Monday, 1 September 2014

Not A Drill

There I was basically complaining about how ordinary his main novel Personal was. And then I read the teaser story Not A Drill and it's a million times more mysterious...and frankly disturbing. How is that even possible? In theory it's got the same mindset as Personal. The big bad US military. There was no hint of it's horror when I skim read the reviews on Amazon. "Goes nowhere" seemed to be the consensus. With readers giving it one or two stars only. Only?

I'll spoil it for you. Gitmo prisoners falling from the sky. Ugh. I never saw that coming. And about one third of this teeny tiny novella is taken up with Reacher aimlessly toing and froing in dense forestry along the US/Canadian border. In fact the structure of Not A Drill is pretty similar to the lovely Deep Down, another fantastic Reacher short story where days were spent in boring military procurement meetings before Reacher solved the mystery and then had a stonking fight against 4 tough guys. (and thus reinforced the legend.) Unfortunately, there's no fighting in Not A Drill. It just gave me nightmares as I slept. Was it written between the 2 MHs? Creepy...and sad, really, that the good guys could be involved in something like this. But great that despite everything that's happened there's still quiet People Who Care about right and wrong. More power to them.

So it goes. I'll be waiting for another year. I can see that.

Friday, 29 August 2014


ditto A Wanted Man (tee hee)

Jeez! Did this novel really take a year to write? I read it in an afternoon and an evening. Hardly even qualifies as a thriller. Think of Personal as the yearly episode of your aunties favourite soap. Yes. It's that mediocre. Featuring the safest baddies in the world...the US secret services. Yawn. This novel seems to be written totally to be made into a nice nice tv movie....for the lifetime channel. Of course I bought it ... and I'll buy the next one. But there won't be many new (or younger) fans for the Jack Reacher series. Shame really. I so wanted either Bennet or Nice to turn out to be traitors. Just for the sake of making the story a bit interesting. The Plot. A sniper has set his sights on taking out World Leaders at the G8 Summit. And Jack has to stop him. Except it never gets to any kind of tension. Day of the Jackal is a more exciting read from 40 years ago. And as Reacher himself points out, the G8 doesn't include the Chinese. Now that might have made an interesting story. Most of the supporting characters are just shallow stereotypes...the serbs, the russian, the brit and the girl. Do people read Reacher for the kills? I wonder. Actually Casey Nice has the best kill...the shard of glass in the throat...but it happens off the page. The really boring stuff...all the detail about Reacher's plane flight from Seattle to Pope Field. All that dreariness about travelling around London...Chingford, Romford, Barking.  Irrelevant minutiae about irrelevant people. Pure padding.

What a weird success the Reacher novels are. Even one of my faves, Gone Tomorrow, if I remember rightly, had no real reason of why that poor woman was being blackmailed. The photo McGuffin.

Oh well. Next year another review. Unless I decide to re-read any of the previously published Reacher novels.

btw I've lost my Kindle..somewhere. So I had to download Personal using the Kindle app on my android...wireless like. It took about 3 seconds and was a perfect read. Fantastic.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Gone Tomorrow

One of my faves. With a setting of New York, DC and Greensboro, Virginia. A totally impausible crazy read. Featurng some great females. And as with the best Reachers, some poignancy. Because, let's face it, if Reacher had done any of the stuff that he thought he should do on the train, that poor woman would probably still be alive. Just imagine, the only occupants of that train carriage, apart from Reacher were all government employees. No wonder the country's going broke. Lila and Svetlana...two great inventions. I think this is the first story where the reader was introduced to the hotel scam. And train surfing. Plus. The usual scenario where Reacher figures it all out but doesn't let the reader know. The scenes with Reacher in the cage are all padding. There's a lot of blood and gore in this story. It's not for the faint-hearted. And yes, completely innocent people die. All adult thankfully. Reacher's final killing spree is completely justified. Reacher against 20. And ooo, the bad guys shoot guns...and miss. How ridiculous is that? Headbutts, elbow jabs, knifework and completely gratuitous comparisons between firearms. A couple of negatives. From out of nowhere Reacher asks for some bump and grind with Theresa. She should have said no. But the ladies never do in these stories. And there is no final reveal...the reader is left guessing. So annoying. I almost forgot. This story is written in the first person. But you know what? Not for one single itty bitty minute did I think of myself as Jack Reacher.

A Wanted Man

Oh dear. A year to write, one day to read. The plot is generally complete hokum. Ok, the ride in the stolen car is quite tense. But after that the story pans out into the usual alphabet soup of government agencies and basic disinterest on my part. There's nothing in this story that you haven't read in previous Reacher novels. Not for one moment did the bad guys look like they were an effective outfit. I'm not even sure that Reacher's usual killing spree was justified. No romance. No headbutts. Very, very average.