Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Book Review: Lee Child's One Shot 

Amazon - One Shot by Lee ChildLee Child's enigmatic drifter, Jack Reacher, is back and this time, he's really ticked off.

A former Gulf War sniper is accused of a random killing spree in a small Indiana city. Hiding in a parking garage, someone killed six civilians during rush hour by picking them off, one at a time, in the city plaza. And a bevy of evidence supports the contention that the former sniper, James Barr, is the guilty party.

Rousted out of bed in the middle of the night, Barr has only two things to say: "I'm innocent" and "Get Reacher". Having seen the crime and arrest reported on CNN, though, Reacher is already on the way. Using the classic Child formula of investigative and procedural detail, unbridled criminal brutality, and the thinking man's cold-hearted hero, One Shot is a trip on the express lane straight into the darkest corner of the heartlands.

I'll be frank, this isn't Child's best novel. Not even close. Try Persuader, Running Blind or Without Fail for the penultimate Reacher stories. But Child's lesser efforts are so far above the typical "thriller" that the term seems woefully misplaced. Simply put, Child is the best action-adventure author in the business today. On my scorecard he's nine for nine. Read any of the Reacher novels, in any order, for a surefire adrenaline rush.