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Jack Reacher #5

Echo Burning

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Hitching rides is an unreliable mode of transport. In temperatures of over a hundred degrees, you’re lucky if a driver will open the door of his air-conditioned car long enough to let you slide in. That’s Jack Reacher’s conclusion. He’s adrift in the fearsome heat of a Texas summer, and he needs to keep moving through the wide open vastness, like a shark in the water. The last thing he’s worried about is exactly who picks him up.

He never expected it to be somebody like Carmen. She’s alone, driving a Cadillac. She’s beautiful, young and rich. She has a little girl who is being watched by unseen observers. And a husband who is in jail. Who will beat her senseless when he comes out. If he doesn’t kill her first.

Reacher is no stranger to trouble. And at Carmen’s remote ranch in Echo County there is plenty of it: lies and prejudice, hatred and murder. Reacher can never resist a lady in distress. Her family is hostile. The cops can’t be trusted. The lawyers won’t help. If Reacher can’t set things straight, who can?

432 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published June 25, 2001

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About the author

Lee Child

566 books28.7k followers
Lee Child was born October 29th, 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment. The first Jack Reacher movie, based on the novel One Shot and starring Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike, was released in December 2012.

Lee has three homes—an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar's Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,623 reviews
Profile Image for David.
341 reviews
June 14, 2011
In "Killing Floor" (which I thoroughly enjoyed), Lee Child introduced an electric main character named Jack Reacher. He is ex-military and wanders from place to place. He is smart and a violent badass to anyone who messes with him or those he cares about. In Reacher, Child has created a character who can interact with anyone, go anywhere and do anything.

So who does Reacher interact with in this book? A Hispanic woman named Carmen. She picks up Reacher as a hitchhiker and tells him a sad story about her life. Reacher thinks that she is lying. Maybe she is. Maybe she isn't. This gets the book off to an intriguing start. Unfortunately, all anyone in this book seems to do is to debate whether Carmen is telling the truth. Yes, she is. No, she is not. If she had an interesting story, that would be one thing. But her story, while sad, is not interesting at all. At the 90% mark, people are *still* arguing about this. It is incredibly boring.

Who are the villans who mess with Reacher? Texans, who (and this is shocking) are rednecks! They are so one-dimensional, they are not worth writing about. They do very predictable redneck things, are racists, shoot rifles, and like everyone else in the book, debate about whether Carmen is telling the truth. Maybe she is. Maybe she isn't.

What does Reacher, the super-smart, ultraviolent action hero do throughout the book? He eats ice cream. He learns how to saddle a horse. He buys clothes. I half-expected Lee Child to have him spend a day in the library reading. Oh, and he wonders if Carmen is telling the truth. Maybe she is. Maybe she isn't. There are only a couple of action scenes.

In "Echo Burning", Child seems to have had the idea of writing a thriller with almost no action. Call me picky, but that is a really bad idea. It's like a James Bond movie where Bond spends the movie doing some window shopping, and oh, debating about whether the main character is lying. Maybe she is. Maybe she isn't.

Was Carmen actually lying? Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't. By the end of the book I didn't care. I just wanted the talking to end!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 6, 2020
Echo Burning‎ (Jack Reacher #5), Lee Child

Echo Burning is the fifth novel in the Jack Reacher series written by Lee Child. It was published in 2001. It is written in the third person.

Jack Reacher breaks a bully's nose and finger after being repeatedly provoked in a Texas saloon, so when the bully turns out to be a local cop and shows up with three of his colleagues the following day to arrest him, Reacher decides it's time to move on.

He chooses hitchhiking as the fastest escape and hooks up with a driver of Mexican heritage named Carmen Greer. She says that the only reason she stopped, however, is because she has a problem: Her tax-evading husband, Sloop, is coming out of prison soon, and he will inevitably continue beating her as he did so many times before, especially because he knows she was the one who informed on him.

