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.
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