New Year's Day, 1990. A soldier is found dead in a sleazy motel bed. Jack Reacher is the officer on duty.
The soldier turns out to be a two-star general. The situation is bad enough, then Reacher finds the general's wife.
This stomach-churning thriller turns back the clock to a younger Reacher, in dogtags. A Reacher who still believes in the service. A Reacher who imposes army discipline. Even if only in his own pragmatic way...
©2004 Lee Child (P)2013 Isis Publishing Ltd, Random House Audiobooks
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
"The Enemy", the ninth Jack Reacher book, takes us back to January 1990, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when Reacher was a Major in the Military Police.
One of the things I enjoyed about the previous book, "The Persuader" was the glimpses it gave me of who Jack Reacher was when he was in the Army. It left me hungry for more. Perhaps it had the same impact on Lee Child because "The Enemy is set entirely in Reacher's Army past.
"The Enemy" is a sort of "Origins of Wolverine" book. it deepened my understanding of how the Jack Reacher I met in the previous books came to be the way he is.
"The Enemy" explores how the US Army works via an investigation into the death of General. The plot is tight, complex and satisfying, spiced by conflicts with an asshole superior officer with an agenda and a larger mystery around a coordinated but unexplained large-scale re-assignment of Special Unit MPs.
I know nothing of the US Army other than what I've seen of their bases in Germany and the UK but I found Child's depiction of it convincing and compelling: the sheer scale of the organization as it was back then, the way bases are the same everywhere in the world, right down to the menus in the Officers' Club, the power of rank, the freedom to work the system, the complete lack of control on where and under whom you will serve.
I enjoyed seeing Reacher outside the US, in Germany (where the US bases make everything seem as close to home as possible) and France in which Reacher, son of a French woman, seems more at home than in North Carolina. I was fascinated to see how Reacher behaved with his older brother, a man who was killed in the first Jack Reacher book, "Killing Floor" and who's ghostwad evoked in the sixth book "Without Fail" when Reacher is approached by his brother's ex-girl friend.
Reacher in 1990 seemed less damaged and less lost than the Reacher in the other books. The Army and his family give him stability and a sense of purpose. It becomes clear how the loss of these things would change him for the worse.
But the 1990 Reacher is still recognisable. The things that make him scary are already present: his tendency towards violent confrontation, his inablity to let things go, his habit of using others to achieve his own agenda and his willingness to appoint himself as both judge and executioner. The things that prevent me from writing him off as a psychotic thug are also there: hisdrive to do the right thing, his willingness to take the consequences for his actions and his strong desire to keep the Army the way he thinks it should be.
"The Enemy" is a well-written period criminal investigation novel that would be attractive as a stand-alone novel. The insight's that it brings on Reacher's origins move it up into a compelling read and encourages me to thank that the Reacher novels will continue to get better, which is good news as I still have eleven more to go.
"Another brilliant Jack Reacher book by Lee Child"
The Enemy is of a very high standard and very much like Lee Child's other Jack Reacher books, an in-depth journey into Whitehouse politics and murder
You cannot rate anyone in a Jack Reacher book any higher than Jack Reacher himself. A very convincing portrait of an ex-army policeman with all the skills, knowledge and experience of someone who grew-up as an army child
I believe Jeff Harding is one of the greatest US voice-over artists that has ever been used to read USA-based audio books. As a blind reader of thriller audio books, I have listened to a large number of his audio books and I marvel at his capacity to not only make the books interesting but to read in so many different voices and dialects, even British English on some occasions! I rate Jeff as one of the best.
Without giving much away, the scene where the vice President was visiting a homeless shelter to serve lunch was the most moving part of the book
I rate this book as one of the best in the Jack Reacher series.... although I must say, I have already read seven and they are all brilliant
"Another good Reacher Novel"
The story was well planned out and kept me guessing.
Jeff Harding narrating made it all the more easy to listen to, he is the best.
Another great Jack Reacher novel. The plot was interesting and action packed. If you like the series or the genre you'll like the enemy, a real listener/page turner.
"Another excelent Jack Reacher novel."
With a gripping story line and excellent narration this was another excelent thriller from one of the best modern writers of today. This is my third Lee Child audio book in a row and will probably be my next choice when my next credit comes due.
""I said nothing!""
I said nothing!
The annoyance I felt at his disregard for Army protocols which seemed out of character but perhaps a means to an end in terms of the wider plot.
The dinner scene in Germany
Never has such an engaging story had so many statements saying that he/she/they/we/I said nothing. Although the story didn't take a genius to figure out the perpetrator(s) it was clearly going to be tough for Reacher to do his thing. At first I thought thi
"More about Jack Reacher"
Memorable characters, a superlative, thought-provoking story about the times in which we live, and superlatively read.
"One of his best"
I have read several Lee Child books, not necessarily in the correct order. This one explains his army career and has an excellent plot. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Jeff Harding is an excellent narrator adding much to the enjoyment.
I've read nearly all of the Reacher stories now and I consider this one to be the worst.
He should have figured out the How and the Who of the assassin almost immediately.
The piece with the tanks firing was ludicrous ; no matter what the orders were they would never have fired on a Humvee and you can see a human shape through tank optics from well over a mile...
All in all , this is my first poor rating for an entertaining series.
I've been working my way through the jack teacher series. again I found this to be enjoyable with it being part of his military role.
I thought the narrator was good, with a nice flow to the story.
I highly recommend the listening to this.
Why are senior American Officers always portrayed as people who can't talk in normal voices and always come across as having to order/shout their way through life because no one believes/listens to what they are saying. Having said that a great story well told.
"Good story and well narrated"
Although many of the Reacher stories are quite similar, they are all very good. Jeff Harding is a great narrator and it was a good listen. I always have my audible set to 1.25x speed at least though as I do feel sometimes the stories can drag slightly.
This story goes back to the beginning and it's an interesting prequel to other books. My only slight issue with it, is that Reacher kind of wraps up the story in a long long monologue from conjecture and instinct which is ok, but a tad far fetched...but then it is fiction! ;
A good story, lots of twists and turns and well narrated.
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