Reacher said, “Pop quiz, guys. You spent four years in college learning how to play a game. I spent thirteen years in the army learning how to kill people. So how scared am I?”
“And you were so bad at it you couldn’t even get drafted afterwards. I was so good at it I got all kinds of medals and promotions. So how scared are you?”
“Not very,” said the guy with the wrench.
End of extract.
Jack Reacher is an ex-Military Policeman and the hero of Lee Child’s fifteen novels. I’ve read them all and they’re a masterclass in succinct, action-packed thriller writing. Child and Reacher are my heroes.
In the above extract, taken from Child’s latest novel, Worth Dying For, all you need to know about Reacher is there. I’ve no doubt in my mind that already you have an image of what he looks like and how he thinks.
He can survive anything the bad guys throw at him. In the end of the last book, 61 Hours, there was some doubt about whether or not he made it out of the cave that was packed to the hilt with explosives. There was no mention of him getting out. In Worth Dying For there is no mention of how he did manage to escape; except that he did. He’s bruised and in some pain, but that’s not enough to stop him from being a relentless force for good.
In a scrap between the Incredible Hulk and Reacher, it would be the monster who’d get smashed.
In a duel between James Bond and Reacher, all the gadgets in the world wouldn’t save 007 from an embarrassing end.
That’s how good Reacher is as a fictional action hero. He shouldn’t exist. But he does. He shouldn’t be real. But he is.
My recommendation? Start with The Killing Floor and work your way through the series. Be prepared for late nights because these books do not let up.