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The Visitor - Lee Child

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  • implausibly incompetent FBI investigators
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      04.04.2013 21:03
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      A good thriller, a bit of a slow starter but well worth a read.

      Edition being reviewed:

      Paperback
      512 pages
      Publisher: Bantam
      First published (in UK) in 2000.

      The Visitor is the 4th novel in Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. I first discovered the series when I was given a copy of Killing Floor (the first book in the series) as part of World Book Night a couple of years ago (for those of you who don't know what this is but are interested, see www.worldbooknight.org). I finished Killing Floor in two days and was blown away by the brilliance of Child's writing, the character of Jack Reacher, the pace, the tension, the conspiracies etc. I decided that I had to read the entire series and have since acquired another 7 Child novels in the series and am working my way through them in order.

      *My Thoughts*

      The Visitor is therefore not only the 4th book in the series but also the 4th Child book I have read. I have to say, I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it's still a very good thriller and has the typical Lee Child style of writing but having been blown away by the first book and then still thoroughly enjoying the second and third, I had high expectations for this novel and was left feeling a little underwhelmed. The premise of the story was very good and kept me interested, I just felt the pace a little slow compared to others. I had just finished a book (another thriller by a different author) which had short, punchy chapters, some only a couple of pages, which I was unable to put down because as soon as I finished one chapter I would think 'well, just one more it's only 2 pages' and I'd end up reading half the book in one sitting. The chapters in The Visitor were, for the most part, longer - some 12 pages or more - which meant that I would read a couple of chapters and then feel that was enough. The only exception to this is the last quarter of the book, where the story really started to pick up and unfold and I read the last quarter in one sitting whilst enjoying a rare day off from work. I still enjoyed the book and it in no way has put me off continuing with the series but perhaps I will go onto the next one with slightly lower expectations in the hope that I will enjoy them as much as the first 3 in the series.

      *So who is Jack Reacher?*

      Jack Reacher is an ex US Military Policeman. He was raised as a child in army barracks, receiving an education in US Army Base Schools in Europe and the Far East, never settling anywhere for very long. His father was a US Marine and his mother a French national before they died.

      Following in his father's footsteps he embarked on his own military career where he served as a Military Policeman for thirteen years, being awarded the Silver Star amongst other medals, and mustered out with rank of Major. Since then he has become used to frequent travelling and has no problem with spending large periods of time alone, sleeping in motel rooms, hitching rides to wherever he chooses to go next. He wants to see the Country and go where his feet take him rather than settling in one place. He feels tied down by too many commitments. It's for this reason that he doesn't have a driving licence, he doesn't have credit cards and he doesn't give his real name if he can get away with it.

      *The Backstory*

      The Visitor starts off just a few months after Tripwire (the third novel in the series). He has been living in a house in Garrison, a place on the east bank of the Hudson River. He inherited the house from his old commanding officer, Leon Garber, who passed away earlier that year. He had arrived at the house in Garrison when he discovered of Leon's death and was reunited with Jodie, Leon's daughter. He had been in love with Jodie for fifteen years, since he had first met her on a base in the Philippines. However, the fact that she was 15 - and his CO's daughter - he had quashed his feelings for her and they had built up more of a brother/sister relationship. Once Leon passed however, their feelings for each other were rekindled and their relationship, as lovers, blossomed. Their relationship continues throughout this story which makes it a little different from the previous three where, although he would meet women on the course of his travels and form a bond with them (and of course hop into bed with them!), we see a different side to Reacher here as he struggles to come to terms with being anchored by the house and by Jodie. This back story makes an appearance throughout the novel - maybe to emphasise a softer side to Reacher.

