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Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 19 | [Lee Child]

Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 19

"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...
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (375 )
5 star
 (153)
4 star
 (118)
3 star
 (68)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (13)
Overall
4.0 (342 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (57)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (15)
Story
4.1 (346 )
5 star
 (175)
4 star
 (95)
3 star
 (41)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
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  •  
    Jeffrey Gig Harbor, WA, United States 09-06-14
    Jeffrey Gig Harbor, WA, United States 09-06-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lee and Dick seem tired"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    What could Lee Child have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Dick Hill just wasn't his usual Reacher.


    Do you think Personal needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Reacher does but Personal was just to odd to keep it going


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley P. Valentine Tampa, FLA 09-11-14
    Bradley P. Valentine Tampa, FLA 09-11-14 Member Since 2011

    Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I’m sad to contribute to the chorus of negativity"
    Any additional comments?

    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?

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Madison, OH, United States 09-07-14
    Brenda Madison, OH, United States 09-07-14 Member Since 2001

    brenwalt

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Definitely something wrong with Reacher"

    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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Flushing, MI, USA 09-16-14
    Karen Flushing, MI, USA 09-16-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reacher has never disappointed me before...."
    What disappointed you about Personal?

    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.


    Has Personal turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    What didn’t you like about Dick Hill’s performance?

    It was just sub par.


    What character would you cut from Personal?

    Pretty much all of them. They didn't ring true. They were not fleshed out or believable.


    Any additional comments?

    I sure hope this was an aberration, and the real Jack and a real story return in the next one.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Tye 09-16-14
    Anne Tye 09-16-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much bluster & Child should have wikied Zoloft"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 09-12-14
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 09-12-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the best. Other Reacher books are better."

    But it’s still fun.

    I will always read the new Jack Reacher book. I like being in this world. He had about three or four beat em up scenes. Those were fun. But the story was not very good. There was a lot of going-nowhere-talk. My mind wandered at times. The author used the following phrase a lot. I smile when I hear it because it’s typical Reacher. “I said nothing.” “He said nothing.”

    Most of the Reacher books have been 3rd person narratives, so I was not happy with this done in 1st person.

    THE SERIES:
    This is book 19 in the Jack Reacher series. I gave 4 or more stars to the first seven books except for Running Blind.

    NARRATOR:
    The narrator Dick Hill was very good.

    Genre: mystery suspense.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander Tushinsky Henderson, NV, United States 09-12-14
    Alexander Tushinsky Henderson, NV, United States 09-12-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sad Crap!"

    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.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 09-18-14
    John 09-18-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book suffers from the narrator"
    Would you try another book from Lee Child and/or Dick Hill?

    I won't try another Reacher novel narrated by Dick Hill. His snarky interpretation of Jack Reacher is unrelenting and interferes with the story....his "voice" for the female characters is childish and not believable. In short, this narrator ruins the tale.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Lee Child? Why or why not?

    I like Child's narrative and characters, so I'd be willing to hear more (as long as a different narrator is involved).


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dick Hill?

    I'd like to hear Bronson Pinchot's take on Reacher...his rendition of Panzer Commander is brilliant.


    Was Personal worth the listening time?

    I'm on the fence on that one...story is engaging - narration was grating!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oenophile Nc 09-02-14
    Oenophile Nc 09-02-14 Member Since 2008

    In vino veritas

    HELPFUL VOTES
    118
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    36
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    "Lee Child: where in the world is Jack Reacher?"

    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.

    38 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy White Stuart, FL USA 09-15-14
    Nancy White Stuart, FL USA 09-15-14 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration is unbelievably bad."

    Still haven't finished this book. Having a hard time getting past the narrator. "Jack Reacher" voice is OK. All else is incredibly bad.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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