Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Bookshelf: The Hard Way by Lee Child

Before I get into my latest book review, I should explain why reading is a hobby of mine.

One of my hobbies is reading. My Mom and sister were both avid readers when I was growing up, and while I enjoyed reading, I would have rather been outside. Or for that matter, I am sure Super Mario Brothers also had a little bit more intrigue when I was growing up.

Two jobs and many years ago, I found myself working way too much, and I was getting really stressed out. Some reading this may ask, "what's changed!" In talking with people, it was decided that I needed an outlet from work and to find something to get me to relax. This was before I realized that running/exercise was the cure-all, so I started picking up more books, and it was like magic. I would (and still do) read on lunch breaks, when I get home from a long day of work and before I go to bed.

I seem to stick to the same genre when it comes to my literature picks, not ranging far from the CIA/Legal/FBI thriller. A few of my favorite authors are Vince Flynn, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, John Grisham and Michael Crichton. Basically, anything with character development gets me hooked, like Baldacci's Camel Club, Flynn's Mitch Rapp or Child's Jack Reacher.

I am currently working my way through Lee Child's extensive list of Jack Reacher novels, and I just finished The Hard Way (#10 in the Reacher series):

#1 Killing Floor
#2 Die Trying
#3 Tripwire
#4 Running Blind
#5 Echo Burning
#6 Without Fail
#7 Persuader
#8 The Enemy
#9 One Shot
#10 The Hard Way
#11 Bad Luck and Trouble
#12 Nothing to Lose
#13 Gone Tomorrow
#14 61 Hours
#15 Worth Dying For
#16 The Affair

A note on Child's website notes that you can read the series without reading in order, but I enjoy following them in the chronological order in which Child penned the series. Child also notes you can read them in the following chronological order:

The Enemy (prequel); The Affair (prequel); Killing Floor; Die Trying; Tripwire; Running Blind; Echo Burning; Without Fail; Persuader; One Shot; The Hard Way; Bad Luck and Trouble; Nothing to Lose; Gone Tomorrow; 61 Hours; Worth Dying For

For the latest review of The Hard Way, it was a fast-paced thriller that took Reacher from outside a cafe in New York City right into the middle of a possible kidnapping. He was hired for $1 million to find the wife and child of the leader of a military-for-hire operation. The twists and turns of this novel take him from being on the inside with the bad guys, to discovering the truths about the a military operation gone bad in Africa, and then finally all the way to rural England where Reacher becomes his usual one-man wrecking crew. And of course, along the way, Reacher meets a lady, and in the end disappears into the unknown with only the clothes on his back and a toothbrush in his pocket.

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