      *So what's this one about?*

      I'm not going to go into too much detail about the premise of the story because I don't want to give away any spoilers for those of you who choose to read it. The blurb on the back of the book however states:-

      'Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cooke have a lot in common. Both were army high flyers. Both were acquainted with Jack Reacher. Both were forced to resign from the service. Now they're both dead. Found in their own homes, naked, in a bath full of paint. Apparent victims of an army man. A loner, a smart guy with a score to settle, a ruthless vigilante. A man just like Jack Reacher'

      I knew as soon as I read the blurb that this novel would follow along the lines of the others in the Reacher series i.e. that Reacher would be in the wrong place at the wrong time and would become number 1 suspect in a case where all fingers were pointing at him. It was no surprise therefore when the story started to run along these lines. Of course I knew that the offences they were accusing him of were nothing to do with him (for the most part!) and so it's just a matter of waiting to see how he would convince the police and how the story would unfold.

      As I mentioned above, the premise of the story is very good but I just found the pace a little slow in places and it took me much longer to read this book compared to the other Child novels I have read.

      I found most of the characters believable and likeable, however I did have a problem with Detective Harper and she often irritated me! I won't go into the reasons as to why as again I don't want to give too much away but I did find her a little fake at times and her persona just bothered me. Perhaps Child had written her into the book in this way to have this effect but I genuinely don't think he did, I guess you just can't like them all.

      The Visitor does have all the usual aspects that you would find in a Reacher novel, it just lacks some of the punchy tension and action.

      I had figured out who the 'bad guy' was from about a third of the way in (but I did occasionally think perhaps it was someone else) but not the motive and this was therefore still a surprise and as a result not too predictable. I actually couldn't work out how it was being done which made me want to read more and certainly didn't come anywhere near to guessing it correctly. Child switches the writing between that of the viewpoint of Reacher and that of the killer (and frequently towards the end of the book) in very well placed points throughout the story. The ending of the book means it can easily lead into the next novel without any questions or complications.

      Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good thriller. Although I would suggest reading the series from the beginning, this is fine as a stand alone thriller and I don't believe it would be difficult to get up to date on the back story. If you have read and enjoyed Lee Child's other novels then I would be surprised if you didn't enjoy this one, I have just found it my least favourite so far.

      The Visitor is available from Amazon from £1.89 (at time of writing) in paperback, £4.27 for the kindle edition and is also available in hardback and audio.

      Thanks for Reading
      -x-

      (This Review is also on Ciao)

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      28.01.2010 12:31
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      Another excellent book from Lee Child

      This is one of my favourite of the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child. This is the fourth in the series of books.

      They are all great, but I have to say this one is a real mind bender, I love trying to figure out who is responsible for murders in books, but in this one I just couldn't work it out!
      Basically the storyline is that army women are being found dead in their homes all under the same circumstances, and all without forced entry into their homes. It looks like they are all dying the same way but not only is it impossible to work out who is doing it, you have to try and figure out how they are dying without someone actually touching them.

      Reacher finds himself through various circumstances involved in the murder investigation, and once again his intelligent mind is picking up small points that other people are missing, and eventually he figures out how these women are dying and who is doing it. The actual way the women are dying was more intriguing to me than who was doing it, I found it really exciting that I couldn't figure it out and that you just can't predict the twists that Lee Child is going to write.

      This is a brilliant action packed book from Lee Child and in my opinion is one of the best of the Jack Reacher series.

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      02.04.2009 15:16
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      A novel that is impossible to put down

      The Visitor is the fourth novel in Lee Child's series of books written around the fictional character of Jack Reacher.

      Reacher is a loner at heart. First as an army kid then as an army officer he has become used to incessant travelling and periods of loneliness. Being tied down therefore is not a prospect that is endearing to him in any form and that is exactly what the house he has recently inherited is doing to him - tying him down. It has become an anchor; a port away from the storm and that is exactly what Reacher doesn't want. Furthermore owning a house means being part of a paper chain something else that he isn't exactly excited to have. Reacher enjoys being untraceable. He prefers to stay in the shadows as being invisible is something he is not only good at but something that has become a habit.

      The problems in this part of his life however are nothing compared to what is happening all round him when figures from his past rear their heads again. Amy Callan and Caroline Cook were both acquainted with Reacher when they were in the army. They either turned to him or crossed his path before being forced to resign from the service. Unfortunately they are now both dead and having been found naked in a bathtub full of paint in their own homes makes their cases somewhat stand out.

