Jack Reacher was on the west coast when it happened. A sniper, loose in Paris, took a shot at the President of France. The shot was fired from 1400 yards out by someone on an apartment balcony. Some kind of new glass held saving the life of the politician. As the situation was investigated and the reality of just how difficult a shot it was to pull off a list of potential snipers with that kind of skill level was drawn up by those who should know.

It has been determined that several snipers from around the world are the best of the best for this particular situation. One sniper in particular is an American that that Reacher knows well having put him in jail a number or years ago. As the intelligence services of the various countries are brought in to chase their sniper in advance of the upcoming G8 summit in England, old contracts of Reacher’s put him in to help with this as he owes a favor to one of those heavily involved. Just one of the ways– and there are several– that this situation is Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel.

Reacher is back and in good form in this latest installment of the long running series. Duplicity is rampart among all involved as there are many hidden agendas are at work in this complex thriller. Reacher spends a lot of time talking to people by way of the Socratic method to sift through the conflicting information and figure out multiple situations as they arise throughout the entire book. This is done through page after page of dialogue in a way that is far different stylistically than earlier books in the series.

In fact the entire novel, while good, is far different stylistically and not just in terms of dialogue than earlier in the series. Legendary for his traveling light with only a toothbrush–if that– resulting in needing to buy clothes to replace whatever he is wearing, this Reacher hardly ever buys clothes. In previous novels, Reacher was always interested in the girl and almost always got her. In this case there is zero sexual attraction at work as he acts more like her grandfather or mentor. Considering the age of his parents Reacher could be her grandfather and yet he can still fight like the Reacher of old in the few fight scenes scattered throughout the novel. One of which immediately puts the reader in mind of the classic movie Bond villain, Jaws.

Reacher, often dealing with characters that are little more than stereotypes, when the time comes is still busting heads and/or various limbs while taking names as the chase takes him across the globe. He certainly isn’t mellowing with age and gets the job done– even when the odds are stacked against him by both friend and foe. While not nearly as good as early ones in the series, Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child is a good one that keeps reader interest page after page and is certainly much better than his last couple of books.

Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel
Lee Child
Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House LLC)
September 2014
ISBN# 978-0-8041-7874-7
Hardback (available in e-book and audio)
368 Pages

ARC was provided as a result of my winning a copy by way of LibraryThing for my use in an objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

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