by Lang Reid
Jack Reacher - One Shot
Lee Child’s thriller One Shot, was released in 2005, but has now been
re-released as Jack Reacher - One Shot (ISBN 978-0-857-50119-6, Bantam
Editions, 2012) following the release of the movie taken from this book
called just Jack Reacher and starring Tom Cruise.
To me this does sound rather odd as the fictitious Reacher is 6’5”
whereas Tom Cruise is 5’7”, but has a strong following in action movies
after the Mission Impossible series. Apparently the Cruise Reacher works
OK on the silver screen. (Perhaps he stands on telephone directories?)
Like all of these Jack Reacher books, author Lee Childs has developed
the Reacher persona into someone believable. As well as his height and
weight, Reacher is supremely logical. He can look at a threatening group
of five assailants and work out the ringleader who will move first, then
the second and third who will be wary after seeing the ringleader go
down, and the fourth and fifth will run away, so he has only one to hurt
and the fight is over. That sounds logical, the way Childs has written
it, but I admit I have never been that brave, personally adhering to the
dictum, “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.”
In this book, a small town in America is awakened with a mass shooting
in the center of town. The police wrap up the investigation in a couple
of hours and the DA is primed, ready to proceed with this watertight
case. There is only one problem, and that is the fact that the guilty
party refuses to respond to questions, but only says, “Get Jack Reacher
It turns out that the guilty chap and Jack Reacher were at one stage
both in the military, though they were strangely in opposite corners. It
is these series of conundrums that Childs lays out for you that makes
the reading irresistible. You know he’s wrong, using your own logic, but
using Jack Reacher’s logic, you are the one that is wrong, because you
are not such a student of human nature as Reacher is portrayed.
To complicate the situation even further, the accused is set upon in the
city jail and ends up with concussion, bleeding into the brain, leading
to a coma and multiple fractures.
Other characters include the daughter of the DA trying to make her way
in the legal world, a TV anchor lady who is (almost) ready to do
anything to be noticed by one of the major networks. Even to the stage
of lending her Ford Mustang to Reacher to go off on what might have been
a wild goose chase. And someone known as the Puppet Master with his half
Reacher does not manage to go a complete novel without receiving a few
body blows himself. He bleeds!
At B. 385 on the Bookazine outlet shelves in Big C Extra, it is an
inexpensive read for a weekend, and you will curse every time you are
interrupted! If the film is anywhere near as good as the book, it will
be a blockbuster!
was sitting having a quiet beer and chatting with Kim Fletcher, the Landlord
of Jameson’s Irish Pub, when the subject of books came up. In his opinion,
one of the most powerful books from a local writer was Mango Rains by Daniel
M Dorothy (ISBN 978-1-905379-66-8, Maverick House, 2010) the 442 page
blockbuster. I had to agree.
The epic revolves around the two principal characters Nid and her daughter
Lek. Nid loses her daughter while still an infant and spends the next 20
years looking for her. Dan Dorothy uses a cinematic technique, developing
each character individually but yet side by side.
Nid is sold into indentured prostitution as a very young teenager, and being
a bar girl would seem to be her future. She knows of nothing else, nor has
the education to allow her to improve on her prospects. The shallowness of
the life as a bar girl is brought out very clearly, with Nid saying, “It was
such a stagnant lifestyle, the quick and easy money had a way of destroying
a person’s ability to dream for a better life.”
The supporting cast is brought into the narrative and given enough
characterization to be credible, such as the Akha woman Malee, who at one
time has possession of the child and Chatchai the teenager who is attracted
to Lek, by then herself also a teenager. Incidentally, that childhood love
is soon destroyed under most horrific circumstances. This is one of the many
times that this book will move you to tears.
Author Dan Dorothy has lived for over 20 years in Thailand and his
observations of Thai behavior are spot on. While Lek and a friend were
attempting to find the bus station in Korat, but after arriving by train and
asking directions, “It took a couple of hours before they were finally able
to locate the bus station, which, by the way, turned out to be only about
one kilometer from the train station.” Anyone looking for clear directions
in Thailand will always be disappointed.
The pace is kept up all the way through, but even the ending is not what
you, as the reader, hope will happen. This is a most moving book, showing
just how difficult life can be for Thai women from the poor and
underprivileged portion of the community. As quoted on the back cover, “That
two women can have lives so devastating will come as a shock to those who
imagine that Thai community life revolves around the common good. This is
not a tale of foreigners and Thais trying to outwit each other, but one of
Thais taking advantage of other Thais. It will put a new slant on life in
the Land of Smiles.”
At B. 525 this is a book you will never regret reading, and one you will
read more than once. It deserves to be adapted for cinema. A “must read”
If you have not come across this book, you will find that copies are
available in most Bookazine and Asia Books outlets. Well written and very
powerful. It deserves to be on your bookshelf.
Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]
Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.