"I just finished my book. It was pretty good. Do you want to read it?", asked my dad on his last gardening focused weekend stay at my London abode. A nice easy crime novel, a good contrast to Milan Kundera, which I had just finished, and perfect for a holiday in Canada.
However I didn't find this novel gripped me from the beginning. Jack Reacher, a character that many readers will already be familiar with, but who I had never met before, steps off a train into a seemingly sleepy little agricultural outpost called Mothers Rest merely out of curiosity for it's name. The plot, for a long while, seems as sleepy and as insubstantial as Mothers Rest itself. Reacher meets a woman called Chang who is waiting for a man called Keever. Keever is her colleague at a small private investigators firm. He travelled to Mother's Rest, called for backup after finding something out, then mysteriously disappeared. This, and the suspicious behaviour of the town's store and motel keepers, is pretty much all Chang and Reacher have to go on for much of the novel which makes it a slightly boring first half. But do not fear, in it's second half the plot heats up with revelations, shootings, gangster figures and a horrific revelation to end things nicely. The only problem is that sometimes I felt a little lost as to how Reacher was making deductions and why our protagonists were following certain courses of action. The episode with the drug dealer's money is the most confusing of all. Also, perhaps I am apt to take crime novels too seriously, but surely a civilian can't just go around killing bad guys without facing any repercussions from the police? Every time Reacher shot someone I felt like grabbing him and saying "It's still murder! Don't you understand?"
For a crime novel it is ok. Not the best I have read but I would happily read another. In fact, I have been donated another by my Canadian Uncle. Wonder what improbable Sherlock-style deductions Reacher will make in the next one!
All in all I did enjoy this book, despite its problems, so I give it a 5/10.