Reacher wanders into a town and accidentally flames the fires of a turf war between the Albanian and Ukrainian mobs.
What I Liked
The progression from what Reacher sees at the start to the war with the 2 mobs is awesome, and the almost slapstick element the way the mob interprets what’s happening reminded me of the Remo Williams series. Good escalation throughout.
What I Didn’t Like
The secondary characters were a bit, well, odd. Too ready to jump in and kill bad guys, and the waitress can suddenly figure out battle plans. Plus, Reacher is too violent even for him, regardless of the repeated justification of the shoe being on the other foot.
The Bottom Line
Still classic Reacher, albeit more violent than usual.
Jack Reacher is still in the military and gets transferred out of Panama just before New Year’s Eve, 1989. The Berlin Wall is falling, Panama is heating up with Noriega, and Reacher is watching grass grow at his new post, until a General drops dead at a seedy motel.
The collection includes a story by Lee Child called ‘James Penney’s New Identity’, which is the first Jack Reacher story. However, quite frankly, he only has a very small part to play. The story revolves around a guy named James Penny. He works in a small town, where the only industry is a factory that has just laid him off. He storms off, causes damage en route, and the police are after him for the problems he’s caused. It was accidental, but that isn’t going to matter much if they catch him. Enter Reacher to help him out.
The plot is relatively confused to start. Jack Reacher is a drifter who gets picked up by the police in a small town as a suspected murderer. He knows he didn’t do it, so he is fairly cooperative with the lead detective. But when it starts to appear that some of the other people don’t particularly care if he did it, he is a little annoyed that their laziness is going to cost him a weekend in jail with someone else who confessed to the crime. Jack starts to draw on his past skills as an MP in the army to help out the investigation, and then it starts to get personal.