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Jack Reacher, the perfect hero, triumphs once more

  • Jul 2, 2005
Lee Child's Jack Reacher is in my opinion the finest hero in contemporary fiction of any kind. I'm sure others have their favorites, but Reacher to me represents the epitome of the hero. An odd kind of hero to be sure: a couple or so decades ago, Reacher would have been considered an anti-hero.

Reacher, a veteran of more than a decade in the military (and eight prior novels) has decided to fly under the radar. He has no permanent address; no credit cards; no phone; nothing that can be used to locate him. No job or significant other either. Reacher goes as the spirit moves him.

And the spirit often seems to move him toward involvement in troublesome situations.

This time, Reacher is enjoying the morning after with a Norwegian he picked up on a Miami Beach. He glimpses a television news report that one James Barr had gone on a shooting spree. Reacher, wearing only the clothes on his back, boards a bus --- airplane travel leaves a paper trail --- and heads off to an unnamed Indiana city.

As it happens, upon being arrested for shooting down four people, Barr had asked for Reacher. The reason turns out to be a surprise.

Child's Jack Reacher novels are loaded with surprises, one after another. The man (Childs) raises plotting to an art. His characters are rich and multifaceted even when introduced only peropherally. Lee Childs is simply a master of his craft and every page is a delight.

I don't like to describe the plot and action of a novel in any great detail because I thnink that steals the pleasure of it from others who have yet to read it, so I'll spare you a lengthy description of what happens in "One Shot." What I will say is that I devoured it in a single night because the novel really is a classic page-turner.


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More One Shot (Jack Reacher, No. 9) reviews
review by . December 02, 2010
A sniper kills five people and sets up a former Marine sniper, named James Barr, for the killings.      When arrested, Barr refuses to talk but tells his attorney, get Jack Reacher.      Reacher arrives but it's not to help. Reacher knows that Barr did kill a number of people while in the Marines. even though the people he killed in Kuwait City may have deserved their fate, Reacher knows that Barr was guilty and wants to help send Barr to jail.   …
review by . February 04, 2006
I knew this day would unfortunately come... I'm now caught up on all the Jack Reacher novels with the completion of Lee Child's One Shot. Another excellent story in the series...    A sniper sets up in a parking garage and kills five people as they come out of an office building in a small mid-western town. There's an abundance of evidence left behind, and in short order the police have arrested a retired military veteran who refuses to talk about the crime. His sister is about …
About the reviewer
Jerry Saperstein ()
Ranked #194
I am an e-discovery strategist, computer forensics specialist and testifying expert witness - and an avid reader.      Aside from technology books, I love thrillers, suspense, mystery, … more
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The final sentence of Child's ninth suspenser (afterThe Enemy)—"Then he could buy a pair of shoes and be just about anywhere before the sun went down"—is quintessential Jack Reacher, the rugged ex-army cop who practically defines the word "loner" and kicks ass with the best of 'em. In the book's gripping opening, five people are killed when a shooter opens fire in a small unnamed Indiana city. But when ex-infantry specialist James Barr is apprehended, he refuses to talk, saying only, "Get Jack Reacher for me." But Reacher's already en route; having seen a news story on the shooting, he heads to the scene with disturbing news of his own: "[Barr's] done this before. And once was enough." Nothing is what it seems in the riveting puzzle, as vivid set pieces and rapid-fire dialogue culminate in a slam-bang showdown in the villains' lair. (And what villains: a quintet of Russian émigrés, the stuff of everybody's worst nightmares, led by a wily 80-year-old who makes Freddy Krueger look like Little Lord Fauntleroy.) As usual, Child makes the most of Reacher's dry wit, cut-to-the-chase psychology and stubborn taciturnity—in short, this is a vintage double play for author and leading man.
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ISBN-10: 0385336683
ISBN-13: 978-0385336680
Author: Lee Child
Publisher: Delacorte Press

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