Jack Reacher returns in the latest fast-moving, action-packed, suspenseful book from number-one New York Times best-selling author Lee Child.
"You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely," notes Jack Reacher - and sure enough, the retired military cop is soon pulled back into service. This time, for the State Department and the CIA.
Someone has taken a shot at the president of France in the City of Light. The bullet was American. The distance between the gunman and the target was exceptional. How many snipers can shoot from three-quarters of a mile with total confidence? Very few, but John Kott - an American marksman gone bad - is one of them. And after 15 years in prison, he’s out, unaccounted for, and likely drawing a bead on a G-8 summit packed with enough world leaders to tempt any assassin.
If anyone can stop Kott, it’s the man who beat him before: Reacher. And though he’d rather work alone, Reacher is teamed with Casey Nice, a rookie analyst who keeps her cool with Zoloft. But they’re facing a rough road, full of ruthless mobsters, Serbian thugs, close calls, double-crosses - and no backup if they’re caught. All the while Reacher can’t stop thinking about the woman he once failed to save. But he won’t let that that happen again. Not this time. Not Nice.
Reacher never gets too close. But now a killer is making it personal.
I have listened to this series faithfully and have enjoyed most of them. The latest iteration of Jack Reacher left me wanting. The narration often has carried the book when the plot was lacking but in this case I thought Dick Hill's performance a bit lackluster. He seemed to rush through the first half and it wasn't until the last half that he started to sound more like his usual Reacher.
The plot was formulaic and predictable for Lee Child. The characterization was developed in a spotty fashion.
The major premise of the book was weak. Reacher is not an operative on foreign soil--he's just a guy and the book ignored this major facet of the character. Also his getting out of all the different predicaments was too easy and predictable.
Dick Hill just wasn't his usual Reacher.
Reacher does but Personal was just to odd to keep it going
Between this book and using a midget for the movie I am beginning to lose faith. I would like to see the real Reacher not the fake operative.
I have listened to all the Reacher novels and loved them. Enough even to sit through the Tom Cruise movie debacle. This is my first review as most of the time I just figure i am just passing time so I will listen to pretty much anything.
I just can not get over how detailed the most inane situations were. 10 minutes was spent going over how a password was entered into a computer. A good 45 minutes of the book were devoted to how large Joey's house was. I found myself wanting to stop but of course I had to finish.
Wish I had not wasted my time.
Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.
I’ve never been disappointed in a Reacher book before. I’ve read them all starting from about three years ago, and I’ve loved catching these books as they come out. The stuff I usually like was published decades ago. I guess what bugs me about PERSONAL is that it feels like a misguided attempt at Reacher’s greatest hits, only it’s set in Europe instead of America.
(BTW this does make sense...I’ve seen other reviewers complain that Reacher is a regular guy and that’s not exactly true, he’s an American who grew up abroad and worked abroad as an MP...frankly I’m surprised this is the first book to really take place almost entirely off American soil.)
The set up is good. The story promising. And I actually like the idea of Reacher being recalled and compelled to work as an operative. But then something feels off. Maybe it’s the first person narration of the novel. Or how quickly Reacher gets partnered with whatever version of female sidekick he has this time (which is an idea a little more than stale at this point....how about a bromance? See how that goes). Most of the novel is kinda boring and just full of hemming and hawing about plans of action and what motivation all these possible bad guys might have -- or are they bad guys? Maybe the good guys are the bad guys, etc. It just kinda goes on that way. The girl sidekick is named Nice, and that was a bit much given that her character’s arc is about finding strength to overcome her timidness to fulfill her potential...or less “nice.”
My greatest gripe is Lee Child did something really wrong that no writer should ever do. I won’t spoil anything but when Reacher figures out at the end what’s really happening, what the plot really is, you feel sort of cheated. That plot would have been great. Unraveling that mystery would have been a lot more fun. Instead it’s downloaded all in the last couple pages as if some plot twist when really it feels like it’s the plot Reacher should have been following the whole book.
The gangsters Reacher deals with throughout the book, the MI5 guy, feel like background people. But they’re front and center.
