One Shot is the ninth book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child and was recently made into a movie starring Tom Cruise. In the books Reacher is 6’5”, 250 lbs, with a 50” chest, blond hair and blue eyes – Tom Cruise? Not seeing it, but since I haven’t seen the movie I can’t complain too loudly – I’ve heard that it actually works… I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve actually seen the movie!
Anyway… Reacher is a former military policeman who now wanders the country freely – no vehicle, no luggage, no home, no credit cards – and manages to get entrenched in one disastrous situation after another. Not only is he a really large and well-built and apparently good-looking guy, he is smart, resourceful, and does not hesitate when doling out justice according to his own moral code. Much of his world is black and white with very little room for gray, he always sticks up for the innocent and the downtrodden, he always gets his guy (often brutally) and he always saves the day before he moves on and leaves another love-struck woman behind him. While the books are mysteries, they are heavy on the action and the suspense, not simple whodunits. The stories in the series are smart, suspenseful and fast-paced with just enough humor and romance thrown in to keep all that action from getting boring.
In One Shot six shots are fired from a parking garage into a crowded street leaving five people dead. The police quickly gather a watertight case against James Barr, a former military sniper. Barr denies his guilt and only asks for one thing – Jack Reacher. Reacher is already on his way having seen the story on the news, but he and Barr have a history, and he is no friend of Barr’s. When Barr is severely beaten while in prison, Reacher, Barr’s attorney, his sister, a reporter, and a private investigator will have to find out what actually happened and bring about Reacher’s own brand of justice. Like all Reacher novels that I’ve read, this one keeps you guessing (who’s the traitor, what part did Barr play, why did any of this happen?) and in suspense until the very end (even though you know – logically – that Reacher isn’t going to die – there ARE more Reacher books!).
If you like action and suspense in your mysteries, this series is definitely worth checking out at your local library (and if you don’t like it they have an excellent return policy!).
Title: One Shot
Author: Lee Child
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Publication: Delacorte Press, June 2005