My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is a difficult book to like. A collection of universally-unlikeable characters, engaged in a circle of clumsy lies, beatings and general bastardry, revolving around a plot that asks the reader to care about the outcome of a “Who’s the biggest shit” contest, and all driven by a protagonist so unbelievable and one-dimensional that I struggle to believe that this is the 16th book in the series. Childs’ style is distinctly limited, and the reader receives no insight into why anybody– least of all his sociopathic ubermensch lead, Jack Reacher– sees fit to follow their lines of action. It’s somewhere at the level of the old ‘Destroyer’ or ‘Executioner’ potboilers, and I’m at a loss to work out how this has become so popular. Perhaps it’s the Rambo-esque appeal of a gun-toting, reactionary hard man for a country of similar tastes, but at least ‘First Blood’ was a decent book.