I am a fan of the Jack Reacher films, and yes, I have to admit I didn’t know they were based on books. But to be honest, that’s part of the reason I’m on this weird little (huge) journey of mine: to learn about new things and make connections I’ve never made before. So for anyone else out there who, like me didn’t know, Lee Child is the New York Times bestselling author of the Reacher novels.
Now that we’re all caught up, I have to be honest. I prefer the movies. I know that that’s just too bad and that the books are the “real” story, while the films are just adaptations, but hear me out. I’m not a big Tom Cruise fan. Unlike pretty much everyone I know, I can’t stand Top Gun. But the version of Jack Reacher that he plays in the films is very likable. He doesn’t get distracted by dangerous, romantic subplots. He doesn’t have some “woe is me” vendetta against the military. He’s just a no nonsense kind of guy who solves crimes and doesn’t answer to anyone he doesn’t want to answer to.
Jack Reacher in the books however, I just can’t connect with. My two biggest beefs with the character are that there’s WAY more sex than I was prepared for, and he seems completely unchecked in his violent decisions. I ended up feeling sorry for his victims because in every case, they were unarmed and they never had a chance to experience justice for their actions.
To play my own devil’s advocate, I AM willing to overlook these grievances for the fact that this book is a bit of an origin story for Reacher. It takes place in 1997, back when he was just barely still on good terms with the military. Maybe the maturity I’ve come to respect from the Reacher of the films blossoms throughout all of the other books. Maybe.
Rating = 3