I imagine that a big part of the fun for Lee Child in writing the Jack Reacher books is the ability to set the story anywhere in the U.S. We’ve already seen him set stories in a variety of settings, and in ECHO BURNING he comes to Southwest Texas, to a town called Echo near the Mexican border, where he gets involved with a woman who asks him to kill her husband.
To be honest, this has been my least favorite Reacher book so far, as the femme fatale and the setting did very little for me. Living in Texas, I just wasn’t as intrigued by the setting as I had been in previous books, and the mystery of who actually kills Carmen’s husband wasn’t as gripping as previous Reacher adventures.
That’s not to say this wasn’t a decent read — Reacher’s unique perspective is enough to carry the book without allowing things to get dull, it just didn’t match (for me) the same intrigue as previous books. Maybe it was the fact that Carmen, the woman Reacher is trying to help, is a difficult character to pinpoint, as she lies throughout much of the book. Personally, I probably would have let her fend for herself, and that made it difficult for me to care too much about Reacher’s efforts to help her.
The book ends with an interesting, memorable action sequence that I really enjoyed and was clearly the best part of the book.