      Their killer is seemingly the same person as they are both apparent victims of an army man. An army man categorised by the profilers as a smart guy with a score to settle. A loner with a ruthless vigilante streak. An army man in fact who is exactly like Jack Reacher.

      The Visitor is nothing short of being a powerfully written thriller in which the story runs like a fast flowing river from the very first page. Like a river however the stunning prose meet perfectly placed obstructions, which alter it's cause sending it spiralling down a path that you never imagined could even exist. This elegant flow of words enables Child to tackle difficult topics in a way that present the issues in a spotlight that neither undercuts them nor emphasises them too greatly. All of this is done with a seeming ease that conveys a natural writing talent that is all too rare. It is clear from the very first sentence, from the very first word that this book is going to take the characters within it on a journey and that you as the reader are going to be dragged along and like the characters you are going to be teased and manipulated in order that the correct portrayal of the narrative structure is achieved.

      The drama and tension within the novel is created through the clever manipulation of characters and audience. Child seems to know instinctively where to place all elements of his story in order to create maximum impact and this enables the intensity of the action with the story to increase and decrease spectacularly with revelations about characters and plot as well as gripping action. This unpredictable in a sense means you are never quite certain what is going to happen next and therefore must deduct what is going to occur and the same speed as the characters themselves.

      Combined within the action precinct of the narrative and jostling for position amongst the vast amount of information that has evidently been researched and carefully positioned in the novel, is a helping of humour. This humour is superbly placed and unique in many ways. Some of the humour is military based as so is guaranteed to appeal to those with a military background or a decent military knowledge. This doesn't mean however that those with neither would not understand the humour nor find it funny but just that those with such experience might appreciate it more.

      I have already briefly mentioned the wealth of information contained within the novel but I think it deserves a bigger mention as Child has clearly done a lot of physical research with regards to weaponry, vehicles and both military and federal organisation protocols. This research ensures that the novel is firmly grounded in a degree of reality and also enables us to have a greater engagement with the characters within it, as the precise information relating to them gives them an authenticity that many fictional characters lack.

      The authenticity of the characters is certainly important to the novel as a whole but the general progression and development of the lead character - Jack Reacher - is something special. Reacher has been carefully constructed within each of the previous novels so that we know just enough abut him to empathise with him, agree with him and fight with him, but not enough that we feel we know him too well. This is an endearing characteristic because it enables us with each new novel to peak deeper beneath the armour of this enigmatic character and probe closer and closer to the things that have made Reacher the man he is. In comparison to the previous novels in the series however this one doesn't provide us with as much opportunity to glean more information about Reacher as a man but this seems in fitting with the novel as a whole as the information we do learn reinforces previous ones.

      Reacher is in my opinion the perfect action hero. He's more Jason Bourne than James Bond but even that is characterising him too closer as in the end he is more believable than either of them. He is more human, more normal and more unique. He has power as a lead character yet behind his strength and tremendous skill and as an amazing yet logical detective, is a soft vulnerability that draws out empathy. Ultimately this turns him into an epic hero with the ability to capture imaginations and make every word written about him so difficult to let go off.

      Obviously being the main man Jack Reacher is the character that is developed the most but all of the others introduced to us by Child are written with the same degree of development and progression. Characters from previous novels are built upon and play a part in the action but ultimately they are not dwelt upon in a way that deters from the main plotline. New characters are equally brought to life with vivid descriptions and intricately placed within the plot to ensure that the novel does not grow stale and remains fresh, vibrant and ever changing. Furthermore they engage the audience in the overall process of the novel as well as highlighting a contrast between them and the vibrant character of Reacher.

      Although this book is part of a series the characters and delicate plotlines are so well developed within the novel itself that it could quite easily be read as a stand-alone. I would however highly recommend reading them as a series as in this way you can really appreciate all the work that Child has put into his novels and into the creation of Jack Reacher; a character that doesn't come across as a self- centred and cocky agent like Bond or an over-confident vigilante like Bourne but simply as a man that we quickly learn to both love, admire and believe in.

