Kathy Davie's Reviews > The Hard Way

The Hard Way by Lee Child
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Sep 17, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: thriller
Read in September, 2012

Twelfth chronologically (and tenth publication-wise) in the Jack Reacher thriller series about a huge man with an even bigger sense of honor who will take down the bad guys.

My Take
This was another intense one. I do love how Reacher withheld and poked at Lane. How he pushed to get involved in the rescue of Kate and Jade. This man does not suffer fools! He already has a tendency to observe, calculate, and catalog and his years in the military police have provided him with a wealth of psychological field study of the worst of human nature. It's only sharpened his edge.

Reacher is so incredibly observant---well, yeah, it helps that this is fiction and anyone can look brilliant when it merely takes a keystroke, let me enjoy my fantasies, will 'ya!?

It always amazes me how the protagonist in a story can take a tiny bit of information and blow it up into an answer. Yeah, it takes time and a lotta effort. But s/he teases out that one little bit and keeps following the trail.

Whoa, Reacher? Tense?

Just reading the way Reacher thinks makes me consider how I observe life around me. Make me more aware of my surroundings. I'll never be a Reacher, but it does make life richer.

Ooh, Reacher is wrong! Omigod. One for the record books. A lesson can be learned from how he reacts to it however. Instead of moaning and groaning and proffering up excuses, he ties a knot and moves on.

Both Reacher and Kate want to use Lane's money to help the men and their families who were damaged or destroyed by Lane's actions, so, why did they leave the money behind??

What a bunch of scum...I love what Reacher does to the bad guys at the end. And he ain't alone in it.

The Story
Edward Lane's wife has been kidnapped. And he's in a panic. This has happened before. His first wife. Anne. He brought in the police. He paid the ransom. She was still murdered.

He won't make that mistake again. Instead, he makes a worse one. He hires Reacher.

He won't be needing that mirror on a stick...

The Characters
Jack Reacher is a drifter, a loner, and he likes it that way. Rarely staying in the same place two days in a row, he carries no luggage except a toothbrush in his shirt pocket. It's been seven years since he left the military. What he learned as an M.P. is still, however, with him.

Edward Lane was a colonel in the army who retired under a cloud. He set himself up as the head of a band of mercenaries working under the radar for Uncle Sam. John Gregory is British, former SAS, and Lane's second-in-command. Carter Groom, Addison, Perez, Kowalski, and Burke are the rest of the A-team besides Graham Taylor, former SAS, who was her driver that day. They're sure he was murdered once they got the wife and kid off the streets.

Knight and Clay Hobart are former A-team members. Until they got caught in a suspicious ambush in Africa. Dee Marie Graziano is Hobart's crusading, compassionate sister. Susan Jackson is Graham's sister. She's married to Tony and they have a daughter Melody; they work an organic farm up near Norwich in England.

Kate is Lane's second wife and she has an eight-year-old daughter, Jade.

Patricia Joseph was Anne's sister. She doesn't buy Lane's story. Detective Brewer is with the NYPD and is the recipient of her information and concerns. He in turn, passes her info on to Lauren Pauling, the FBI special agent who was in charge of Anne's kidnapping. She's now a private investigator.

The Cover
The cover is awash in reds with a blast of yellow and green illuminating the tilted landscape. I want to say it's an alley, but what alley has an overhead roof of planks?

The title tells it like it is. Reacher and his new best friends are going to have to take this guy down The Hard Way.
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