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realjimbob

REALJimBob

Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

Tripwire  - Lee Child The best Reacher in the series so far, by a fairly long shot. Reacher is drifting (poorly as he's actually holding down two jobs) in the Florida Keys when he's tracked down by a Private Investigator. Denying that he's the main the man is searching for, he turns up dead pretty quickly. Suddenly Reacher (it's always Reacher, apparently, never Jack) decides he needs to track the killers down and get to the bottom of the whole affair - he feels a level of responsibility for the man's death. Before we know it we're jetting all over the country, hunting down bad guys, hooking up with good girls and generally saving the day...

Obviously, it's a Jack Reacher novel, so some suspension of disbelief is a must. But, it is a relief to see the mystical coincidences that plagued the first two books noted by their absence. The back story is much more believable, the reasons for Jack being just in the right place and time as well (beyond the initial 360 degree turn from not being interested to needing to avenge the death of the investigator) and the carry-over character of General Garber from the previous novel provides a nice piece of continuity. The secondary characters all seem a little more rounded this time as well - Marilyn Stone being a classic example (although do we need to be continually reminded of the fact that she's not wearing any underwear?). Hopefully these improvements bode well for the rest of the series.

Flies in the ointment however (and some spoilers), the 360 degree start and Marilyn's dress/underwear situation aside – how do Jack and Jodie go from fifteen years of unrequited love to an obviously doomed relationship (she's a lawyer and he's a drifter - is that even a real job?) without Jodie asking herself any half-way serious questions about her own state of mind? No loose ends are really tied up at all - what was Tony's relationship with Hobie (he's surprisingly loyal if there isn't one)? And what happens to Marilyn and Chester Stone? Does she ever wear underwear again?