Review of “A Wanted Man” by Lee Child

Note: This review is by my husband Jim.


Spoiler Alert! Why is what I’m about to say spoilery? Because just by the very fact that Lee Child has written another Jack Reacher novel, readers of his previous novels already know: (1) after mouthing several witty macho bon mots, Jack Reacher will get into one or more fist fights, which he will win handily; (2) Jack (unlike Joe Nesbo’s Harry Hole) is unlikely to get hurt badly; (3) Jack will brush his teeth, at least once, anyway; (4) there will be bad guys who have no socially redeeming characteristics; (5) the bad guys will come to an unpleasant end, administered by Jack; (6) action will move very quickly; (7) most of the numerous chapters will end with a sentence that will make the reader start the next chapter; (8) the women in the story will overcome their initial repulsion towards Jack and end up liking him, maybe even having sex with him; (9) Jack will not purchase any real estate; and (10) Jack will quote numerous statistical factoids like a particular city’s population or the depth of its largest lake.

Super Spoiler Alert–Do not read the following paragraph if you want to be surprised!!

Jack takes a shower AND applies deodorant.

End of Super Spoiler.

The rest of the book is pretty much a reprise of the themes outlined in the first paragraph of this review with action involving terrorists, a murder, and a kidnapping. I won’t spoil your reading by disclosing any more specific about the plot, but rest assured it is enjoyable, largely because of Child’s masterful execution of themes (1), (6), and (7) above.

Evaluation: I read all 533 pages of the paperback version in two days, but you may wish to finish it in one. A perfect airplane book for a cross-continental flight: it’s fast-paced, fun, and is the perfect adult analogue to a young kid’s comic book.

Rating: 3/5

Note: A Wanted Man is Lee Child’s 17th book in the Jack Reacher series. The books do not have to be read in order, although like any series, doing so provides a bit more satisfaction.

Published in hardcover by Delacorte Press, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, 2012


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9 Responses to Review of “A Wanted Man” by Lee Child

  1. sandynawrot says:

    I’m about to wet my pants here. I love it. Hey, if Jack takes a shower and wears clean clothes (and keeps them clean and unbloodied for more than 3 hours) it is worth reading. I really think Child needs to change things up though. I’m waiting.

  2. Keishon says:

    This review was hilarious. I enjoyed it. I’ve never read Lee Child. I have my own two Jack Reacher novels to read and evaluate. The two titles are “One shot” and A Wanted and “The Hard Way.”

  3. I’ve read one Reacher book and I didn’t really “get” the character so I want to go back and read some of the earlier books.

  4. Beth F says:

    Ha!!! Loved this! I have yet to read a Reacher book.. no particular reason, except I’m in the middle of so many series.

  5. So funny! I realized when backtracking on the blurbs, that I have actually read the first two Reacher novels, and so I have #3. I had asked someone else recently if I needed to read all of them to enjoy the premise. By your review, I would say probably not.
    Thanks for sharing this amusing review!

  6. Liviania says:

    Great review! My grandfather got me hooked on this books, and they are great fun if very similar to each other.

    Deodorant, oh my.

  7. stacybuckeye says:

    I’m not quite halfway through the series, but I’m okay that they all are a bit predictable. Reacher is still my hero 🙂

  8. Rita K says:

    Love Jack and even though Child gets a lot wrong I know I will read it!

  9. BruceL says:

    Too late for me to go back, I started on his latest ‘Never go back’ and I’m entirely hooked. This might also be due to the ending which I found frustrating. Regardless the journey was so good I want to ride again. Child said in an interview on the Book report radio show that his next novel ’20 seconds ago’ is already on the go, but will only get published a year from now – which is good for e; I have a whole year in which to play catchup.

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