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Jack Reacher - The Visitor

A Thrilling Crime Adventure Without Conviction 


By this point in my quest to read one book a week, I’m beginning to become a little tired of Jack Reacher – so I’ll preface this by stating that, from now on, for every seven Reacher novels I read I will read three other novels. Mainly as this gets me to the latest Reacher novel release this year whilst keeping the character present in my mind. 

I’m four books in and, if I’m being honest, I still find that somehow, I am pulled into to Reachers world with such a powerful grip that I am compelled to spend entire days sitting and reading Child’s novels without a thought of anything else. Honestly, it has become somewhat a frustration as I am currently working on my own novel. 

The Visitor has pulled me with the regular Reacher opening – Reacher is not doing much, just minding his own business when he’s pulled in by the FBI who tells him women who’d left the army due to sexual assault have been showing up murdered. The suspect? A man just like Jack Reacher.

It’s a compelling novel, more so because this is the first time so far I’ve seen Reacher forced into compliance and made by the a threat to his girlfriend Jodie, a character carried over from the previous novel (a first in the series). Reacher teams up with the FBI’s profiling unit headed by Agent Blake, a figure with as much a moral code as you’d expect from an American lawman. 

Reacher is primarily teamed up with Dumarr, an agent within the FBI who has a personal stake in the case, and agent Riley, a tall glass of water who’s sharp as a blade and an another women seduced by Reachers… honestly I have no idea, tall frame and murderous intent? 

The story keeps pace well and builds suspense as each clue to thr case is revealed slowly and we get glimpses through the eyes of the killer. There is a clear frustration on the part of all parties as Reacher is adamant to solve this case and prove that the Bureau is looking at it all wrong. 

Its certainty one of the more intriguing novels I’ve read so far, but its conclusion feels anything but entirely satisfying. Whilst the big reveal is certainly a surprise, the means and method feel a little too stretched and the motive a little ridiculous. Like The Killing Floor, the first entry in Le Child’s series, it feels as though the author is continuing to experiment with the Reacher formula. 

In this case, the experiment is not entirely successful, however Reacher as a character feels very solid on the pages. Whilst the previous novels have had to truly work to establish the character, The Visitor doesn’t have to do this. Within ten pages, I’m entirely convinced that this brute of a man is a heroic nobody out to serve justice however he deems it fit. A vigilante smart enough to avoid prison and truly out in the world trying to actively avoid trouble (yet constantly finding it). 

This is still a very entertaining narrative to follow and standing on its own it’s a fun read to past the time. But it’s not grounded in the reality that Lee Child’s has created for Jack Reachers world. Previous novels have established elements of reality within these novels, the characters have to play by real world rules and even if the worlds stretch the imagination on the possible, the foundations of reality provide a gravity that keeps the novels grounded. This does not feel the case here, instead more of an experiment to appeal more to the Sherlock Holmes lovers. I

I will continue on in the series for the next three books, then explore something new. If you have any suggestions on what this might be then, please, feel free to comment and suggest a novel you’d like to see reviewed and I’ll put it on my list!

Until then, this is Harvey John signing off.

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