By Lee Child

A Dell Book

ISBN: 9780440241003

4 stars

Jack Reacher is a man of many talents, chiefly among them seems to be rescuing others in dire circumstances. His former career as a military police officer seems to be a constant fall back — as much as he does try to distance himself from it.

Persuader opens with a shoot out on a college campus and Reacher just happens to be there to save student Richard Beck from being kidnapped. With the dramatic rescue accomplished, he worms his way into the family’s house and finds a job as a body guard.

As it turns out, Reacher isn’t really there to protect anyone but himself. He’s been sent in off the books by Susan Duffy, an agent from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), to rescue another DEA agent who went silent. He’s also there for another more personal reason — he plans to settle an old score with a man named Quinn who is supposed to be dead.

As with all Lee Child books I have read, this one starts out at a brisk pace and keeps going. There are a lot of characters and numerous twists but he some how manages to keep it easy to follow. The suspense is high and readers stand to learn a lot about guns and other ways to kill. While it might not be an interesting point for every reader, imagining Reacher inspecting each gun he is either given or stolen is an intriguing insight into the character and his background.

There is one thing to note with Lee Child novels — you need to suspend all belief to get the most out of it. Reacher is a drifter who was downsized out of the army and spends his days hitching rides across the U.S. He carries no bags and has no family, the way he likes it. Yet, he somehow always manages to be in the right place at the right time and some government agency is always salivating to hire him for an off the books job after a peek at his service record.

This doesn’t make the books bad. It’s the exact opposite. You keep reading because you want to find out how he’s going to get out of a hostage situation, fight his way out of a locked room, and get the girl; which in almost every single book I’ve read this year (and there were seven of them) he has.

Enjoy this book for what it is — a fast paced thriller that will keep you engaged to the very end.


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