Plot summary (from the publisher): Reacher’s anonymity in Florida is shattered by an investigator who’s come looking for him. But hours after his arrival, the stranger is murdered. Retracing the PI’s trail back to New York, Reacher’s compelled to find out who was looking for him and why. He never expected the reasons to be so personal–and twisted.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- The reveal about Hook Hobie — that he actually died in a chopper crash in Nam and had his dog tags (and thus his identity) stolen by a fellow soldier — was a good one. Throughout the whole novel, I kept thinking if he didn’t want anyone to know he was still alive, why would he go back to New York (his home state) and keep his same name??? I guess Child answered those questions rather neatly.
- I liked learning a bit more about Reacher’s background. The tidbits Child dropped about his French mother, childhood, and forensic anthropology classes in the Army are really helping me form a more complete picture of the guy.
- As with Holly Johnson in Die Trying, I liked the female lead in this installment of the Reacher series. Jodie Garber, while not a bad-ass federal agent, was smart and capable in her own way, and — as a standalone character — did not detract from the story.
- Is it just me, or does Child too frequently break the golden rule of “show, don’t tell”? Almost everything we learned about Reacher’s time in the Keys was presented as straight-up exposition, as was most of what was learned about Hobie. It became tedious after a while.
- Is Reacher going to have a different love interest in every book? Because that too is getting tedious. As I said before, I liked Jodie well enough as a standalone character, but did not enjoy the love story/sex scenes between her and Reacher.
- Reacher barely seemed engaged in the case at all. He treated it as a chore rather than something he wanted to do, and thus there was no sense of urgency along the way.
- Although I mostly like Jack Reacher as a character, he’s on the precipice of becoming a cartoonish superhero. He takes a nail to the skull and a .38 to the chest, but survives both potentially fatal injuries because of his perfect physique????? Now that is just fucking ridiculous. And Child compounded the nonsense by having the doctor gush about how if a computer were to spit out a human specimen capable of surviving a close-range gun shot, Reacher would be the blueprint. *Eyeroll*
Tripwire delivered pretty much what I expected from a Jack Reacher book: Jack was back with another woman and another chance to play the reluctant hero. The story this time around interested me a bit more than the main plots of the first two books, but there seemed to be a few more slow spots in this one as well. And Reacher’s ability to survive all manner of assault with deadly weapons is threatening to become a detriment to the series. I give this one 3 stars out of 5.