Carmen has been diligently searching for candidates to kill him, and she thinks Reacher's military background may qualify him for the job. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و ششم ماه ژوئن سال 2016میلادی

عنوان: اکو در آتش - کتاب پنج - از سری جک ریچر؛ نویسنده: لی چایلد؛ مترجم: محمد عباس آبادی؛ تهران، تندیس، 1394؛ در 543ص؛ شابک 9786001821509؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 21م

در پنجمین کتاب، از سری کتاب‌­های «جک ریچر»، که نخستین بار، در سال 2001میلادی، منتشر شد، «ریچر»، در گرمای آتشین «تگزاس»، درگیر رخدادهای هراس انگیز دیگر می‌­شود؛ «ریچر» در حالی­که، همچون همیشه، با پای پیاده در جاده‌ ­ها سرگردان است، در یکی از جاده های سوزان «تگزاس»، با زنی به نام «کارمن گریر»، برخورد می‌­کند، و آن زن برای پیشبرد نقشه­‌ ی رهایی خویش، از دست شوهر خویش، که همیشه او را مورد آزار قرار می‌دهد، «ریچر» را، با وجود پایداری­‌ها، و انکار­‌های نخستینش، وادار میکند، تا به مزرعه ­‌ای دور­افتاده، در بخش «اکو»، برود؛ «ریچر» با دردسر، بیگانه نیست؛ و در مزرعه ­‌ی «کارمن» در «اکو»، دردسرهای بسیاری نهفته است، دردسرهایی همچون «دروغ»، «اندوه»، «بیزاری»، و «کشتن»؛ اما «ریچر»، هیچگاه ن­توانسته، در برابر زنِی درمانده، پایداری کند؛ خانواده ­‌ی «کارمن» ناسازگارند، به پلیسها هم نمیتوان تکیه کرد، و از وکلا نیز، کاری برنمی­‌آید؛ اگر «ریچر» نتواند زندگی او را سر و سامان دهد، پس ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 15/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,915 followers
December 4, 2019
After he accidentally beats up a cop in a small west Texas town, Jack Reacher need to get out of town in a hurry. (Of course, he didn't accidentally beat up the cop; he did it on purpose. But when the guy picked a fight with Reacher, Jack didn't know he was a cop.) Happily, only a few minutes after sticking out his thumb, Reacher is picked up by an attractive Hispanic woman named Carmen Greer in an air-conditioned Cadillac.

Poor Mrs. Greer has a problem. (Wouldn't you just know it?) She tells Jack that she was born into an upper class family in northern California, but her family disowned her after she married into a very strange and wealthy Texas family. (Her family didn't like the fact that she had married a white guy, let alone a Texan.)

The Greers own a huge ranch out in the middle of nowhere, and practically from the day she married him, Carmen's husband has been beating her. He stopped a year and a half ago when the husband went to prison for tax evasion, but he's getting out in a couple of days and Carmen is terrified because she knows that the beatings will begin all over again. Isn't there some way that Jack could help her?

Reacher is drawn into the mess by Carmen's sad story, particularly after he meets Carmen's charming little daughter. The daughter is the reason why Carmen can't just take off and leave her husband, and so Jack gets a job on the ranch as a hand to assess the situation and see what he can to do protect Greer.

In the meantime, there's a group of hired assassins running around, making life difficult for a lot of people and complicating Reacher's problem as well. When all these ingredients are thrown into the mix, Reacher will have to be on his toes if he's going to survive this mess, let alone save Carmen and her daughter.

This is a fairly typical Reacher novel. It moves along at a good clip and keeps the reader riveted to the page. There are a lot of fun twists and turns and a great climax--all in all, a very good read.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
July 19, 2019
Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books are to the action thriller genre as AC/DC is to rock music: a revved up, entertaining, if not altogether original or thoughtful collection of INYERFACE! vignettes and tied together with a BACK IN BLACK street cred.

Reacher takes the HIGHWAY TO HELL for his next adventure as he travels to far south Texas near the Mexican border. Getting into trouble literally out of the blue, Reacher finds himself caught up in domestic abuse / kidnapping / murder mystery with roots in Southern elitist racism.

HELLS BELLS this is good fun! Reacher is TNT, a big hulking hero who is not one with whom to mess. While his opponents are all about DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP our man is THUNDERSTRUCK when a TEXAS FLOOD (SRV cover) gets everyone wet and makes things more than a little interesting.

Child stays in the shallow end of the pool and keeps the action rolling and is a LIVE WIRE when it comes to spinning some Holmesesque outlandish connections. But Hey! It’s Reacher, he was an Army MP and knows how to figure things out. ;)

The Jack continues to be a fun read and Child knows that MONEY TALKS.

Profile Image for Alp.
736 reviews373 followers
July 16, 2018
A real page-turner!

