I finished reading WITHOUT FAIL by Lee Child yesterday evening. I read the entire book aloud to my beloved wife Judy and we both loved it. It's the third Jack Reacher novel I've read to her and she likes them as much as I do.
Reacher is an ex-military policeman who is homeless by choice. He wanders the country living life one day at a time. He's never expressly looking for trouble but trouble always finds him and at the end of the books, trouble has lost.
In this one Reacher is recruited to plan a theoretical assassination attempt upon the Vice-President elect of the United States. His theories become fact when an actual plot is revealed to be in motion and it's a race against time to uncover the conspirators and prevent them from carrying out their deadly task.
WITHOUT FAIL has the usual Child narrative trademarks: swift, brutal, realistic action set-pieces combined with brilliant deductive reasoning. Reacher is part Sherlock Holmes, part Dirty Harry and is the best action/adventure hero in contemporary thriller fiction.
He's also a man of few words. Child uses the sentence "Reacher said nothing" many times throughout the book. Those three words indicate that Reacher's intellect is at work, furiously turning over facts and theories in his mind to arrive at a plausible, logical solution to whatever challenge he's facing.
Reacher is also a big guy. Child expressly states that he stands six foot, five inches tall. He's an intimidating physical presence and he's not shy about breaking opponent's bones when he has to.
The Reacher series now stands at seventeen titles (a new novel comes out this fall). I've read nine of the books thus far: KILLING FLOOR, DIE TRYING, TRIPWIRE, WITHOUT FAIL, ONE SHOT, THE HARD WAY, BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE, NOTHING TO LOSE and GONE TOMORROW. I will definitely read them all in the months and years to come.
If you haven't read a Reacher novel yet, do yourself a favor and pick one up. I suggest starting with KILLING FLOOR, the first book in the series. The novels are self-contained and stand-alone and do not have to be read in order but they're better if you do.
Oh and please remember to cross against the light to avoid the JACK REACHER movie coming out later this year. The film stars Tom Cruise as Reacher. Tom Cruise is a lot of things but one thing he isn't is 6 foot 5 inches tall and no CGI special effects can make him so. If Clint Eastwood was thirty years younger, he would be perfect as Reacher. That's the way I see the character in my mind when I'm reading the books.
The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child gets my highest recommendation. I love these books!