Jack Reacher is maturing as Lee Child’s books increase in number. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however if you are looking for Reacher to continue being Reacher, breaking bones, throwing people out of airplanes as he did in Bad Luck and Trouble and fighting anything that moves you’re in for a bit of a disappointment. I’ve been kind of prepared for his mellowing as I’ve read each of his books in succession. I still long to see his violent side come out more again, but I think as with everyone we slow down with age. Personal was NOT a bad book in the least. The story starts with Reacher in Washington State in a Bus station. He leafs through an Army newspaper left behind then finds himself embroiled in an international affair:
Attempted assassination of the French leader.
Then attempted assassination of several world leaders in London.
In London is where most of the action takes place, there are a few scuffles that Child puts Reacher through and of course, Reacher’s usual ubiquitous toothbrush and the fact that he has nothing but the clothes on his back. These are traits that Reacher will carry with him to his grave. Personal is the story of an army sniper who Reacher put away several years in the past. The sniper is now out of prison and appears to be on a mission to take out several world leaders starting with France. Reacher is called in because he has history with this sniper. Hence the title.
Another new twist to the Reacher collection is Lee Child’s voice seems to have changed a bit with this novel especially but I noticed it a bit in his last book too:
Never Go Back.
He is becoming more descriptive. Going into a bit more detail, not necessarily flowery, far from it as a matter of fact; but he is spending more time describing place and events then he has in the past. I wonder if he is even aware of this?
I will continue reading his books as they publish because I’ve invested so much time in the character, but I do miss the old Jack Reacher. The Jack Reacher from:
Bad Luck and Trouble and Persuader.
Those are the two quintessential Reacher books that should be on everyone’s reading list if you want to know the old Reacher.
Of the last four Reacher books:
A Wanted Man
Never Go Back
I’d have to say that Never Go Back is probably my favorite Reacher of ALL time. If you haven’t yet read this book, you’re missing out. From a storytelling point of view you can’t get much better than this book. If you are looking for typical Reacher then:
Bad Luck and Trouble and Persuader are the books to read. Personal falls in the middle of the pack. Not a bad read. The book certainly held my interest. As I said above, however, I STILL miss the Old Jack Reacher.
Until next time…
Turn the page.