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It’s official, Jack Reacher is a very controversial character for us Crime & Beyonders. For the most part you either love him or hate him. There isn’t much in between. In August we read the 19th book in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, Personal. In this installment to the series, Jack is contacted by the Army via an ad in the military newspaper. He reports in and is told that they need him for a special operation. There has been an attempt on the life of the French president in Paris. The distance from which the sniper must have been shooting was so far that it narrowed the list of possible suspects to only three people, one of them an American that Reacher put in prison. The State Department and the CIA have created a joint operation to find the sniper and need Jack to lead the investigation. His search takes him to Paris and London, although the latter unofficially. His sidekick, Casey Nice, a very young and very green CIA agent.

The book didn’t get any votes lower than a 3, but the two people who rated it a 3 called it predictable and mentioned that perhaps Jack Reacher maybe, possibly wasn’t their absolute favorite character. Ok, Judy actually said, “I don’t like Jack Reacher.” But this is such a vague sentiment that I think she really may love him (just not nearly as much as Kryss).

I may have exaggerated slightly that there was nowhere in between loving him and hating him. Actually two people were right in between. Amy, although she was very curious about the clown house (more later) only gave it a 4-5. Lorraine thought it was “just ok” and went with a straight down the middle 5.

Now for Reacher’s Creatures. Yes, that’s what us Reacher followers are called. Deal with it. We had one 7, three 8s and two 9s. Kim did say she got to chapter 10 before she stopped, and I’m pretty sure this means she gave it a 10. So there is that. The people who really liked the book enjoyed that it was a light read and not the typical small town America Reacher story. We liked that Jack got sentimental. No, we don’t mean about visiting his Mom’s grave in Paris, although that was sweet. I believe that Janice was referring to the attachment Reacher finally had to an article of clothing. He really didn’t want to get rid of that coat he had, even though it had brains all over it. If that’s doesn’t make you say “awwww” what does?

Many of us, ok, mostly me, really loved the humor in the book. Specifically the scene in the clown house where he’s prodding Casey Nice on how close to get to the old guy before she shoots him. I thought the book was full of funny things and it made me laugh out loud quite a bit. I mentioned above that the book wasn’t your typical small town America story (Hope and Despair – had to mention that one for Kim’s benefit, she’s still traumatized). We liked that he went International in this one, and what better places than Paris and London? I thought it was funny that a British author made his American character go to England and comment on all of the British stuff.

So the clown house. If you didn’t read the book you really don’t know what I’m talking about. The main bad guy was a giant. I think he was 6’ 7” and weighted like 350 lbs (I’m probably off on that, but you get the idea). His hands were HUGE, which came into play when Reacher knew he couldn’t fire a gun because his finger would never fit through to reach the trigger. Anyway, he had his house in England built special, so everything was 1 ½ times the size of a normal house. If a door frame standard size is 3 feet, his was 4 ½, and so on. It caused Reacher to have to do a lot of his mental calculations as he searched the house. At one point, when Reacher saw a small man run by (Kott) and at first thought it was a child. The description of the house made you just really want to see it. Sadly, though, it’s fiction and doesn’t exist. Maybe if Universal Studios ever makes a Reacher World, though, we can send them a suggestion.

And lastly, I will use the mention of Universal to segue and point out that Jeff informed the group that the second Reacher movie is in production. Yes, it will still star Tom Cruise, so get over it. I see a field trip in our future.

Have a Happy Labor Day!

Kerry

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