Blue Moon

Book Notes

This is book 24 in the Jack Reacher series.

Book starts out with Reacher on a bus. In his usual way, he notices things. In particular, he notices both an old guy with a wad of cash in his pocket, and a younger guy who also notices the old guy with a wad of cash in his pocket. Reacher follows the young guy, who follows the old guy, off the bus, and thwarts the young guy's mugging of the old guy. Reacher then helps the old guy walk to his destination, which, unsurprisingly, is to pay off a loan shark.

Except, the payoff doesn't exactly happen as expected. Reacher, with nothing particularly planned, stays to help the old guy and his wife (and, inadvertently, their stricken daughter). Along the way, Reacher returns to form. There's the girl (nearly always the girl he bops then leaves). There's the violence with many deaths. There's the repetition of some theme (several in this book, something about 10000 generations and another one I didn't note except when reading). There's the impossible situations that Reacher survives. And there's suspension of disbelief required to keep reading about non-trained individuals being able to handle situations that are difficult for even the most highly trained individuals. You know, Classic Reacher™.

I enjoyed the book. This one is non-stop action, with some strategy in the middle. Fun read. If you're a Reacher fan, read this one. If you're not, you'll miss much of the history and nuances of the story, possibly some of the humour by repetition, but will likely still enjoy the book if you enjoy absurd action novels.

“It’s something they teach you in the army. The only thing under your direct control is how hard you work. In other words, if you really, really buckle down today, and you get the intelligence, the planning, and the execution each a hundred percent exactly correct, then you are bound to prevail.”

Past Tense

Book Notes

So, this book is a Reacher that isn't really a Reacher book. Yes, Reacher is in it, but he's half the story, not the full story.

We meet Reacher at the beginning of the book deciding to look into his family's history. He finds out where his dad grew up, and heads to said town. Turns out, a Canadian couple, desperate for money and with something in their trunk, are also in said town. They run out of gas and end up in a hotel that is pretty much a fly trap for unsuspecting travellers. Cue tense music, something suspicious is happening at this hotel.

Turns out, the proprietor of said hotel is some distant cousin of Reacher's. Except, we don't really learn about that easily. Instead, weird thing happen with a cat and mouse adventure happening with Reacher, while the two Canadians are puzzling out WTF is going on in the hotel that they can't leave (no gas, locked in, is very strange). The book is mostly about the Canadian couple, with a puzzled Reacher feeling around the edges.

Which is fine, this is actually one of the better Reacher books. Too many times people know JUST KNOW what's going on, when reality is usually full of denial (this book is), confusion (this book is), and strong biases to believe that This Can't Be Happening (this book is). Which makes the female cynic delightful to recognize.

I enjoyed the book. I still can't figure out what happened to the sixth hunter in the climactic battle at the end (there's always a climactic battle at the end of a Reacher book). Also, Reacher doesn't screw Yet Another Woman. Maybe this isn't a real Reacher book.

I still liked it. Worth reading if you're a Reacher fan. If you're not yet a Reacher fan, start with book one.

The Midnight Line

Book Notes

When this book dropped, I pinged Mom to let her know the next Reacher book was out. I'm not sure if she's still reading the Reacher books, but I am (just not watching the movies what a HORRIBLE casting, Cruise? MF so f'ing wrong, let me list the ways: not 6'5" even in lifts, not built like a line backer, not charismatic enough, too much hair, and did I mention not 6'5" built like a f'ing truck?).

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. Half way through I pinged Mom to let her know that even if she had stopped reading the Reacher books, this was a good one worth reading. Because it is. It didn't have the obvious plot holes, it didn't give a bunch of stuff away, you aren't saying LOOK RIGHT OVER THERE, the action moves along, and Child got many of the elements of addiction just right.

Getting hit was a rare event for Reacher. And he intended to keep it rare. Not just vanity. Getting hit was inefficient. It degraded future performance.
Page 23

“How frequently do you move around?”


“Do you think that’s a fitting way for a West Pointer to live?”

“I think it’s perfectly fitting.”

“In what sense?”

“We fought for freedom. This is what freedom looks like.”
Page 57

“That’s all we’ve got. You think she went back there?”

“Depends,” Reacher said. “For some people, home is the first place they go. For others, it’s the last. What was she like?”

"She was pretty close to outstanding, without ever quite getting there. Never in the top five, always in the top ten. That kind of person."
Page 60

No Middle Name

Book Notes

Yeah, I'm finally in a place where I don't have Internet. This is both fantastic and, well, fantastic. I'm on my way to both reading five books this week, and being completely and totally okay without my computer. An interesting happy place to be.

