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Have you ever wondered what Jack Reacher was like before he was old enough to join the army? In this very short action-packed novella, Lee Child tells us that he was a younger version of the same Reacher that we have grown to know and love over the years.
Reacher is only 16 years old, but is already an impressive physical specimen who is fully grown in height, weight, and muscle power. He is in New York on vacation alone (his Dad's current posting is Korea), and New York is sweltering in 100 degree heat. Like any teenager he is looking for a good time but, like the Reacher we know, trouble finds him before he can start looking. I counted four times when he had to show his already developed skills at unarmed combat, a couple of them against multiple opponents, as usual leaving battered bodies behind him. The good news is that, in between fights, he does find a good time.
It is always a joy to read Lee Child's concise, action-packed and very commercial writing style but I thought that this time the similarities to the older Reacher were unrealistic and over the top. The novella has probably been written as a tempter for the next Reacher book "Never Go Back" due out in about 3 weeks. It will be interesting to see if Child is able to maintain the Reacher momentum in the 18th book in the series.