      "People say that knowledge is power. The more knowledge, the more power. Which makes you just about the most powerful person on earth. When it comes to killing people. And then getting away with it.

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        28.10.2001 05:22
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        This book has a big sticker plastered across the front “the best thriller writer in town or your money back”. That will do me nicely I thought – and if I don’t like it I am claiming my money back (hey – I am poor!!). Not a good thing to judge a book on really – a sticker – but as it turns out the sticker was spot on! At first when I read the back (see I do consider things before impulse buys….) I thought it sounded a bit like “The General’s Daughter” which was good as I loved that book. Jack Reacher is a great character, he is tall, tough, mean looking and has just left the army where he was a MP Major. He has been in the army his whole life (His father was in the army too and they lived on bases all over the world.) and is now just wanting to float about the country and relax – minding his own business, which he doesn’t really do very well as you discover when he threatens the local ‘protection racket’ just because he likes the restaurant he is in and doesn’t like to see them getting ripped off! He is picked up by the FBI under some stupid charge, and basically they make him help them out with a case by threatening him and his girlfriend. He doesn’t like people threatening his woman but goes along with them – staying at least three steps ahead of them at all times! A good bit is when he sneaks away from under the nose of the FBI and disposes of the one thing they used to threaten him… and they are none the wiser. The FBI are having problems tracking down a serial killer who seems to target army career women who were victims of sexual harassment – both are discovered dead in a bathtub of green camouflage paint and there is no marks at all on the body to indicate cause of death. FBI are stumped! (I was too – I am too embarrassed to admit all the stupid things I came up with in my head as to causes of death!!!)
        Reacher is to be used as a go-between for FBI and Army and he uses his contacts in the army to help solve the case. It is actually a bit of a surprise as to what is happening – well it was to me anyway. The plot is very well laid out and I actually was shocked to discover who the perp was as I had grown a little bit attached to that person. This book is one of a series about Jack Reacher and to be honest I would highly recommend them all. As I mentioned in other reviews in this series – I feel like Jack Reacher is a friend of mine, that is how well the author portrays his main character. Now that I have finished the whole series I am waiting in anticipation for a new instalment from Lee Child.

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          22.07.2001 01:49
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          • "implausibly incompetent FBI investigators"

