Make Me by Lee Child – Book Review
Jack Reacher takes a train to a one horse town called Mother’s Rest out in the prairies, why wouldn’t you? That’s what Jack Reacher does, travels America and abroad, looking for adventure. It’s late in the evening and growing dark. In the shadows a tall Chinese American woman steps out to greet him, only to realise that Jack Reacher is not the man she was waiting and searching for.
They become friends and the woman tells Jack why she is there and what she is looking for, and the adventure that is “Make Me” gets under way.
I have read all the Jack Reacher books and for me one or two of the most recent ones have not had as strong a plot as some of the earlier ones. That doesn’t apply here, for the plot of “Make Me” is strong and interesting and will keep you hooked right up to the very end.
There were one or two passages that had me suspending belief. For example, Jack Reacher kills three house raiders and promptly asks the owner to take responsibility for that. What’s the problem, he says, you’ll be hailed a hero for killing murderers and rapists and thieves in your own home, and they’ll be no comeback on you. Would someone really do that, take on all that blame and responsibility, and especially a respected doctor? I had my doubts.
Lee Child constantly compares Jack Reacher to a modern day Robin Hood, and there may be some similarities there, but Jack Reacher always oversteps the mark, where a real Robin Hood would never have trod. Just my opinion.
One thing that all the Jack Reacher books still have is the ability to inspire and educate other writers to improve and streamline their own writing. Indeed there are countless people out there who have written similar characters to Jack Reacher, borrowing huge amounts in the process, indeed there are highly successful writers around who unashamedly say that they model their books on Lee Child’s hugely successful fictional creation.
So if you are thinking of writing thrillers then you need to read these before you do, for if nothing else you will learn how to create real page turners with twists aplenty, a skill that Lee Child has honed to the ultimate.
There are many detectives and Jack Reacher type characters around, but none of them come close to JR in terms of output, or creativity or sheer excitement, and Lee Child shows no sign of slowing down, writing as he does, one full length book every year. In saying that though, our hero Jack took a heavy blow in this book and may just be feeling his age, so you never know.
All the books now have film options too, though wouldn’t it be nice to have a lead actor who at least resembled in some way the main character? Sadly that isn’t the case and there would appear to be no sign that that will ever come to pass.
If you like thrillers and murder mysteries, albeit graphic ones with considerable violence, then where have you been these past twenty years? If you haven’t yet read any of the Jack Reacher cases you have a lot of catching up to do, and a lot of enjoyment to come. Just don’t expect Jack Reacher to always behave in the way Robin Hood might have done because you might be disappointed. Just saying.
Tags: Thrillers, thriller book review, book reviews, murder mysteries, Jack Reacher, Lee Child,