21 December, 2017

#BookReview :: The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher #22) by Lee Child

Jack Reacher takes an aimless stroll past a pawn shop in a small Midwestern town. In the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher’s a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it.

Reacher tracks the ring back to its owner, step by step, down a criminal trail leading west. Like Big Foot come out of the forest, he arrives in the deserted wilds of Wyoming. All he wants is to find the woman. If she’s OK, he’ll walk away. If she’s not … he’ll stop at nothing.

He’s still shaken by the recent horrors of Make Me, and now The Midnight Line sees him set on a raw and elemental quest for simple justice. Best advice: don’t get in his way. 

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I have been eagerly waiting for the yearly dose of Jack Reacher. The blurb of the book sounded promising.

At a bus rest stop, Jack Reacher sees a West Point ring at a pawn shop window. Being a West Pointer himself, he knows the hard work that goes with graduating from there. As such he is curious about the owner and wants to make sure that she is doing okay. He wants to know the story of the woman who would sell her West Point ring. And thus, the tracking begins. On his way, he meets a private detective who is also on the trail of the same woman. The private eye has been hired by the said woman’s sister. As they pool their resources, Jack Reacher uncovers a trail of a drug ring. The question is, how do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? Especially when there is a hit out on your name?

For the first time in the history of Jack Reacher series, I am disappointed. Jack Reacher was never meant to be this regular guy who makes simple mistakes. He has been built up as a larger than life character from the very beginning. His very analytical mind is supposed to notice what common people do not. Yet he makes three tactical errors, two of which even a common man with law enforcement/military background would not make. Each time I found myself mentally urging him to really see it. I do not understand why this happened… Was it because of what happened in ‘Make Me’ that had him rattled? Or was it because of the connection he made with Michelle Chang?

Given the fact that Jack Reacher series is usually gripping for me because of the way he analyzes things and makes decisions based on that, this book really did not work for me. There were hardly any twists (the breadcrumbs are right there) and the USP of the book fell short of expectation. There’s still a lot of detecting and some action involved to keep the readers engaged.

In short, I would not recommend this book to someone who has not read Jack Reacher books before. It would not really make a good impression.

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