Sunday, August 12, 2012

One Shot

One Shot by Lee Child

This was a fun book recommended by my brother, Jeff. I love a good action thriller, and I’d never read Lee Child. His hero, Jack Reacher, stars in many of his novels and he is a hoot. More on that later.

I was interested in One Shot partly because the movie, starring Tom Cruise, comes out in December. Tom Cruise is nothing like Jack Reacher, but I read that Child was relieved to finally cast Tom and quit worrying about finding a talented enough actor to fit Reacher’s mold. So, 5’2” (ish) (ha-ha, I don't think he's that short) Tom is going to play a 6’5”, 250-pound tough guy. Hmm, we’ll see how that goes!

The novel takes place in Indiana (yay! My home state. Of course, the author doesn’t hold back from the Hicksville in the Heartland stereotypes), where a lonely, ex-military trained sniper has been accused of murdering five townspeople in a random shooting spree. The man is taken in and immediately asks for Jack Reacher – another retired military soldier he was acquainted with 14 years earlier while stationed in Kuwait. Reacher blows into town, questions the “slam dunk” case against the accused, and then fights for his life while an unknown enemy tries to take him out.

The action is fast-paced and Child’s writing is clipped, dry, and funny. His characters’ dialogues have a cadence or rhythm that remind me of (I know this sounds goofy) the Nate the Great books.

Reacher is a real man’s man. Ex-cop and army, huge, dry, witty, clever, self-assured, no-nonsense. Why purchase a change of clothes when one set does just fine? The guy actually lays his sole shirt and pants outfit underneath his hotel mattress at night so it’ll be pressed in the morning. Wow, I’m not sure whether to be impressed or grossed out?

I’m curious to see how Tom Cruise fills Reacher’s massive shoes! I just hope Child’s unique character isn’t totally compromised in the process.

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