Echo Burning is the fifth installment in Jack Reacher series and the series itself keeps getting better and better. The plot was intense, exciting, and thrilling, exactly as I expected. Despite the fact that the story moved at a very fast pace, I still felt like I couldn't turn the pages quick enough because I was dying to know who was behind these murders.

Jack Reacher never ceases to amaze me with his cleverness and confidence, which are certain qualities I admire in men. In this book, .

On the whole, this was a captivating suspense-thriller with complex characters, brilliant plot twists, and riveting action scenes. I really enjoyed this book from start to end.

Can’t stop, won’t stop. Off to the next one!
Profile Image for John Culuris.
173 reviews71 followers
September 1, 2018
“Pantser” was--and may well still be--a term used in the publishing industry to describe authors who do not plot, who “write by the seat of their pants.” And while you can’t always tell if a particular writer is a pantser, there are certain books and series where there is absolutely no doubt that the authors write as they go. The most common identifying trait is filler, sometimes obvious filler. The reason pantsers are not always recognizable are writers like Stephen King, who comes to the re-writing process seriously, and mercilessly kills anything that doesn’t contribute to the story. Or Lawrence Block, a pantser in regards to the majority of his work, who for most of his long career was able to think so far ahead that there was no need for filler; only in recent years, as he has slowed down (he was once able to produce twenty pages a day), has the meandering become noticeable. But the most obvious contrast between pantser and plotter can be found in the work of a single author: Robert B. Parker. Initially a plotter, when asked to finish Raymond Chandler’s Poodle Springs, he decided that since Chandler didn’t plot, neither would he. He adapted the style to his own work from that point. I believe it is the main reason longtime fans feel his later novels are inferior, for the most part, to the first fifteen or so that began his career.

I’m not necessarily criticizing pantsers. Some are among my favorites. The aforementioned Block, for example; and John Sandford and Ed McBain to varying degrees work(ed) this way.

Long before I became aware that Lee Child had publicly discussed the subject, I had no doubt that he was a pantser. Now, if I choose to be honest, I never could have drawn that conclusion from his debut novel alone. But after four books, I came to the fifth, Echo Burning, expecting filler. That’s exactly what I got.

Child’s nomadic hero, hitchhiking away from a problematic situation, is picked up by Carmen Greer, a woman of obvious Spanish decent who is in desperately need of someone like Jack Reacher. Trapped in a small Texas town where Mexicans are treated secondarily at best, she has no money, no friends, and is stranded with her husband’s considerably rich family as he serves a tax evasion jail term. She is unwilling to run because her husband would never renounce custody of their six-year-old daughter, the only joy in her life. He is about to receive an early release, which would compound her misery by adding domestic abuse to the mix. She relays all this to Reacher over the 300-mile trip home. And due to other circumstances, she has to tell it again. One hundred pages later they enter Echo, Texas.

I think even Child was aware that he was treading water with his setup because along the way some moron picks a fight with the hulking Reacher, and Child also intermittently cuts away to a small team of assassins as they travel to Texas and isolate and kill their target. These killers are the most interesting thing in the first quarter of the novel.

And so, the obvious question: If Child is wasting so much time and space, why haven’t I learned my lesson and moved on; why even open the book? The same thing that has kept me around this long. Digression and inertia are the price of admission. Once we get into the meat of the story, Child is the best there is.

That begins upon reaching Echo. We meet the little girl. And then the in-laws, a brother and the mother, the latter of whom rules the family with an iron hand. And the two ranch hands who eventually accost Reacher, and this time it’s an altercation that actually makes sense. They are experience rodeo riders, rural tough guys who do not scare, and they’ve done this before--and they arrange for the confrontation to take place where they have plenty of likeminded friends. Of course, if they really knew Reacher they’d know all these perceived advantages would not matter.

As Reacher gets drawn into the drama in his efforts to protect Carmen, a murder takes place, and a kidnapping as well as a frame-up, and in the course of untangling these events, we learn more about the assassins and how their victim relates to Carmen’s plight. Once Reacher’s presence forces countermoves by the villain behind everything, even minor hiccups, like the first clue to his identity being fairly obvious, cannot derail the momentum. Child has learned that if you can’t properly disguise your clue, just give it to the readers and if they figure it out, so be it. The reveal of his identity was never the point, has little to do with what led up to it, and has no effect on the finale.