          I finished this book a couple of days ago now, and since then, I've been trying to figure out why I disliked it so much. Because in theory, I should have loved it. The story is about a former military policeman, Jack Reacher, who gets pulled in for questioning by the FBI, because he fits the psychological profile of a deviously clever serial killer they're tracking. The first two victims were women who used to be in the army, and had been subject to sexual harassment. They had both pressed charges, resulting in the conviction of the men in question. The FBI investigators suspect a military connection: they think someone blames these women for ruining good men's careers, and is out to avenge them. When Reacher was an MP he worked on both of these women's cases, and knew them personally. He isn't the killer, though, and the FBI knows this. They've been following him for a week, and in that time another woman has been murdered. But they do need his military connections and help in tracking down the killer, and they're not willing to take no for an answer. So far, so good. I like serial killer crime novels. (John Sandford is a particular favourite.) The story gets even better than this, because it turns out that the killer is so clever, he doesn't leave behind _any_forensic evidence at the crime scene: no fibres, prints, DNA, or any trace of violence. And the coroners examining the bodies can't even figure out how the women died. So we have a seemingly impossible mystery as well. I have a penchant for locked room murder mysteries as well, and even though the rooms aren't locked in these cases, they might as well have been. Jack Reacher, the book's hero, is another reason I should have liked the book: he's a tough guy, a loner who does things his own way, and who isn't afraid to bend or break the rules to set right what he sees as an injustice. He's smart, he
          9;s strong, and he's not afraid of anything. Not entirely unlike Robert B. Parker's Spenser, or Robert Crais's Elvis Cole, two of my all-time favourite private eyes. So why did I come away so disappointed? Where did Lee Child go wrong? What is the missing magic ingredient that could have made this alphabet soup taste sweet? At first I thought it was Reacher's arrogance and know-all attitude. He considers himself smarter and better than the FBI agents he's forced to work with. Because we're seeing the story through Reacher's eyes, the FBI come across as generally unpleasant characters of frequently dubious morality and competence. This emphasises Reacher's high opinion of himself, and his firm belief that he is the only person who is capable of solving this crime. But that's not it. I think back on the number of books in which Spenser has taken on the hardest cases and toughest villains armed only with his wits, muscles, and stout heart. I enjoyed those books. Spenser's attitude has never bothered me. Then I considered the plot and the narrative. The story follows Reacher throughout, except for brief interludes where we briefly see what the killer is doing or planning. I have no problem with this in general; John Sandford does it in almost every book. Child does break the rules when he shows you the viewpoint of someone completely unrelated acting suspiciously, and lets you believe you're seeing the killer. But this is no worse a piece of misdirection than you'd see in any Agatha Christie novel. And so what if I'd figured out who the killer was, and how they'd done it by the end of the book? The thrill of the chase is till there, and the tension builds up to a nail-biting climax regardless. Okay, so I was definitely disappointed by how linear the plot turned out to be. The story feints and dodges a couple of times, but ultimately it charges straight at
          you like a two ton rhinoceros. It's not subtle, and it's not intricate. The only deviousness lies in the meticulous planning the killer has put into the crimes in order to confound and deceive the FBI, and all of this is explained (in loving detail) by a smug Jack Reacher at the denouement. But again, this is not the main source of my discontent. No, what really bugs me about this book is its complete and utter lack of humour or joy. Jack Reacher is cold, miserable, and selfish. When the FBI take him in at the start of the book, he claims that their profile of the killer is "obviously" wrong because it fits him, and he would never do such a thing. But you know what? He would. After being exposed to Reacher for 500 pages, I was convinced that if the circumstances were right, he would not hesitate for a second to be just as deep-down unpleasant as the killer. And it's not just Reacher's character. The whole book seems to take itself far too seriously. Fair enough it's a thriller, but I don't remember cracking even a wry smile at any point throughout the book. Every paragraph is fuelled by aggression, every chapter fed by violence. It's all plod, plod, thump, thump. There is no redemption, no joy. No peek into the human soul to see a pocket of goodness and light despite the persistent darkness that surrounds us. Every single character wears a mask to protect their own loneliness. The ending may look happy on the surface, but take it apart and you'll see that the people you thought were smiling are merely frowning upside-down. At the time I found it exciting, but in retrospect it feels like the book mugged me and robbed eight one-hour bills from my wallet. Writing this review has crystallised in my mind just how depressing a book _The Visitor_ actually is. Buy the latest Robert Crais or Robert B. Parker instead, and be pleasantly surprised by how literate, humorous, and touching a ha
          rd-boiled detective novel can be.

