The Visitor – Lee Child

Transworld Publishers 2000 ISBN – 0593 045599

Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cook have a lot in common.  They’re both high-flying army career women, they’re both victims of sexual harassment by their superiors, they’re both forced to resign from the service.

And now they’re both dead.

They’re discovered in their own homes, naked, in baths filled with army-issue camouflage paint, their bodies completely unmarked.  Expert FBI psychological profilers start the hunt for a serial murderer, a smart guy with a score to settle, a loner, an army man, a ruthless vigilante known to both of them.

Jack Reacher, former US military cop, is a smart guy, a loner and a drifter, as tough as they come.  He knew both victims.  For Agent-in-Charge Nelson Blake and his team he’s the perfect match.  They’re sure only Reacher has the answers to their burning questions: How did these women die? And why?

Everyone raves about Lee Child, and I guess it was only time until I finally read one of his stories.  And while I liked it, it isn’t exactly a story I will be in a hurry to read again.

 

Jack Reacher is forced to work with the FBI, the enemy of the armed forces.  While he plots to get out of the situation, the murder count continues, which worries him because he knows some of the women, he had dealt with their military cases.  One woman in particular is very close to Jack and he is worried that she is next.

The story slowly untangles over the course of the book, allowing Jack to reach the conclusion that happens in the end, although some of the book felt more like padding to make it a little thicker.  Jack wants to spend a lot of time alone to think, yet he always has Lisa Harper, a “plain vanilla” FBI agent tag along.

The character of Jack Reacher strikes me as a bit of a rogue.  He has a lovely intelligent girlfriend, yet he lets Harper get under his skin, and it undermined my liking of him as a character.  While Jack and Jodie have their issues, surely kissing another girl is considered cheating, or am I just old fashioned in that respect.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, but I felt there was some repetition that wasn’t really needed and took away from the story for me.  I do have another Jack Reacher story to read, so I might give that one a go in the near future, see if the story improves with time.

 

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