The finale, and most that preceded it once tackling the problem proper, is what makes the book successful. If the first one hundred pages feel like a slow crawl, then the following 450 or so make it feel as if you can’t read fast enough. A fair trade.
Profile Image for Adrian.
562 reviews197 followers
January 24, 2018
Now I suppose the question is, after 5 novels am I already falling out of love with Jack Reacher (now don't get me wrong he's not really my type 😳 , but I have enjoyed his larger than life (literally) character). Well hopefully the answer is no. I did enjoy this book and would give it 3.5 stars if I could, but I cannot round it up to 4, its not as good as episodes 1 to 4, so 3 stars it has to be, sorry Jack.
Maybe it is time for another "Jack free" break. I am hoping, given that a mate of mine has given me about 20 Jack Reacher books, that when I do continue, it will re-kindle (no pun intended) my love affair with Jack !!!
Profile Image for Michael.
81 reviews15 followers
August 1, 2011
Lee Child has many qualities of a great author. His characters do things. His characters talk. His characters act in reasonable ways. Child lets the reader into Reacher's head. We get to see the decisions he makes. We understand why those decisions are made. One would think this would make for a very predictable story, predictable events, predictable dialog, and thus a boring story. Nope. Far from it.

While the reader does have great access to character motivation, Child generally only allows us to see a single side, a single dimension. We see from Reacher's perspective. We uncover details as Reacher uncovers details.

And, just when you think you have something figured out, Child reigns you back in, and forces you to re-engage your mind by tossing in a curve. Not inventing out of thin air, mind you. No, Reacher often misses clues, subtleties that lead him down one path, and we with him. Then, in light of new evidence we are forced to reconsider our evidence.

In Echo Burning, Reacher is given a ride, hitchhiking as he often does. The driver is young, pretty Hispanic woman. Desperate, Carmen's husband, Sloop, is soon to be released from prison and she fears his return will end in her death. See, she put him in prison; her IRS testimony led to his arrest and conviction. And, his history of spousal abuse has her convinced that her life will end once he returns to the family ranch. Her six-year old daughter will lose her mommy, and she will lose her life, unless Reacher can prevent Sloop from exacting his revenge.

As with every Child novel I've read, and I'm almost done with all of them, nothing is as it appears. Why?

Because everyone lies.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,560 reviews856 followers
July 25, 2022
Jack Reacher #5: Yet another rather compelling. and more essentially easy-to-read Jack Reacher novel, dealing with ignorance, conspiracy and the 'Old South' in a town called Echo. Interesting seeing Child take this series more strongly in this direction. 6 out of 12.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,354 reviews124 followers
February 16, 2021
Ugh, what I would do for a real life Jack Reacher, I love this series so much. Easily another 5 star's in the life of Jack no middle name Reacher of no fixed abode.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,812 followers
February 23, 2017
One of the better Reacher books. I have given 3 positive reviews in a row here...pretty good.

This book has what I'd call an "interesting" opening... If you've read many of my reviews you know I use that word, frequently. It says so much.

Reacher upon smacking someone (else) in the nose makes the disturbing discovery that he seems to have damaged the person of the local constabulary. Realizing that discretion is the better part of valor (and that he could possibly disappear into a local jail and no one anywhere would be the wiser) he makes the decision to move on and see "another" part of the country.

He's picked up by...are you ready...an interesting woman. She says she was looking for someone "like him". That of course referred to Reacher's appearance, a giant, homeless, bad-ass (again please pardon my use of the vernacular).

I will say this also. The book does a good job of flipping the plot back and forth. The Reacher books aren't primarily mysteries or known for setting clues for readers to follow but he does do that here.

Actually a surprisingly good read...my opinion of course.

Profile Image for Casey Ols.
52 reviews1 follower
December 19, 2009
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz oops I must of fell asleep with my hand on the keys. This book was so boring that I can't keep my eyes open. Lee Child is one of my favorite authors and I enjoy all of the Reacher novels but this one sucked. I couldn't wait for this one to end so I could move on with my life. The beginning and the half way through it had a good story line and I was really looking forward to something good happening, back nothing ever came. The end was very predictable and boring. I think that he could have shorten it up and at the same time twisted it around a little. Not one of his better books. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Profile Image for Terri Lynn.
997 reviews
January 30, 2013
I just can't make myself like this at all. Jack Reacher is in Texas after breaking up with Jodie in New York, back to living like a bum in cheap motels, carrying only a toothbrush and cash (but no ID), walking and hitchhiking everywhere, and throwing away clothes rather than wash them.

