The mark of a good first book in a series is to get you to continue to follow it. I started with this one and have downloaded two more since in short time and will probably continue on. To quickly sum things up, Jack Reacher is a tough, no-nonsense, ex-military guy who seems often to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He's the kind of man women want and the kind of man men want to be. One knock on Reacher from this book and the others so far, is how he always seems to be the only person smart enough to figure things out. The Harvard-educated policeman in this story seemed to stumble left and right, and needed Reacher's guidance to figure it out. That said, I think that's also a huge part of his appeal. It's nice sometimes to drift away into a world where you can pretend you're Reacher (if you are a guy or that you know a guy like that if you are a woman), and you use both brains and braun to deflect anything that comes your way. How great would it be to go through life like that? So if that type of escapism is calling out to you, let Reacher answer it.
As a fan of the Lincoln Rhyme series, I was more than ready to order this one up and dive in. After reading a few of the reviews about multiple readers, I was a bit worrried about the performance, but was soon relieved. Sure, it takes some getting used to, but I was quickly able to get used to the male and female readers and the back and forth cadence. Some have claimed that the voice of Rhyme is too soft and not authoritative. My take is that the voices in this audiobook had a strong resemblence to the actors in the Bone Collector movie, i.e. Denzel Washington playing Rhyme and Angelina Joilee as Sachs. And this goes for Thom, Sellito and others, too. I'm not sure if this was by design or not, but by the second chapter, I was already picturing Denzel and Joilee in my mind, so maybe this is why it worked for me. Denzel's portrayal of Rhyme in the movie was that of a soft-spoken, but thoughtful and intelligent character. I had the same vibe here and while some may have felt like this audiobook was "over-produced", again, I felt like this was produced with a movie-setting in mind. I actually liked the lead-in music when there was a shift or pause in the plot. Others may not find it to their liking. It's a matter of preference, I think.
As for the story, this book follows the Deaver "twist-and-turn" formula from other Rhyme novels. The story is good, but with all of the plot twists and turns, I found it difficult to distinguish between protaganists and antagonists. However, this is exactly what Deaver has in mind for the reader and the point that there are many shades of gray in the type of political/military work being done in the book was not not lost on me. It can make the reader a little uncomfortable not knowing who is good and who is bad.
Where I really enjoyed the book were the parts where Lincoln actually got out of the office and traveled (out of the U.S., no less) and was even involved in yes...an action scene! As a quad with extremely limited mobility, Lincoln has been working hard to exercise and his improved conditioning allowed him to get more involved in this book, which made for some great fun. It's a long way from the old days of lying prone in his bed and studying the white board (though there was some that, too, of course). I won't provide any plot spoilers, but there is a fantastic part where Lincoln confronts some thugs with a gun. The outcome will surprise you!
This is one of those books I will probably listen to a second time so I can pick-up on some things I missed the first time around. And who knows, I may appreciate the "good" and "bad" guys - and thus the storyline- a little more.
You don't need to have read Stephen King or be a big fan to enjoy this book, which is a guaranteed classic. Even if you've never read any of his books, this is the perfect place to start. So if you expect a horror story here, you're way off. King brings back to life the period of the late fifties and early sixties in a way that educates as much as it entertains. It's a story of life, both the past and the present- bridged by time travel. It's a story of love, loss and friendships. And while the story is about the Kennedy/Oswald tension of the period and all of its related intrique and suspense, the parts of the story completely unrelated in the small Texas town of Jodie were just as fun and interesting. King himself provides comments after the story and relates that he actually started writing this book in the early seventies, but was glad he waited. He admits that this book in no way attempts to fill in the gaps regarding what happened and who shot JFK, it's clearly evident the amount of work and research that King and team put into this novel. King cites several of the Kennedy/Oswald books he read that served as inspiration. So be prepared to laugh and also to cry as King takes you through one of the most tulmultuous periods in American history.
A bus full of old folks, an elderly ex-librarian, a 4' 11" bad guy and Reacher out in the sub-zero cold of South Dakota. Is this the odd combination that finally does him in? I've listened to every Reacher novel and this one had the feel of the original (Killing Floor) crossed with a bit of the small-town flavor of Nothing to Lose. The plot is not overly complex nor are the characters extremely developed, with the exception of one. There is some fun and intrigue in Reacher seeking help from the person who now holds his old military MP job in the 110th- and it's a woman! I get the feeling that character may be seen again if and when the series continues. Dick Hill does another fabulous job at narration, keeping his perfect streak alive. This starts slow, but ends with a bang.
If you work in a cubicle or are a manager (even Sr. manager) in corporate America, especially at a very large corporation, you will appreciate this book, plain and simple. It's a lot like the comedy Office Space- you either "get it" or you don't. Having read the other reviews, yes, you will need to realize this is fiction (at its best) and that the main character in this story, a pathetic cube-dwelling nobody all off a sudden is able to perform great corporate feats. But relax, that's what makes this book fun (and how he's getting all of this corporate knowledge all of a sudden is fun, too). There is also a lot of great humor and sarcasm in the writing. The plot moves quickly. Overall, worth the time if you are tied into the workings of big companies or are interested in getting a sense for how they work- even if the behind-the-scenes espionage and politics may be a bit much. But again, that's the fun!
I am a fan in the Rhyme/Sachs series and was not disappointed with this one. This one was different in that it provided insight into Lincoln's past and revealed more about his extended family. Newcomers to this series may find these parts a bit boring, but it's something fans have been asking for. Therefore, this one might not be a bad one to start the series with. This was also different in that the villain was not a typical one seen in past episodes. This one uses information against victims, with identity theft being a primary weapon. But make no mistake, this villain also uses brutal force, when necessary, which makes for a double threat. The most interesting part of this book is the detail in which Deaver describes just how much information is "out there" on each of us, and after reading (or listening) to this book, you will think differently about how much information you put out for others to see and you will certainly be more guarded. But you will also be left with the hollowness that if someone wants to find out something about you, they can...and will. This was perhaps the scariest part of all.
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