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Child, Lee - Persuader
Hardcover: 352 pages (May 2003) Publisher: Delacorte Press

Jack Reacher is back in his seventh outing following on from the highly enjoyable WITHOUT FAIL. In this episode Reacher is recruited by the Justice Department to infiltrate the home of a suspected drug dealer and discover the whereabouts of an 'off the books' field Agent who hasn't been heard from for seven weeks. The home is more like a fortress, being set on a bleak peninsular in Maine with the only way in through heavily guarded and spotlighted gates.

Reacher has a reason for helping the Government as the drug dealer works for a man called Quinn. A man who killed Reacher's lover. A man Reacher thought he'd killed ten years ago.

To say too much about the beginning of the book would give away a lot of the early tension, but the reader will probably flick back and forth a few times metaphorically shaking their head.

More violent than WITHOUT FAIL, Reacher doesn't need a weapon to kill someone but he really knows his guns. Every model is assessed, costed and weighed but it never becomes boring, the reader admiring the knowledge of both the author and character. There are a number of likeable secondary characters on the side of the 'good guys', notably the smart and strong lead agent Susan Duffy with whom Reacher develops a relationship.

PERSUADER is an exciting read with a lot of tense moments when Reacher is just about to get caught, but he can handle himself. The final confrontation between Quinn and Reacher is swifter than expected and personally I didn't find this tale as gripping as the previous one as there didn't seem to be much progress towards finding the missing agent. I enjoyed most of all, the back-story on Reacher and his time as an MP and the reasons he joined the military police. I await the next Reacher book with interest.

Karen Meek. England
December 2003

Karen blogs at Euro Crime.

last updated 23/03/2008 20:52