Review of “Persuader” by Lee Child

Note: This review is by my husband Jim.

Persuader is one of the many Lee Child novels featuring Jack Reacher, an ex-military police officer who now passes his time as a loner and vigilante. He doesn’t go looking for trouble, but it keeps finding him. (Actually one isn’t sure what he is looking for, but it’s a moot point since “bad luck and trouble” as one of Child’s other books is called, keeps following Reacher around.)

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Like the other six or so Jack Reacher books I have read, this one features snappy, macho dialog, short sentences, at least one very attractive, competent woman, and a few surprising plot twists. In this book, the biggest surprise takes place in the first 30 pages, but the rest of the book holds one’s interest and is not anticlimactic.

Lee Child is very consistent in his portrayal of Jack Reacher: tough, very tough; completely uninterested in monetary rewards; and driven to see that evildoers get their comeuppance. This book may be significant in that for the first time Reacher encounters a bad guy who is bigger (a lot bigger) and tougher than he is. Don’t worry. Jack hasn’t gone soft. This bad guy, at nearly 7 feet tall and over 400 pounds, would be more than a match for Hulk Hogan in his prime. To find out how Jack handles this monster in hand to hand combat, you’ll have to read the book.

The book is pure escapism, well executed. As always, the bad guys are really bad, and the good guys will have to overcome some serious obstacles to prevail.   As an added bonus, the author treats (if that’s the right word) the reader to a discussion of the comparative merits of a host of different assault weapons.  Child keeps the action taut, usually ending most chapters with a brief sentence that makes you reluctant to put the book down.  

Evaluation: I would rate this book as one of the best Reacher novels, with Child at the top of his game.  This is the seventh book in the Jack Reacher series, but there is no need to read them in order.

Rating: 3.5/5     

Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House, Inc., 2003

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5 Responses to Review of “Persuader” by Lee Child

  1. sandynawrot says:

    A very succinct Reacher review! I THINK I liked this one, but it was a long time ago. One summer I read, like 10 of them, and they all became a blur. I’ve got two on my iPod…the last two that came out. I’m not tired of him, but I’d really appreciate it if Child would change things up a bit.

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    I know Sandy loves Jack Reacher. I’ve only read one Reacher book and it didn’t wow me so I haven’t been tempted to go back. I really need to give one of his early books a try – maybe I’d “get” Reacher then.

  3. Belle Wong says:

    Having finally succumbed to the Reacher temptation last year, I did a whole whack of these in audio and loved every bit of them. I don’t think I’ve read Persuader, though. Surely I’d remember a seven-foot-tall, 400 lb bad guy … but like Sandy said, I read so many so quickly, a lot of them are a blur to me. An enjoyable blur, though.

  4. Beth F says:

    I really need to get on the Reacher bandwagon … One day I’ll have free time, right??

  5. stacybuckeye says:

    I liked this one too. I still remember the vivid setting so it must have been good 🙂

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