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            21.05.2001 03:26
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            I must admit I had never heard of Lee Child when I found “The Visitor” in a service station. With no dooyoo to consult, with me being on the road, I had to take a chance on a new author! The thing that made me pick up the book was the marketing department’s guarantee to give you your money back “If your thirst for the ultimate thriller isn’t quenched..”. I had no intention of ever sending away to get my money back and I imagine most people are the same but it showed a lot of faith in Child so I decided to take a chance on him. The front cover states that it is a Jack Reacher story. This was another thing that made me think that he must be a good writer if he thinks that people will but it on the strength of his name or that of his primary characters. Reacher is a guy that almost every guy wants to be like. A free spirit that can easily take care of himself and that can turn almost every situation round to his chosen outcome. This is the fifth book in the Reacher series but I was able to read it without having read any of the others. I did feel that I would have gained a little by reading the previous books but this book did not suffer for the first time reader. This took a lot of skill as the Reacher faithful don’t want to re-read about his background but the new reader needs certain details. Child gets the balance perfectly. The story if fairly fast paced and keeps the reader guessing at all times. It has been criticised by some people as being too predictable. I would agree that part of the ending was predictable but I was still taken by surprise at the outcome. I always think that a good story takes you by surprise initially but when you review the facts the outcome is very plausible. Again Child manages this brilliantly. I think the thing that I liked most was the way Child leaked the story. There was no bombardment of facts. We find out information in much the same way
            I would imagine real investigators do. This allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. Reacher is employed by the FBI as a reluctant consultant. He only gives the FBI the barest of details, which again allows the reader to know that there must be enough to go on for Reacher to know what has happened. The reader is in much the same position as the FBI, knowing there is enough information there but not knowing (in my case anyway) how to interpret it. Another thing I liked is the way that the story jumped from the main character to the killer and back. Everytime the killer was thinking, the words were in italics, which made it very clear what was going on. I usually do not like to read paragraphs of italics but I felt that they were well used here. Perhaps the most surprising thing was that Child was born in England. He tells the entire story in America and seems to know the place quite well. Obviously not being American I perceive this but as his main market will be American it would have to be up to scratch. I also learned a few new things by reading some of the small facts that Child drops into the story. For example why do nurses always squirt a little out of a hypodermic syringe before injecting someone? The answer may be well known but I didn’t know and this showed that Child had done a bit of research into certain parts of the story. As I have said above there are four previous Jack Reacher books and now one subsequent one. I have now ordered all the others on the strength of this one book. For a fifth novel about the same character I thought there were still a lot of fresh ideas and certainly enough to make me think that all the other books will be worth reading. This book’s RRP is £5.99 but it can be picked up in Tesco for £3.84 at either price it’s a bargain as it is an excellent read. Surely a film deal beckons?

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              05.04.2001 00:14
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              I’m a big fan of thins kind of novel, and for me, this book had something to prove. I ha heard many good things about this book, and usually this signals a certain disappointment. However, from the moment of turned the front cover, I was simply hooked on one of the most gripping novels I have read in a long, long time! After two female army sergeants are found dead in their homes, seemingly unrelated in person,. But the crimes very much related, it seems that the possibility of finding the killer(s) in these horrific murders are less than zero. Connected by the fact that both Sergeants had recently resigned from their Army positions due to charges of Sexual harassment made by them, clues are a little thin on the ground and the plot continues to thicken until it seems nigh on impossible how a solution will be found. That is, until tough guy Jack Reacher, a former US military cop, takes it upon himself to get involved in the case along with the FBI psychological profilers in a desperate attempt to solve the mystery of who ‘dunnit’! The plot I yet again very imaginative,. Although it maybe is not as concealed as his previous books of the same style. 80% of this book will have you completely baffled and clutching at straws with who you believe to be responsible. This then changes, and Child drops a few clangers if he attempted to conceal the identity of the killer until the end, and chances are you will figure out who committed the crime before the book tells you. That said, this in no way spoiled the book as much as other books of this genre have done so, and I certainly found myself reading until the very end, despite confirmation that I had guessed right. On hardback, this book will cost you in excess of £15, and this is a great buy that you won’t just read the once. Given time, you’ll forget the majority of this book and will no doubt want to read it again, although I think it will be a little while before I g
              ive my copy a second viewing at the moment. However, considering this book is recently published in paperback form, with a measly selling price of just £5, then you have yourself serious bargain, and elimination of any reason why you should not buy this book. Reading 520+ in length, I think this book is just about right in terms of quantity. Never did I find myself bored with this book, in fact I never found myself anything less that purly entertained and enthralled by this cracking novel that I found to be a real gem and a true treat in reading. The 4th Crime thriller by the hugely talented and very imaginative Lee Child, sees yet another stunning read that represents great value for money. I enjoyed this book from cover to cover, and even when the plot seemed to be a little obvious (and it turned out I guessed right), it never detracted from what is an intriguing and very worthy read. If you are a fan of Crime/Thrillers or Lee Child in general, then you will love this book as much as I did, and agree that this is a very rewarding read that should be experienced. Lee Child is gaining a growing reputation in the field of Criminal thrillers and murder mystery novels, and this is just another shining example why…Make this purchase now if you have any interest in the genre of book.

