Joanne's Reviews > The Hard Way

The Hard Way by Lee Child
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's review
May 13, 11

did not like it
bookshelves: mystery
Read in May, 2011

I'd never read a Jack Reacher novel, and I was really enjoying this one. Reacher is a former military policeman who gets recruited by a shadowy boss of mercenaries to solve the boss's wife's kidnapping. The more Reacher gets involved, the sketchier the whole thing gets. A page turner. And I'm even willing to just roll my eyes when Reacher and his female partner manage to have sex two or three times during the same 24 hours that they promised someone they'd meet an investigative deadline or else. Like that would ever happen.

BUT. BUT. BUT. The last fifteen pages or so are horribly violent. Without warning, the Bad Guy gets his hands on and threatens to brutally rape a child. I can't even tell you more without wanting to throw up. So I had to skip to the very last two pages, where of course the Bad Guy has received vigilante justice and everyone has lived happily ever after.

This is horribly unsatisfying. I read 350 some pages and then it gets so revolting I can't read the ending? This goes against the whole purpose of reading mysteries, which is to see the Bad Guy receive justice. It's like looking forward to attending a party and then stepping in a big pile of dog poop right outside the door, so instead of enjoying the party, you're left outside trying to scrape the poop off your foot and lamenting that you ever stepped in it, and being annoyed that the party hosts did not WARN you that there might be dog poop, or better yet, clean it up in the first place. And by the time you're rid of the poop, the party is over.

Won't be reading any more of these.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan Cross Thanks for the warning -- loved the review! Susan

Carolyne If it is a Jack Reacher book you have to know going in that violence is going to happen at any moment. It always does. As he says himself -- he does not have a regret gene.

Michael Webb I don't think you're being fair. The threatened event doesn't occur, and they mention earlier that he has threatened it in the past. I don't think it's gratuitous or inappropriate for a psychotic to act that way.

Madbabs Sure can't say that you're wrong about there being plenty of violence in it. But really, how do you go into a book like this NOT expecting that? For us to accept the degree of violence Reacher uses to deal with the bad guys, we need to know exactly how bad they are so it's clearly deserved. Then Reacher's lack of regret doesn't seem so cold blooded. Otherwise he'd be just another psychopath right along with the baddies.

I have to agree with Michael that it's a little unfair to give one star because it's not your genre. Child is pretty good at delivering what readers of this genre want.

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