Vol. IX No. 28 - Tuesday
July 13 - July 19, 2010



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


Book Review
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Book Review

Book Review: by Lang Reid

Gone Tomorrow

Another book from Lee Child in his Jack Reacher series. Child is known for his thrillers with the ex-Special Forces policeman Jack Reacher as his hero. As one reviewer put it, “Jack is Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis all rolled into one, a superman for our time.”

Gone Tomorrow (ISBN 978-0-553-81812-3, Bantam Books, 2009) is author Lee Child’s 13th book in his Reacher series, and over that time has gained many life-long fans, both for himself as an exponent of the thriller genre, and for Jack Reacher himself.

The story begins on a train with Reacher’s words, “Suicide bombers are easy to spot. They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs. Mostly because they are nervous. By definition they’re all first-timers.”

On an early morning train, Reacher spots one of his fellow travelers giving out the tell-tale signs as documented by the Israeli counter-intelligence book. Following his hunches, and his mentally ingrained list, the plot rolls on faster than the early morning train itself, and leads the hero into being a suspect in a presumed homicide, and the attentions of the NYPD, closely followed by the CIA and other agencies including Homeland Security. America breeds its own paranoia, it would seem, in addition to acronyms for every agency.

As well as all the agencies, Lee Child introduces an American running for senatorial office, with all the hooplas and political correctness that entails. As you would imagine, the hero Jack Reacher, shows no political correctness, and in fact, his morality is a little in doubt as well. Why pay for a hotel room when you can slip the cleaning lady a few bucks to be able to shower and freshen up?

The political candidate becomes more entrenched in the presumed homicide as Reacher investigates further, bringing in a couple of women from one of the ex-Russian states who purport to be mother and daughter, but later it appears that their relationship is much more sinister than that.

As the book moves towards the ending, the pace increases as does the horror/thriller aspect. Lee Child seems to revel in the macabre and unthinkable, but the reader is not taken beyond the boundaries of credibility. There are some rather desperate people out there, and fundamentalists will stop at nothing to achieve their ends.

The final chapter does have the reader edge-of-seat, and there is no guarantee given or implied that will see Reacher emerge unscathed as the swashbuckling hero and champion of democracy. He does emerge, however!

B. 385 for a weighty 540 page book makes it good value. This type of epic suspense novel is excellent for long plane flights and the 84 chapters are very self-contained, so it can be put down at will. I enjoyed it as an epic, but did tire of the detailed descriptions of small arms. Does the reader really need to know the minutiae regarding hand guns and daggers? I don’t believe so. Certainly the make of firearm rounds out the descriptions, but after that becomes tedious. Books like these are read for entertainment, not as instruction manuals on how to load weaponry.

 


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