Wednesday, August 02, 2006

'The Hard Way' (Lee Child)

A cup of tea. A hot bath. A piece of chocolate cake. You know, things that are consistently good. Not ground-breaking. Not jaw-dropping. Just comfortable, reliable and deeply satisfying.

Like Lee Child’s latest thriller: The Hard Way. Another up-to-par Jack Reacher delight, complete with secret agencies, kidnap and ransom, snipers and cheap throwbacks to the army days.

It’s all there. Even Jack’s inexplicably sexy ‘no strings’ approach to absolutely everything, including clothing, women and the ubiquitous cup of coffee.

For me, Lee Child’s finest literary quality is his constancy; his uniform skill. His second finest is his pared-down prose, which offers sufficient clarity of plot, crispness of dialogue and dimension of character for the story to tell itself.

If you’re already a Reacher-phile, forget what you’re doing, buy this book and turn off your phone for a couple of hours. You deserve it.

If you’re not, but you appreciate the escapist American thriller, start with The Hard Way – you’ll be a Reacher-phile soon enough.

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