes Jack Reacher—and sure enough, the retired military cop is soon pulled back into service. This time, for the State Department and the CIA.
Someone has taken a shot at the president of France in the City of Light. The bullet was American. The distance between the gunman and the target was exceptional. How many snipers can shoot from three-quarters of a mile with total confidence? Very few, but John Kott—an American marksman gone bad—is one of them. And after fifteen years in prison, he’s out, unaccounted for, and likely drawing a bead on a G-8 summit packed with enough world leaders to tempt any assassin.
If anyone can stop Kott, it’s the man who beat him before: Reacher. And though he’d rather work alone, Reacher is teamed with Casey Nice, a rookie analyst who keeps her cool with Zoloft. But they’re facing a rough road, full of ruthless mobsters, Serbian thugs, close calls, double-crosses—and no backup if they’re caught. All the while Reacher can’t stop thinking about the woman he once failed to save. But he won’t let that that happen again. Not this time. Not Nice.
Reacher never gets too close. But now a killer is making it personal
Personal is the nineteenth novel starring the somewhat mysterious but always resourceful Jack Reacher and as always, Lee Child does an outstanding job keeping the series fresh, interesting and entertaining. While this outing is a little different than the other novels in the series, devoted fans will be pleased to learn that the very things that are unique to the character and the series are carefully preserved.
For those not familiar with the series, Jack Reacher is a retired military policeman who lives off the grid. He has no permanent address, carries no belongings other than a toothbrush and he eschews modern technology. Reacher travels by bus to various cities which he usually explores on foot until he gets the urge to move on. He is a champion of the underdog, righter of wrongs and there is no question that he has a strong moral compass.
In this latest novel, an old Army acquaintance calls in an old debt to get Reacher’s help in tracking down the sniper who tried assassinate the president of France. Quickly narrowing down the suspect pool, the trail leads directly to John Kott, a special forces sniper that Reacher outwitted and put behind bars sixteen years earlier. With the help of an inexperienced but fully capable agent, Casey Nice, their investigation begins in a remote area of Arkansas where they uncover evidence that supports the theory that Kott is indeed the sniper they are searching for. It is also apparent to Reacher and Casey that Kott is long gone and their search for the would be assassin soon goes international.
This mystery has larger implications than the typical Reacher investigations and most of the novel takes place across the pond. Jack is used to working with little local help or resources so he again mainly relies on his instincts and previous experience as an MP. Using old school investigative techniques and good old common sense, Reacher’s incredibly analytical mind quickly arrives at a working theory early on. But suspecting and proving are two completely things, so he and Casey match wits with local gang leaders and members as they close in on their quarry.
With Personal, Lee Child takes a risk and steps out of his tried and true formula and he revitalizes the Jack Reacher series with this innovative endeavor. The plot is refreshingly unique and quite clever although savvy readers will most likely pick on clues that foreshadow the novel’s conclusion. Longtime fans will be delighted with the unexpected glimpses into Reacher’s past. His relationship with Casey is different than previous books and his interactions with her provide insight into what makes him tick. All in all, it is a well-written, action-packed adventure that will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment in the Jack Reacher series.