Reviews for Persuader

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The word thriller is too often used as a kind of catchall, encompassing a wildly diverse group of novels that aren't mysteries exactly but that do generate suspense. Rather than this kitchen-sink approach, why not limit the term to those rare novels that, in fact, deliver thrills, books fueled by a propulsive narrative that compels the reader forward, all systems on overdrive from beginning to end? Stephen Hunter's Bob the Nailer novels are the perfect example of this special breed, but Child's Jake Reacher series can match Bob stride for stride. Child has a new publisher committed to bringing the Reacher series, now in its seventh installment, the crossover success it has long deserved, and fortunately, the book they've picked to do it with is a corker. Beginning with a stunning set-piece involving the apparent kidnapping of a college student, the novel offers the brooding Reacher, a former military policeman, the chance to settle a score with an old nemesis, renegade army intelligence officer Quinn, whom Reacher believed was dead until a chance encounter on a Boston street. Using his old sources to verify Quinn's identity, Reacher finds himself in the middle of an FBI investigation of shady tycoon Zachary Beck. The best thrillers run on high-octane narrative fuel, but they are not plot driven. To generate real thrills, an author must put real people behind the wheel, and Child does exactly that. Reacher may grow from type--the tough-guy loner, wounded and trying unsuccessfully to disengage--but he brings his own sinewy presence to the role. Bones crunch, wounds bleed, and hearts break in this galvanizing tale, but they never do so generically, and the mayhem, both physical and emotional, never feels gratuitous. --Bill Ott

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A cross between a modern-day John Wayne and a much younger Clint Eastwood, Jack Reacher is back in this eighth adventure, and fans will be delighted. A retired army major who served as an MP and criminal investigator, Reacher roams the United States and invariably runs across a major crime or terrorist incident that requires him to "put things right," albeit in his own unique and violent way. Here he discovers a diabolical enemy whom he thought a decade dead, as well as a major smuggler and his sadistic bodyguard living in a gothic horror of a mansion overlooking the sea. Reacher allies himself with a band of FBI agents who want to bring down the bad guys and find one of their own who's missing. Persuader includes a number of intriguing plot twists, and Reacher always finds himself in tense, tight, and exciting situations. Intelligently written, Child's latest thriller is recommended for most popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/03.]-Robert Conroy, Warren, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Surprise tops nasty surprise when former MP Jack Reacher stalks a nemesis from the past. Child (Without Fail, 2002) opens Reacher's seventh case with an apparent ambush. As college student Richard Beck heads home, two men in a pickup cut off his limo, pull him out, and lob a grenade into the car, killing Beck's bodyguards. Reacher, standing nearby, jumps into the fray, blows away the would-be abductors as well as a third man rushing onto the scene, who turns out to have been a plainclothes cop. The law never forgives cop killers, Reacher tells Beck, so off they flee to the student's Maine family mansion. Then comes surprise #1: the ambush was meticulously staged by federal agents who want to plant Reacher inside the Beck fortress, where they want Reacher to rescue another agent who went missing in the same place a few weeks earlier. They also suspect that Beck's father, a rug dealer, traffics in clandestine matters that tie him to Francis Xavier Quinn, who should have died ten years previously, when Reacher pushed him from a cliff. Quinn's background ensues, becoming—for once!—a subplot that ratchets up suspense. Meanwhile, Reacher noses about the Beck's latter-day Eagle's Nest, whose depraved and degraded inhabitants have a Hitchcock flavor. Reacher also keeps dodging the estate's security system in order to meet and make love to his operative. Back in Maine, the maid turns out to be an agent the feds know nothing of, Reacher learns (surprise #20, at least) what the Becks are up to, and he closes in on Quinn. The tension leading to Reacher and Quinn's reunion could easily sustain a simple, two-man, High Noon–style face-off, but Child lays on and drags out the violence, the one time his otherwise expertly judged work goes over the top. Wily plotting, swift pacing, mordant wit: Child is one skillful writer. Copyright ŠKirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Retired Army MP Jack Reacher embarks upon his seventh case when he's fingered by the FBI to infiltrate a crime syndicate and extricate a missing female undercover agent. In a breakneck first chapter that leaves the listener gasping, Jack whisks the crime boss's college-age son from an attempted kidnapping and grudgingly agrees to rush the terrified kid home to daddy. But insinuating Jack into the family compound was the goal all along-the FBI staged the kidnapping to put him undercover. Jack has 15 days to crack the case while he prowls for clues at an isolated coastal Maine estate, occasionally slipping off for an increasingly sizzling rendezvous with his sexy (female) FBI contact. An eye-for-an-eye kind of guy, Jack whittles away at an edgy entourage of murderers, molesters, and thieves like picking off steroid-plumped birds on a wire. This work is read by Dick Hill with a gritty masculinity that perfectly suits Jack. Every public library will want to add this to the other six Jack Reacher thrillers in their collections. Highly recommended.-Judith Robinson, Univ. at Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

The promo copy on the ARC of Child's new thriller proclaims, "We dare to make this claim: Lee Child is the best thriller writer you're probably not reading-yet." Hopefully the "six-figure" marketing campaign promised by Child's new publisher will make that statement obsolete, because readers will be hard-pressed to find a more engaging thriller this spring season. Child is a master of storytelling skills, not least the plot twist, and the opening chapter of this novel spins a doozy, as a high-octane, extremely violent action sequence sees Child hero Jack Reacher rescue a young man, 20-year-old Richard Beck, from an attempted kidnapping before the rug is pulled out from under the reader with the chapter's last line. The rest of the novel centers on the Beck family's isolated, heavily guarded estate on the Maine coast where Reacher takes Richard. Richard's father is suspected by Feds of being a major drug dealer and the kidnapper of another Fed, and also seems to have ties to a fiend who killed Reacher's lady 10 years before, someone Reacher thought he'd killed in turn, in a vengeance slaying. Tension runs high, then extremely high, as Reacher, ingratiating himself with the dealer and hired on as a bodyguard, pokes around the estate, looking for the kidnapped Fed and evading and/or disposing of in-house bad guys as they begin to suspect he's not who he seems. But then little in Child's novels is as it at first seems, and numerous further plot twists spark the story line. What makes the novel really zing, though, is Reacher's narration-a unique mix of the brainy and the brutal, of strategic thinking and explosive action, moral rumination and ruthless force, marking him as one of the most memorable heroes in contemporary thrillerdom. Any thriller fan who has yet to read Lee Child should start now. (May 13) Forecast: The publisher is aiming at Father's Day sales, and with the help of a massive campaign, including print, radio and airline advertising, Child could be poised to reap the sort of sales he deserves. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Jack Reacher has a problem; he's after a drug dealer tied to a man he once killed-or maybe he didn't. A tough seventh case. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.