Books: Lee Child’s “One Shot” and “The Hard Way”

I’ve been reading the Lee Child “Jack Reacher” series in order. I just finished books 9 and 10 in the series. Jack Reacher is a truly original action hero, as lethal as they come. None of these books are art, but they are sure fun to read.

“One Shot” opens with five people being gunned down by a sniper in a small Indiana town. A former sniper named James Barr, who lives in that town, is arrested. All of the evidence points to him–a solid case if ever there was one.

When Reacher hears about Barr’s arrest on the news, he immediately leaves for that town. Turns out Barr had done this before, in Kuwait, and Reacher had promised Barr that he would kill him if he ever tried anything like that again.

But, as they say in good mysteries, “nothing is as it seems.” Some brutal Russian gangsters are involved, a group of nicely drawn characters, all of them hardcore killers.

Reacher assumes that Barr is guilty, but when he is attacked for no good reason, he begins wondering what’s going on. He then sets about figuring it out.

In “The Hard Way,” Edward Lane, the head of a mercenary company, hires Reacher to find his wife, who has been kidnapped and is being held for a ransom involving millions of dollars. This is Lane’s second wife. His first one was killed several years before in another kidnapping….and everything points to him being the prime suspect.

So reacher tries to unravel what happened. There are plenty of suspects, including two former mercenary employees whom Lane abandoned in Africa years before, and were presumed killed.

It’s another Lee Child winner, with an action-packed climax with some twists.

Five more books and I’ll be caught up. Think I’ll take one on vacation next week.

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