Frankly I suspect Lee Child intended PERSONAL as a movie. I imagine it was written while the film was being made or released, and it sort of feels like he was trying to write a neat, simplified story ready for the big screen. But who knows?
Couldn't believe how disappointed I was with this Reacher episode. Virtually no action. Very thin, almost non existent plot. Reader was very slow and this book bored me out of my skull. I don't like saying negative comments but it is difficult to come up with anything positive. The dialogue wasn't realistic and the book had three speeds: slow, slower, and stop. Very sorry I wasted a credit on this book.
I will echo what reviewers before me have noted. The story is weak. It's almost like it was written by someone else. The performance is weak. Has Dick Hill been ill? His voice is weak and just doesn't have that REACHER strength to it.
It was just sub par.
Pretty much all of them. They didn't ring true. They were not fleshed out or believable.
I sure hope this was an aberration, and the real Jack and a real story return in the next one.
I've read all of the Reacher books, and have enjoyed this series. Unfortunately, "Personal" is one of the worst. Slow, boring story. No action, and too far fetched. Dick Hill's narration of the book is also less than stellar. He used to sound tough, which you would expect from Reacher, but reading this book, he just sounds old.
I usually enjoy Reacher novels, but the normally quaint simpleness and effortless heroism was far too amplified in this novel. For example, Reacher seemed to think that voice dialing a cell phone was some sort of magical addition that an especially large man needed to use since his fingers were too big to use the keys. It's hard to reconcile the blatant ignorance and bluster with the fast-thinking Special Forces agent.
I was especially irritated by the random references to the use of Zoloft by one of the characters. She's described as being a Zoloft addict, carrying her pill bottle around with her in case she gets anxious. Reacher is proud of her when she goes days without taking her dose. Zoloft is not the best anxiety med by a long shot, and it needs to be taken daily for weeks before a change in affect is seen. These details make me think Reacher is becoming a senile old man who can still shoot a gun.
I've read all of the previous Jack Reacher novels and was anticipating this next installment, very much. About halfway through...I gave up.
VERY MUCH not up to par.
Where is Jack Reacher?
He is not in this book--at least, not the Reacher I know and love! The Reacher in this book is aging out and boring. Reacher is NEVER boring. There is no life in this book's character; he is just going through the motions.
There is a sort of fight in Chapter 27.
I worried in the beginning of the book about the narration. Dick Hill is the voice of Reacher as far as I am concerned, but Mr Hill started out a little thin and weak at the beginning and I thought he had been ill or something, but he did pick up somewhat as the book went on. However, he seemed less energetic than usual. I hope he is ok.
The plot meandered. I gave up caring whether or not they ever found the sniper they started out looking for in Arkansas to Paris to London etc.
I am on Chapter 33 of 58 as I write. I am going to finish it, but it is a mere formality.
Please find the real Reacher and bring him back. I gave the book three stars overall, but mostly from loyalty.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
as we look forward to the release next week of the new Reacher thriller, Make Me. Personal was released one year ago today, and it disappointed. Oh, it is very good, but not Lee Child great. You see, Lee Child has spoiled me so that I have come to expect that every Reacher novel will be at least as intriguing, thrilling and loaded with suspense as the ones that were released earlier. Personal fails that test. It also fails to live up to the rule that a writer improves with experience. While some of Child's Jack Reacher novellas are not really good stories, his full length novels have maintained the quality of the first, Killing Floor, until Personal was released on Sept 2, 2014. I admit I am holding Lee Child to a higher standard than I hols lesser action thriller authors (e.g., Barry Eisler whose John Rain novels vary greatly in quality and Jo Nesbo whose Harry Hole novels are consistently inconsistent), but Lee Child is, well, Lee Child. He and other top tier action thriller writers like Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Ben Coes, Karin Slaughter, Brett Battles, and Louise Penny set the consistency standard to which lesser authors aspire. Make Me, to be released next week, will hopefully get the Reacher series back on track.
Dick Hill's narration of Personal did not disappoint.
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