The Hard Way (Jack Reacher, No. 10)

The Hard Way (Jack Reacher, No. 10) - Lee Child The Hard Way by Lee Child is another Jack Reacher novel. It helps if you have followed the character before but it is a stand-alone book & you don't have to have read any previous books.

"Reacher always arranged the smallest details in his life so he could move on at a split second's notice. It was an obsessive habit. He owned nothing & carried nothing. Physically he was a big man, but he cast a small shadow & left very little in his wake."

This aspect of Reacher's character is interesting to me, as is his ability to tell time without a watch. That's something I can do myself & I don't understand why any more than he does. Illness can alter my inner clock, but the rest of the time I'm spot on.

"...Pauling's cell phone must have vibrated because she pulled it out of her pocket before Reacher heard it ring. Silent cell phones made Reacher nervous. He came from a world where a sudden dive for a pocket was more likely to mean a gun than a phone. Everytime it happened he had to endure a burst of unrequited adrenaline."

I can imagine that burst of adrenaline. I was being treated for a lupus flare with steroids. I had steroid psychosis (yes, it's REAL) & I would react that way to any sudden movement.

This book is a little different from many of the Reacher novels in that he's around people most of the time. He is basically a loner. He's interacting with a group of mercenaries hired by an amoral rich former soldier who is dealing with the kidnapping of his wife & child. Reacher learns that this man has many unconscionable secrets & this isn't the only time his wife was kidnapped. His first wife was kidnapped & killed.

He acquires the help of a former FBI agent who had worked on the first kidnapping. She was haunted by the memories of the woman being found dead & retired from the FBI because of it. She now is a private detective.

Reacher believes since too much time has lapsed since the kidnapping. He doesn't think that the wife & daughter could still be alive. His goal is to bring justice to their kidnappers. He identifies who he believes is the perpetrator & travels to London to track him.

"At street level that part of London was bright & fresh & cold & to a stranger's eyes it seemed full of trees. The buildings were low & had old cores & sagging roofs but most of them had new frontages tacked on to disguise age & disrepair."

When I read the quote above I thought of many Hollywood actresses that fit the same description with their plastic surgeries & botox. They don't fool anyone about their real age by 'tacking on' a new front.

As with most good books, I rushed through the first half with eagerness to discover what would happen. Then I slowed down reading to make the experience last just a little bit longer. I spent a sleepless night reading this one.