By Lee Child. Jack Reacher #17. Grade: B+
When you need to read quick-witted action-powered thrillers with beautiful descriptions that would capture your senses like a blockbuster movie, you know where to look. Yes, Lee Child lives up to our high adrenaline-powered expectation most of the time, and this time too, with A Wanted Man, I hoped for the same. Another Lee Child novel, another Jack Reacher adventure, and another suspense thriller volume, what more can you ask for?
Reacher is back! A Wanted Man is a new masterpiece of suspense—from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child.
Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. One man driving, eyes on the road. Another man next to him, telling stories that don’t add up. A woman in the back, silent and worried. And next to her, a huge man with a broken nose, hitching a ride east to Virginia.
An hour behind them, a man lies stabbed to death in an old pumping station. He was seen going in with two others, but he never came out. He has been executed, the knife work professional, the killers vanished. Within minutes, the police are notified. Within hours, the FBI descends, laying claim to the victim without ever saying who he was or why he was there.
All Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia. All he did was stick out his thumb. But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride. He has tied himself to a massive conspiracy that makes him a threat—to both sides at once.
In Lee Child’s white-hot thriller, nothing is what it seems, and nobody is telling the truth. As the tension rises, the twists come fast and furious, keeping readers guessing and gasping until the explosive finale.
A single story arc: 61 HOURS, WORTH DYING FOR and now A WANTED MAN. Simply a man trying to get to a warm, sexy voice he heard over the phone lines coming from Virginia..
Jack Reacher is an ex-military guy who now moves from one place to other after being relieved from his services. He doesn’t have a permanent settlement, and travels across the States. It is during these trips that he gets involved in all sorts of adventures.
A Wanted Man starts on a similar note, with the protagonist Jack Reacher hitch-hiking and waiting for a car to stop by so that he can reach his destination. Several vehicles pass by, and he starts losing hope. However, after a long while, a car finally stops and accepts his request for the ride. There are three people in the car already – two men and a lady, and he joins them, and yes, soon after, the adventure begins. A murder is committed elsewhere, and how that connects to these occupants forms the crux of the story.
Jack Reacher, as usual, is the calm and composed hero with a heart of gold. He is good with numbers, and several parts of the story illustrate this skill of his. Deciphering codes and cracking puzzles come naturally to him, and can be considered to be his key strength. He also manages to arise moments of witty humor, with amusing dialogues and interesting responses.
Lee Child straightway manages to grasp the attention of his readers. This is a book you wouldn’t like to stop reading. The suspense keeps on increasing with every chapter, urging you to keep turning the pages again and again; hats off to Mr. Child for his brilliant usage of words and languages. There are so many amazing scenes in the book which get planted permanently in your mind, and long after you have finished the story, you still reminisce about them.
What keeps the story alive is the brilliant wordplay of Child. The first few chapters set the tone of the book, and the expectation rises sky high. However, I wasn’t much pleased with the way this tale concluded. True, this was the only feasible way in which A Wanted Man could have ended, but a few well thought changes here and there in the middle of the story might have made for a much better ending.
Having said that, I would certainly recommend book lovers to read A Wanted Man. There are several moments in these pages that will keep you glued. The suspense is woven well, and never for a second do you feel like keeping this book aside. This would be a good choice for a long train journey, and you will surely not regret laying your hands on it. Go for it. As with the case of all Jack Reacher adventures, this one too deserves to be read at least once.