Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Personal by Lee Child (Jack Reacher, #19)

When you reach at the pinnacle there is very little left to do. But times are always testing and there are some blind spots in life when don't know what's going to be thrown back at you. Author Lee Child in his latest book "Personal" takes the journey of Jack Reacher forward in a quest to satiate some personal vendetta. So is it going to be really personal? Let's find out. 

Jack Reacher has had enough with the army, but the army isn’t quite finished with him yet. When a long-range shot threatens the safety of the French President, Jack is pulled back into service. This time, he serves the State Department and the CIA. However, he faces an expert marksman whose work looks oddly familiar. How could anyone make a shot at a distance of three-fourths of a mile from the target? To make matters worse for America, the bullet is one of theirs and the gunman is an ex-convict with 15 years of prison time behind him: John Kott. Jack must once again track down the man he put away years before. This time, the stakes are higher. Jack continues to be haunted by memories of a woman he couldn’t save. He is teamed up with a young analyst named Casey Nice, and he begins to feel like the situation is repeating itself. However, he is desperate to keep it from happening this time. This time, he tells himself, the killer made it personal.

First look at the title and the cover and the man walking in the distance on an empty road is always an eerie sign. The title in short tries to tell us something but keeps it hidden from the prying eyes. The blurb talks about Reacher and his latest exploits which is a bit more than it should have been. 

The story is back to square one as Reacher is on the move and on an instinct he is back among action when he finds his calling on an assignment he least expects to be involved in. But with some past involved and a certain favor to be returned Jack Reacher is all set to catch the master assassin who is a bit out of the reach as of now. So will Reacher find it easy or will his nemesis prove to be a tough nut? Will it be a game to finish or Reacher will be tamed? That's what the story is all about. 

The story as all Reacher series has to offer gets on with action,suspense and drama and an uncanny ability to produce goods out of nothing. The adversary, the care free attitude of Reacher and the intensity of the situation it all grabs headlines and tries to capture the minds and heart of the readers. The story has some surprises up its sleeves and does manages to deliver them in right proportions. The newer approach to the story is always appreciable and keeps it clean,easy to read and more to relate to. 

The downside of the book is it finds its adversary in the backdrop for a very lengthy period of time. The adversary doesn't has a personality or personal indulgence which pales the book for a certain period of time. Also the sidekicks involved from the opposite side play too much of a role leaving nothing for a one to one showdown of Reacher and the nemesis. A definitive end to the story also lacks and fails to pack a punch to a promising endeavor. 

All in all the book promises old style action as expected from the story line but fails to provide an extra edge to the newer idea. The book moves in circles but doesn't capitalizes on what one expects it to be an outright thriller. For the marquee delivery it has certain charm but it fades with time. It won't leave a lasting impression but it won't fail you as a reader completely either. A sweet-bitter affair. 


3 OUT OF 5  

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