The Persuader by Lee Child – Decent start and middle, drags at the end

Persuader by Lee Child

 

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See it at Amazon 

(3/5)

Pros: The first three quarters were exciting

Cons: The final quarter wasn’t

Lee Child’s Pursuader is the seventh book in the Jack Reacher series.  For those unfamiliar, Reacher was in the army military police.  At this point in the series, Reacher is completely on his own.  Both personally and professionally.  A drifter.  Roaming around with no responsibilities and certainly no commitments. 

Until a chance encounter. 

Imagine walking around town and seeing a dead man. That is, a man whom you thought was dead.  By your own hands over a decade ago.  A man you shot multiple times then tossed off a cliff into the ocean. By all accounts, Quinn should be dead!  Yet, there he is, just across the street from Reacher.  Well, Quinn is a BAD man, and no one knows his evil “handiwork” better than Reacher, thus we are off on a mission.  A mission to get Quinn – this time for good! 

With the help of some DEA agents, Reacher gets himself immersed into an undercover operation.  One that will hopefully get Quinn for good, rescue another agent who’s gone missing, and put a stop to some nasty arms dealers.  Along the way, we’ll watch Reacher get himself into and out of one dangerous situation after another.  Almost in super-hero fashion, Reacher will manage to stay one step ahead of his adversaries. But it will not be easy, that’s for sure. 

Luckily Reacher is smart, resourceful, strong, and, at least at this point in his life, unencumbered by any attachments that could make a normal man think twice about putting himself in certain situations.  In this sense, Reacher is the man for the job, if you need something taken care of, regardless of the danger. 

Pursuader starts out with a bang, that’s for sure.  I was absolutely hooked before the start of the chapter 2.  And the middle section is full of action and danger that kept me turning the pages.  But, like many books of this genre, the last quarter was a drag.  The final action sequence goes on way, way too long.  It took me as long to read the final 50 pages as it did to read the first 400.  Because it was just that much of a struggle.  

Characters are a mixed bag.  Some were fleshed out and felt “real”.  Others felt like cartoons.  Some acted in ways that made little sense to me.  There’s one, in particular, who suffers abuse at the hands of a house employee, yet makes no move to get out of the situation, offering nothing but lame excuses for staying in such a situation. 

On the other hand, there’s a related story that took place over a decade ago.  Child gives us this story in pieces, running parallel with the main story.  I liked how the two stories intertwined, especially towards the end, as the plot from years ago neared its conclusion.  Frankly, that story held my attention at the end of the book, better than the main story. 

Overall, Persuader is a decent thriller.  Fans of Reacher will probably enjoy it.  But I found the final chapters to be way too long, to the point where I lost complete interest by the end.

Also by Lee Child:

The Enemy
Tripwire