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A Shot in the Dark
One Shot - Lee Child
Member Name: samueltyler
One Shot - Lee Child
Advantages: Fast pace, thrilling ride
Disadvantages: Daft plot, silly
The Mounties are known for ‘always getting there man’, but there is an equally known saying of ‘the one that got away’. So which is it to be? Getting away with it? Or inevitably getting caught? Having read some books in Lee Child’s Reacher series already I assume that Reacher exists in the catching his man mould. However, Reacher is more likely to catch his man, pummel him, handcuff him to a moving car, and scarper into the night. Reacher returns to confront an old case from his army days of the one that did get away – but not forever….
Jack Reacher is back again and this time the dangerous loner must investigate the sniper killing of 5 innocent people. It seems that the man who did it should have been jailed years earlier, but Reacher was unable to get the evidence together. However, things are not always as they seem and even as the police stop investigating believing they have a slam dunk, Reacher starts to wonder if there is sometimes too much evidence.
This is the third Reacher novel that I have read and is by far the corniest. That’s not to say it is bad, just that it is the type of cheesy thriller that I love to read every now and again. The problem with the book is that it’s more jam packed with testosterone than a Rugby Union international match. The characters are mostly men who are known by their surnames and like to shoot people. The likes of Jack Higgins have been writing this type of boy’s own adventure for men for years and Child is a fantastic new author in the field.
The reason that this cheesy fiction works is the great writing style of Child and the character of Reacher. Reacher is someone that could be seen as arrogant and aloof, but he is developed in such a way that you have to support him. He is uncompromising, violent and often breaks the law, but his straight sense of right and wrong makes him a spectacular anti-hero. By ‘One Shot’ Reacher is almost acting as a one man ‘A-Team’ as he roams the USA looking to solve problems for former colleagues.
Child’s overall writing should be praised as he is able to create a fast paced and exciting story that rushes from point A all the way to a bloody Z. Too many times an action thriller or crime novel will lose its way in the last third as the author finds it difficult to wrap up the storyline. Child does not have this issue in ‘One Shot’ as he is able to create a coherent and exciting mystery throughout. The book is only made better by the uncompromising and stunning final section that has you once more rooting for the ruthless Reacher.
A book that centres on a hero character can often fail if their nemesis is not up to much. ‘One Shot’ is able to introduce a bad guy that will have you turning the pages to discover the truth. The selection of shady characters that use others to cover their tracks works well as although Child makes them ruthless you can not help thinking that there is a chance that they could exist in real life. For all the trips into fantasy that this book makes Child assures that it keeps at least one foot in reality by giving all the characters enough depth so that they are shades of grey, rather than pure black and white.
I do believe that some people will read this book and find it far too simple and write it off as pure hokum and to a large extent they are right. This book is hokum, just hokum of the highest order. You can not help but smile as you read about how Reacher bends the rules to get what he wants. The fact that there is a very solid and exciting storyline throughout is a huge bonus and proves that although Child’s chosen genre is often frowned upon he is certainly one of the better authors in it. I recommend this to anyone, especially men, who are looking for a fun action read to take on holiday.
Author: Lee Child
Price: amazon uk - £5.59
play.com - £4.99
Summary: A fun holiday read