PERSUADER is the second Jack Reacher book in a row that I’ve decided is my favorite.
Earlier this year I began reading Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels from the beginning, starting with THE KILLING FLOOR. I immediately enjoyed Jack Reacher’s voice, and his combination of military badass and confident crime solver blended perfectly with Child’s precise writing style. These are fun books that don’t take long to read, led by a protagonist who’s determined to punish the bad guys, whether that’s inside or outside (usually outside) the confines of the law.
As Reacher says in PERSUADER, “I don’t really care about the little guy. I just hate the big guy. I hate big smug people who think they can get away with things.”
In this book, the big smug person Reacher is trying to get to is Quinn, a man Reacher believed he had killed years ago back in his days as a military policeman. But then he runs into Quinn in the street, and soon finds himself wrapped up in a DEA investigation into Quinn and his partner Beck.
Child returns to Reacher’s first-person POV here, which I prefer to the third person perspective he has used in the last handful of books, and the tension of Reacher being undercover gives this book a very different feel, as he tries to work out the mystery while all the while wondering how close the bad guys are to discovering his true purpose.
As Reacher’s investigation continues, Child flashes back to Reacher’s introduction to Quinn years earlier, and through the course of those flashbacks we come to see why Reacher is so determined to see Quinn dead, even as his cover story begins to weaken.
It’s another strong installment by Child. By the eighth book in the series, the Jack Reacher books hit a lot of familiar beats. Almost as soon as the pretty, intelligent woman steps onto the scene you know it won’t be long before she’s sleeping with Reacher. As soon as we meet Paulie, the big, dumb enforcer for the bad guys, we know Reacher will eventually have to fight that behemoth. These books have become in some ways like a comfort food for anyone seeking a cleverly-crafted action mystery, and once again, Child hasn’t disappointed.