McClain not Reacher
Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels are favorites but the narration of this one ruins it. Dick Hill IS Jack Reacher.
I started to feel like this was dark comedy. The voices, especially female characters, were comical.
If this were the first Jack Reacher I listened to I would have no desire to listen to another. I will probably finish the book because the story holds my interest. I will try to imagine Dick Hill's narration to get through it.
A plot with a semblance of feasibility. I realize that all of the Reacher stories involve three themes -- incompetent or impotent professionals, a surprise corruption, and a requirement to set aside reality. It works in almost all of the books--especially the later novels. Running Blind has three problems. One, the plot is beyond believability. Two, the incompetence is so incompetent, it's not believable. Three, Dick Hill didn't narrate. I had decided to read the whole series, starting with Book 1. I couldn't listen to this book all the way through.
I'm still buying Reacher books, but I definitely recommend this for the "skip" list...or if you need to read or listen to it because you want to do the whole series, I'd suggest a library visit.
Jonathan McClain is a good narrator, but using him for Jack Reacher would be like, well, it would be like using Tom Cruise to play Reacher in a movie. McClain's voice isn't big enough to be Reacher and his portrayal of several other characters takes on a cartoon quality.
I'd still consider listening to a book McClain performs, but I believe it was a good move to return to Dick Hill (who narrated book 1, but not books 2, 3, and 4). He sounds like Reacher is supposed to sound.
Total disappointment. If this were the first Reacher book I'd have read, I'd never had opened (or pressed play) on any of the others. It's a real snoozer.
Lee Child's FBI agents are too unrealistic. I'm sure there are incompetent FBI agents here and there, but definitely not the entire profile unit. In addition, were there a real serial killer case, the Bureau would not have left the entire investigation to a team this incompetent.
I enjoyed the first 3 Reacher books (with the exception of the reader on books 2 - 4), this one was very predictable, I knew who the killer was 1/3 of the way into the book and yet the book continued as if that was the great hidden mystery. It was entertaining enough to warrant 3 stars but I can't tell you how glad I am to finally be past this reader in the series, I can't imagine how a reader could be worse, why did it take 3 books to figure that out?
I have always loved to read. As a child my mom actually grounded me from books if I was in trouble. Noone can do that now. Yay!
The FBI agents were cartoonish ... None of them seemed bright or clever. They weren't creative or engaged. Bumbling fools is a more accurate description. I like Jack, and I want him to be the star of the show... But I prefer the other characters to be smart and flawed; real. And Jody went from being the woman he remembered for 15 years of unrequited love to a whiny, money obsessed lawyer who had nothing in common with Reacher. They went from 0 to 100 back to 0 in the course of two books.
Plus this episode in Reacher's story held no suspense or surprise. I knew the "bad guy" long before I should have. The plot was weak and the climax even weaker.
I enjoyed the overall plot of the story. Child kept me guessing about who the perp was until the climax scene, but the ride was spoiled somewhat by Reacher's attitude throughout the story. You are supposed to take his side because the FBI is threatening Jodie, and I did in the beginning, but he lost my sympathy when he is still being jerk halfway through the book. I thought, "he's already in this, why shouldn't he at least start trying to solve the case?" As it is, he doesn't even get serious until the last 5 chapters or so. By that point, the story was already pretty much ruined for me. I was expecting the Reacher we saw in "Die Trying", where he could have run but chose to stay and risk his life to help someone in need. I gave this three stars because he does end up coming around at the end and because the plot was very good. In fact, it's probably what made me finish the story. I really didn't care about Reacher's involvement toward the end; I just wanted to see who the killer was. I'm glad Child always has a good plot, but you can't have plot without a likable hero in this genre. I hope the next book brings back the old Reacher.
The most interesting aspect of the book was, by far, the method used to kill the victims. If you are listening closely, it is something you can pick up in the beginning of the book, but it seems so far fetched that you dismiss it. This is brilliant because it follows Reacher's thought process almost exactly toward the end of the book. I think it helped me understand why he was so reluctant to discuss his theory with Agent Harper, even though he seemed to trust her. I also loved how portions of the book were told from the killer's perspective, which kind of made the reader/listener feel closer to the action. It was a little creepy, but good creepy.
My favorite scene was when Reacher and Harper visit Agent Lamarr's sister to warn her about the murders. It was the first time you saw Reacher being nice to anyone but Jodie. I found myself cheering when the old Reacher started to poke his head out just a fraction.
I think "Running Blind" is worth at least one listen, especially for big Reacher fans. I wouldn't recommend it for a first listen, though, and I probably will not listen to it again.
I really enjoyed the book and I figured out that hypnotisumm or however you spell it must have a part in it, and I did think the FBI agent was the culprit, don't know why but those were the two thing's that stood out at the begining, but I didn't figure out why..as far as the narrator,,,,that I did not like, I think I have all the series, but if not, I will just get what I don't have, and if it is the same narrator, well I will just suck it up and get it anyway...Love Reacher
“the book I was reading turned out to be crack” ― Elizabeth Norris, Unraveling
Good book, ass kicking reacher. It wasn't to hard to guess the "who did it", as the cast of characters was small. However, it was still a good listen and I'll listen to the next in the series.
Lover of Literature
I am a huge fan of the character Jack Reacher, but the books can be a hit or miss. Lee Child tends to walk a tightrope of "plausible" vs. "everyone but Jack is a drooling idiot." He didn't do so well in the first book, did very well in the second two and then tipped off the later edge into abject crap in this one. Seriously, the FBI are a bunch of lying, rights-violating, vicious morons. Jack is kind of being an ass himself and the story is painfully lackluster. I had to force myself to finish it, because I paid for it, but I am going to be very selective about reading all reviews and not reading the JR series in order anymore - rather reading the books where people aren't suffering from the same "this is so stupid" eye rolling headaches I did during this book.
En Dieu Ma Foy
Ok I've had to deal with some federal types in my career and most of them don't fit the corner that Lee Child tries painting the FBI into in this book. I can think of three specifically though that could be exact copies of the "moron" feds in this book, but they are all desk jockies that never would have a case this big. I would never call any of the feds I've dealt with "over-bright", but never this stupid and never this crooked. And even though I know the chances of Lee Child ever reading this are slim, just a heads up. Someone that stupid and crooked, would have a very hard time climbing the ranks in law enforcement. You might end up with one, but a whole department of them? No. Most of your problems are either stupid OR crooked. The stupid ones are usually straight arrows and the crooked ones are usually wicked smart. Both find their way to the top but never do you have the trifecta of stupid, crooked, and all powerful. That was my only complaint with the book and the only reason it got 4 stars instead of 5. Child held true to his story and really did a good job of filling it out to give you a lot of differant suspects.
Again J. McClain does a good job as Jack Reacher, but he just doesn't do a great job. To get this up to 5 stars would require Dick Hill.