He's also still finding trouble. Right away he's in a bar staring at a redneck cop who is wolfing down bbq chicken wings and letting the greasy sauce roll down onto his shirt. Naturally he stopped to glance at such a disgusting sight only to have the cop, let's call him Bubba, take offense and start this macho posturing ("You lookin' at me, boy?") that led to him poking Jack's clean shirt with his greasy finger till Jack snatches it after 4 polite warnings and breaks it.

Later the next morning at the cheap flea-bitten motel, he sees 4 big bubba cops go into office and he leaves through the back window, looking for a ride as a hitchhiker. To his amazement, within 3 minutes an Hispanic woman picks him up. If he had known then what he knew later, he would have gone with the cops to get beaten up.

This book is boring. It is Jack Reacher on tranquilizers. Jack on Prozac. I really wanted to get in the car myself and drive that Hispanic idiot into the desert, kill her, and leave her for the buzzards but I digress. There is also a trio of killers running around- 2 men and a woman- who all travel separately until converging at some point. Even they couldn't salvage this. Even the cover is ugly. Garish sickly yellow color. I never did like Texas and don't like Reacher in Texas. I'll go on and try book #6.
Profile Image for Suz.
1,096 reviews565 followers
September 14, 2021
Sleep when you can so you don't need to when you can't. That was his rule.

He'd never worked regular hours, to him there was no real difference between a Tuesday and a Sunday, or a Monday and a Friday, or a night and day.

The aimlessness, the drifting. He saw this as triumph of disengagement, but he knew other people didn't.

He didn't have a fling!

That was my first thought when penning this review, as I've been wondering what would happen to him as it has now been 24 years (not since this book was written, but in general terms) if he meets a new lady in every book?!

This was funny as he noticed and appreciated the attractive female lead quite soon after we were introduced, but she was just as quick to let him know she was unavailable given her sexuality. He wasn't miffed in the slightest, but mentioned it nonetheless. I love how he still just says it how it is, is quick to say when he can't work something out and also to accept just as graciously how amazing he is!

I had one tiny gripe. I don't like the saying 'for a spell' but I think this is a time issue. I don't think it would be used in 2021. It was used a lot!

Apart from that I loved it, and Jeff Harding, as always, amazing narration. Absolutely top notch.

On to the next for me, with only one new audio read in between as a gap filler.
Profile Image for Carol.
322 reviews863 followers
May 18, 2016
Note: my Reacher ratings are on a different scale from all other ratings I allocate. They range from 3 stars to 5, in the context of the Reacher universe. This one, a 4-star Reacher novel is not as good as a 5-star Reacher novel, better than the rare 3-stars which are lame for Child, and pretty good for his universe of competitors. Because I can.
Profile Image for Keri.
2,046 reviews101 followers
November 21, 2015
Let me start out by saying I love Jack Reacher, but this is the weakest of all Lee's books, IMO. It was the usual, Jack going to go out of his way to help someone and I didn't have issues with that. What completely pulled me out of the story was the research that wasn't done for the story. The way law enforcement works in Texas should have been better researched as well as Mapquest could have been used in order to gain distances between El Paso and Ft. Worth and therefore given truer timing information. Being a Texan and from Texas it mattered to me. I have read all of Lee's other books and enjoyed them tremendously, just not this one. Looking forward to reading 61 Hours.
Profile Image for Richard.
452 reviews104 followers
October 19, 2016

With a newborn child just arrived and your nights reading time ruined, what book will see you through those 5 minute windows you get when you're not drooling in a sleep coma, cleaning up baby shit or vomit. A Jack Reacher novel is what!

The plot is simplistic and far fetched which is what you would expect for this type of novel, where it lacks compared to previous novels in the series though is the action. There are little bits of action dotted around but it definitely takes a back seat. One thing that did annoy throughout was the constant debating whether the main female character was a liar or not. A constant back and forth pretty much throughout the novel didn't make for a very interesting read.