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                23.11.2000 06:13
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                "The Visitor" is the fourth crime/thriller novel by Lee Child in his series featuring ex-military policeman Jack Reacher. Lee Child was born and raised in the Midlands and now lives in New York. His previous Jack Reacher novels "Killing Floor" and "Die Trying" are award winners, whilst the third book "Tripwire" is my personal favourite and also the most commercially successful of his books to date. The main character of these novels as i've already mentioned is Jack Reacher. Jack quit the army after a lifetime of service travelling from base to base, first with his parents and then continuing with his own highly distinguished army career. Now he is trying to catch up with what he sees as the life he has missed so far. He travels around from town to town, never staying too long in one place. It seems that old habits die hard for Jack. • The Plot As a person Jack is a fiery, awkward and intelligent man, but also very much a loner who lives by his own rules. So when two army career women, both of whom had previously resigned from the army after sexual harrassment cases, are found murdered in bizarre and identical scenarios (naked in bathtubs filled with army camouflage paint no less), the FBI Behavioural Sciences team is called in to investigate and profile the killer. Unfortunately for Jack he knew both of these woman and he also fits the FBI profile of the killer exactly. The FBI pull him in after witnessing one of his "vigilante" acts whilst he was warning off protection racketering gangsters from his local restaurant in New York. Jack is for once trying to settle down and stick his roots in one place for a decent length of time. This was the last thing he needed to happen to him. The FBI soon realise they have the wrong man, but with the insurance of catching him in the midst of his vigilante act they have found another use for him. The FBI have th
                eir hooks into him now and they aren't likely to let go .... • Summary "The Visitor" is a solid book, which will keep you interested probably up until the final third of the novel. That's when most people (I would expect) should have figured out who the real killer is (as I did). Lee Child leaves far too many easy clues pointing to the real killer early on in the book. This for me has to be the heavy negative point of the book for me. Great characterisations and descriptive locations are obviously going to help but they will always be the icing on the cake for an original and thought provoking story. When the plot leaves you a bit dejected then no amount of literary genius will cover it up. Some of the holes are quite large and gaping in the plot, but if you can put these aside then the book is an entertaining read. I may just be getting overly critical of Child's books now, but he set such a good standard with his previous novels that he only has himself to blame. I'm going to give this book two seperate ratings, one for readers accustomed to the previous Jack Reacher novels and another one for new readers. I'll give it four stars to new readers, as even though the plot isn't as sophisticated and complexly woven as the other novels it is still none the less a worthy read. Oh and it's certainly not essential that you have to read the other novels first. I have found that all of the Jack Reacher novels can be read in any order, and each novel does not require background knowledge from the previous books. For seasoned Jack Reacher readers then I would only give "The Visitor" a three star rating, as it fails to live up to the expectations that the previous three novels have built up. After the thoroughly gripping "Tripwire" this one was a little disappointing. I was expecting so much more from this as his novels were progessively improving until no
                w. It also left me with a bad taste in the mouth from the ending. I just feel that the ending seemed far too contrived and was there only to blatantly set the scene for the next book in the series. Hopefully the next instalment will pick up in the vein of "Tripwire". If it does then I will certainly be one of the first to snatch it up. Watch out for a movie someday too. I find it hard to believe no-one has snapped up the rights to his novels yet, they are perfectly suited to film adaptation. • Update (March 2001) "The Visitor" is available in paperback published by Bantam at £5.99 from 16th April 2001 (amazon.co.uk are taking pre-orders at £4.79) ISBN: 0553811886 • Update (May 2001) As if to prove that the best prices are not solely found on the net, check out the latest offer on at WhSmiths right now, who are offering this book in paperback at the bargain price of £3.84 (reduced from £5.99), under a month since its paperback release. Just try and find it that cheap online!

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              • Product Details

                A Jack Reacher novel.