Note: This review is by my husband Jim, who seems to have no trouble reading this series out of order, much to my obsessive-compulsive horror.
This is the fifth of Lee Child’s eighteen (so far) Jack Reacher novels. [Jack Reacher is a former military cop, now a pro re nata vigilante.] It is about the eighth I have read, and thus far it is my favorite. The story takes place in southwest Texas, Cormac McCarthy country. Although I would not put Child in McCarthy’s class as a writer, he is still pretty darn good.
Echo Burning is less predictable than the other Reacher novels I have read. Sure, in the end Reacher either kills or causes the arrest of all the bad guys (this not a spoiler to anyone who has read more than one of these), but the plot is complicated and the real villain is well-disguised. It even features an Agatha Christie-like final confrontation between Reacher and the chief schemer-bad-guy in which their conversation is used to tie up the many loose ends Child has left us.
Evaluation: As usual with any Jack Reacher book, the writing is crisp, the action is tense, and the reader is given a detailed description of the performance characteristics of a bewildering collection of hand guns and rifles.
Note from Jill: I believe Jim doesn’t rate these books higher because they constitute a “guilty pleasure” for him.
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of the Penguin Group (USA), 2001