Whilst not the best in the series (by a long shot) it was pretty much the ideal read for me at the time, I could pick it up and read 5 minutes and drop it at a moments notice and not feel robbed.
Profile Image for Matt.
835 reviews
August 13, 2022
Another great book by Lee Child. It was a twisting and turning plot--- but I figured it out about 2/3 the way in. The relevant thing- to me- was the setting. I live in hot as hell Texas and the story was set near Pecos, TX. In the story it was hot- over 100 degrees- just like it is here now. Everyone was talking about the coming rain- just like we do here.

Spoiler Alert:

Here's a important quote to remember:
“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” ― Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack
Profile Image for ~☆~Autumn♥♥☔.
892 reviews52 followers
March 10, 2023
This is his best book so far! I enjoyed it so much. He made me feel the nightmare heat of Texas and I also enjoyed the rain. Lee Child can write about rain storms better than anyone and I love rain. It helped that I have visited Fort Stockton. I will read this one again in a few years.
Profile Image for Malcolm.
69 reviews16 followers
October 7, 2013
[Author: Lee Child|5091] brings us a bit of a TexMex western this time -- dropping Reacher into a distant and underpopulated border county of Texas, so strap on your spurs, gang -- Reacher's a cowboy.

As usual, the story is effective enough, but frankly, I'm feeling that Child doesn't do enough "credibility" checking on his stories, and relies upon the fact that we're completely committed to Reacher, so we won't notice that all the other characters immediately trust him as well.

Without giving spoilers, I'll give a basic example of what happens often ... Reacher meets a new character, talks to her for about 10 minutes, describes a situation, and then she gives him the keys to her car so he can drive off to keep the plot moving forward. Really? In another setting, he calls a random cop, describes himself as an attorney, and then tells them where some key evidence is ... they just roll with it, never wondering if he was involved ... just a big "whatever" ... in another moment, a woman he just met leaves him with her kid... this 6' 5" drifter -- hey, watch my kid, ok?

It doesn't detract from the storyline, and if you're reading on a beach or something, you won't care ... this isn't literature, after all ... it's storytelling for entertainment ... but I tend to like my thrillers to be plausible ... thus far, Child has consistently included implausible coincidences and behavior in every book. So if you're reading his books, don't look too closely, it's beautiful as long as it's left blurry.
Profile Image for Tim.
2,131 reviews200 followers
February 5, 2013
This is not as good as most Reacher novels because it is longer than necessary. It is though, typical of a Reacher story in many aspects. 7 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Erica.
201 reviews5 followers
October 3, 2017
I read a review for this recently where the reader was disappointed that there wasn't very much action in this book. While listening to this one I kept thinking about that review and in this book, much of the so-called action is analytical and subtle. I sort of had it easier than most that i had previously listened to this book so I knew ahead of time, things that would happen-although not in high detail. By the end of the book the reader is able to realize how Reacher came to the conclusions that he did. True there is not a ton of fighting- hardly any in fact- but that's okay, because Reacher is VERY smart, and that in itself I find very interesting.
Profile Image for Nate.
483 reviews20 followers
June 25, 2016
Another really fun Reacher book. This one had a very personally relatable setting in that it’s in hot as fuck Texas. Now we don’t have much humidity here in Arizona, but I definitely know hot as fuck (it was 115F the other day.) Good pacing, good mysteries, and some of the most intense action sequences I’ve seen from Child yet, especially the climactic confrontation.
Profile Image for Patrick .
447 reviews43 followers
April 3, 2020
Remind me to avoid Echo, TX and even Pecos for that matter. If there is a shred of reality within the text of this novel, I would recommend to stay away and/or pack up and GTF out of there ASAP. This author has a keen ability to keep us guessing from page 1 forward. I thought several times I was on the right track only to sidetracked into the next chapter.
Love the Reacher series, simply outstanding and starting another today.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,721 reviews12.8k followers
June 20, 2014
It all began with an extended thumb. Hitchhiking on the side of the road in Texas, Reacher comes across a young woman with a major story to tell. Having left his life behind, he's happy to let her take centre stage. She recounts her story of an abusive husband who must be stopped and the dire situation she finds herself, a Mexican woman with a mixed-race child. As he learns some of the terrors inflicted upon her, Reacher soon realises the second-class citizenship Hispanics enjoy in west Texas, not far from the border towns and Mexico on the horizon. She proposes Reacher murder her husband, to save her and put an end to the violence. While Reacher cannot condone the behaviour, it is outside his comfort level to simply kill on demand. That said, Reacher agrees to help in his own way and begins a stint as a stable hand on the family's ranch. His motives apparently clear, the family closes rank around their own and banishes Reacher, forcing him to consider leaving the drama behind. However, when the husband is murdered at the hand of as newly courageous wife, Reacher returns to help her in any way he can. Doubt replaces certainty and the entire situation becomes one that Reacher did not see coming. He may have played right into a plan that had disastrous consequences from the get-go. All the while, a crew of covert watchers keep tabs on the ranch and its inhabitants, but for what end?

