Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tripwire - Lee Child

In Tripwire, the third book in Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, Reacher is in Key West digging swimming pools - with a shovel. The job is suiting him just fine until a New York City private detective comes looking for Reacher on behalf of a woman named Mrs. Jacob. The fact that he's never heard of Mrs. Jacob is bothersome enough, but when the private investigator ends up dead, Reacher has to find out why.

When Reacher travels to New York City he discovers that Mrs. Jacob is actually Jody Garber, the daughter of Reacher's former army commander, Leon Garber. Leon had been investigating an M.I.A. situation from Vietnam for an elderly couple whose son never returned. He wasn't going to be able to see the investigation through and asked his daughter to track down his old subordinate, Jack Reacher. But when Reacher finally arrives in New York, Leon's died and Reacher has very little information to work from, but he starts investigating nonetheless.

I know that I'm in the minority when I say I would never qualify as a "Reacher Creature." The whole Superman persona just does absolutely nothing for me. And for as much time as he spends wandering in obscure places, how is he so in tuned to urban drug and gun dealers? Yet, still I continue to listen to the audiobooks for this series. Maybe I get some kind of perverse pleasure from rolling my eyes and heaving exaggerated sighs. But, more likely, I enjoy the plots. This one I saw the outcome from a mile away, and the reason I saw it coming was in part because there were strong similarities to Die Trying, the second Reacher novel. In an effort to avoid a blatant spoiler, I'll not share those similarities, though.

I was excited when Reacher made a trip to CILHI in this novel. I'd have been even more so if he'd gone to see my friend Tom, but no such luck. Instead we learn what a pro Reacher is with forensic science as well as everything else.

While I'm not a big fan of Reacher, I thought Child did one stupendous job on the antagonists in this book. I wanted the scenes with Hobie and his sidekick to hurry and be over because I found them horrifying. Their utter egocentricity was downright scary. The desensitization and complete lack of empathy were extreme but effective. The two of them gave new meaning to the word "psychotic." I must tell myself that this is FICTION so I can sleep at night. God willing I'll never cross paths with anyone as terrifying as these two!

All the Reacher books I've read so far have been audiobook versions, so technically I've "listened" so far. As with the other two (I believe) this is a Brillance audiobook and it was read by Dick Hill. I think he does a tremendous job for Reacher. In my imagination, Reacher will never have a voice other than that of Dick Hill. However, he does this annoying thing with the role of the woman who is head over heels for Reacher. She always has this sound that is kind of like, "oh my, whatever will I do Reacher?" She doesn't actually say that, but it sounds like that's what she's thinking all the time. I really hope that isn't what Child is imagining for these roles. I don't think it is because otherwise he wouldn't make them intelligent, educated women capable of thinking and doing for themselves.

So, despite the fact that I'm not Reacher's biggest fan, I'll more than likely listen to another book when I have a lull in the audiobook schedule.

Happy Reading!


1 comments:

le0pard13 December 7, 2008 at 11:41 AM  

Jen, a another good review. I finished this same audiobook over the summer--and I agree with many of your thoughts. I find Child's protagonist a good read/listen that I'll come back to after I take in something else. But, the character is not one where I want to read the next one, now.

The strengths in this audiobook line are Child's writing, especially his ability in laying out the action sequences and various aspects of hardware/technology. Plus, Dick Hill is a very good and effective narrator (and he does the entire series). The weakness can be Reacher's extraordinary talents, and those that are heaped upon him through each new book in the series.

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