A weird ending but a fun ride … RUNNING BLIND by Lee Child

In RUNNING BLIND, Jack Reacher gets dragged into an FBI investigation when he is suspected in a series of murders of female military personnel who had accused others of sexual harassment or assault. While the FBI profilers can’t be entirely certain that Reacher isn’t their man, Reacher knows he’s not the killer they’re looking for, and he reluctantly agrees to help them after they threaten his girlfriend with legal entanglements.

It’s a bit of a deviation from the first three Reacher books, as Reacher spends a bit less time crushing skulls and instead spends most of the book either disinterested in the crimes and disgusted by the FBI’s behavior/incompetence, or, at the end, puzzling out the solution to the crime.

I usually don’t spend much time during a mystery trying to figure out the solution in advance, but I came to the same solution as Reacher a couple hundred pages in advance — the only question for me was whether it was a red herring, as the solution itself is pretty far out there and takes quite a suspension of belief. I’d say it’s not the best solution Lee Child has ever come up with, but the book itself was a fun ride, and really, that’s what I read these Reacher books for anyway.

Prior to RUNNING BLIND, we’ve gotten glimpses of Reacher’s quirks, but this seems to be the first book where those quirks begin to be weaknesses in some ways, as Child explores Reacher’s irrational discomfort with being gifted a home. It’s an important and interesting aspect to a character who seems superhuman in so many other ways.

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