Child uses this book to return Reacher to the nomadic life with which series regulars know well. Lost is the house in New York and the relationship that came along with it. He is now a fixer and a private detective wherever he finds himself. Using his strong investigative skills and superior mercenary capabilities, Reacher is able to bring about major change in a short period of time. This lack of a home base allows Reacher to explore the country at will and permits the reader to enter into new and exciting adventures with each novel, as well as a fresh set of characters and further back story for upcoming instalments. Leaving each book as a great stand-alone, Child permits growth at such a pace that he can hook fans at any point, then encourage them to see where it all began.

Kudos, Mr. Child for entertaining as well as educating at every turn.
Profile Image for Rob.
511 reviews106 followers
January 11, 2018
Number 5 in the Reacher series.
I am slowly working my way through the Reacher series and this is, in my opinion, is the best so far.

This book takes place in Texas. Now, I've never been to Texas but Lee Child has managed to paint such a real canvas of the State with the power of his words it's hard to believe you've never been there. The oppressive heat ( 110 in the shade), the parched arid landscape, the endless miles of nothing. as I write this it has just come to me that this could be the Australian Out Back. But I digress. Add the brooding presence of Jack Reacher and the arid landscape soon becomes a lot more animated.

Part of the books premise is about how down trodden the Hispanic populous is. A white, powerful, family with more than a few skeletons in the cupboard. One of their own has married an Hispanic woman. The wife is not embraced by the family who go out of their way to make life as uncomfortable for her as possible. The husband ends up shot to death and the finger of suspicion points at Carmen, the Hispanic wife.

Unfortunately, for the family, Carmen, has convinced Jack to help out. Jack has no problem helping a lady in distress.

The plot is well structured, fast paced and will keep you guessing for most of the book.

My only criticism is the last 50 pages. There is a lot of quantum leaping by Jack who seems to guess exactly what's going on with no real evidence to back it up. That's why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars.
Happy to recommend this book as a exciting read.
Profile Image for rogue.
129 reviews
March 31, 2009
While interesting in parts, this book felt flat to me. The question of whether Carmen was telling the truth or not intrigued me, but in the end I found her and all the other characters unlikable, and not in an interesting way. I enjoyed seeing Jack be a noble humanitarian (the scene where he retrieves $20,000 is especially satisfying) but I found it unconvincing that he kept sticking around with Carmen, despite her shaky stories. The shoot-out at the end was exciting, but Jack's long monologous explanation afterwards felt forced. After finishing this book, I wasn't jonesing to get my hands on the next Jack Reacher, but I'll get there in due time.
Profile Image for Christy.
Author 25 books64 followers
May 2, 2009
Jack Reacher travels the country with the clothes on his back and a folding toothbrush in his pocket. Hitchhiking through Texas, he’s picked up by Carmen Greer, a beautiful Hispanic woman. Although Carmen’s husband Sloop Greer is from a rich family, she only has $1.00 in her purse. Her husband’s in prison and Carmen hopes he stays there but Sloop’s worked out a deal with the federal authorities and is expected home. Carmen’s been cruising the streets, looking for someone she can talk into murdering her husband because he physically abused her before he went to prison and she’s afraid he’ll kill her once free. Reacher agrees to go with Carmen to Sloop’s ranch to protect her but tells her he will not commit murder. Just hours after Sloop’s home, he’s found in his bedroom, shot to death by Carmen’s gun. Carmen’s arrested and Reacher teams up with a lawyer from the legal mission to find out who really shot Sloop Greer.

Reacher is one of the best characters written today; a strong man who is comfortable with himself and his own personal scruples. He’s a cultured man with intelligence who lives a nomadic, asocial lifestyle and can be brutal without remorse if he feels it’s deserved. In Echo Burning, there are plots and subplots which Child ties together nicely, providing a boatload of suspense along the way.

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