And that's all totally unrelated to this book in particular, other than I read this book today. Well, much of this book today. It's a book of Reacher short stories. To me, that means I've likely read it before, being the Reacher fan that I am.

Fortunately for me, there were a number of the short stories I hadn't read. Can't say that any more!

Zipped through this book. Enjoyed it. A number of the stories Reacher solved a problem and went away. He didn't linger. He didn't get the girl. And those are all okay.

I enjoyed the short stories. Again, if a Reacher fan, yep, worth reading.

Surprise was always good. Delay was always fatal. Guys who let a situation unfold in its own good time were just stockpiling problems for themselves.
Location: 2235

A man in a dark room watching a lit street had an advantage. A man in a dark room watching a dark street might as well have saved himself the eyestrain.
Location: 2375

Night School

Book Notes


Okay, the latest in the Jack Reacher series, this one is a throw back to the mid-nineties, a filler story in the Reacher history. A great thing about this book is that we learn about Reacher, but we also learn about Neagley, which is also a great thing.

The basic plot of the book is that the various intelligence agencies hear about a $100,000,000 deal, want to know what it is, and, realistically, stop it as anything that big being done in secret is going to be bad news. Not knowing the item for sale makes tracking the deal difficult.

What I like about the book is that Reacher doesn't follow a straight path. He misses the bad guy left and right, walking right by, seeing and not seeing him. Of course, Reacher gets the girl. I know, shock.

What I didn't like about the book is this complete and utter bunk "science" that Child tries to pass off:

And best of all, the linear measurement between the bruises on the victim’s buttocks and on her elbows was self-evidently the precise distance between the sharp base of the assailant’s pelvic girdle and his kneecaps. Which after standard deductions for the joints in question gave the precise length of his femur. And the length of the femur was considered an infallible guide to a person’s height.

"And the length of the femur was considered an infallible guide to a person’s height." What a bunch of bullshit. I have a femur right here that you can't tell my height from. Hell, if you use that femur, I am 5' tall, and you'd be off by a lot.

Counter balancing this horrible "science" fiction was Child's commentary about patriotism:

Make Me

Book Notes

The latest in the Jack Reacher series, which means I'll read it. I have been enjoying the Reacher series, pretty much non-stop. I did try not to buy this book, opting for the library checkout, but became too impatient and just bought it. I suspect at some point I'll grow tired of the same-ish plot and same-ish highlights and the fact that REACHER ALWAYS GETS HIS MAN (no, not a correctly parallel sentence), but I'm not there yet. Enjoyed this one.

The basic premise of the book is the same as all other Reacher books, he's wandering without any destination, this place sounds good, he stops, and hey! what do you know? MYSTERY. He follows the clues, someone dies, likely someone else dies, and possibly another person dies, but that isn't a guarantee in all the Reacher books. There's a woman and he hooks up with her. In the end they part. Well, except for the love of his life lasted TWO whole books earlier in the series.

SPOILER: this one might last another book, too. We don't know, but it seems that it might be somewhat happening that way.

Part of me wonders when I will grow tired of Reacher always figuring things out. Another part of me is glad I'm not there yet.

If you like Reacher books, keep reading. This one is fun, with a clever mystery and a lot of Reacher Luck™.

Small Wars

Book Notes

Okay, really, anything by Lee Child that has Jack Reacher in the book I will most likely read. No, that's not right, I will read. Mom has tired of Reacher, how EVERY book he has a new woman to f---, screw, eh, have sex with, and that's rather tiring. I can't say I blame her for not wanting to read the books, they are very much of the same plot flavor.

I, on the other hand, am still enjoying them. This one, Small Wars, as a short novella (Kindle Single, short story actually), was no exception. I read it on the flight from Sydney back to San Francisco, which was the longest flight I've been on since the flight to Sydney. This, and Make Me, the latest full-length Reacher book, kept me entertained on the way.

This book goes back to Reacher's career beginning, which means, of course, that Joe Reacher is still alive. Having been recently been reading Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series, I pretty much assumed that any action in the book was a misdirect of the actual events. Turns out, nope, what you read is what you get, except the WHY is what is important in this book. We follow along in the plot, and, of course Reacher figures everything, which I really can't understand how amazing he is, given he never makes a mistake.

Best part of the story is that we meet Frances Neagley when she is much younger. Totally great.

I enjoyed this book, but I'm enjoying all the Reacher books, so, yeah, I'll keep reading.