I love finding a new series. Do you know how you read a really excellent book and immerse yourself in that world for a bit and then it ends and you’re left feeling totally bereft? Well, that’s why I love starting a new series. I usually make myself space out my reading, so I don’t inhale them all at once. That hasn’t worked quite as well this time, though. See, I’ve recently discovered the brilliance of Lee Child. Our children’s librarian, Nancy, is also a fan. On her recommendation, I randomly picked up one of his books and started reading. And quickly became hooked. His series features Jack Reacher, a brilliant, no-nonsense ex-military policeman. He has no house, buys new clothes every few days, and hitches rides across the U.S., always finding himself in some new dangerous situation. And he is adept at handling them all, be it international terrorism, human trafficking, or murder.
One of the things I enjoy most about the series is that Child makes the reader intimately aware of the inner workings of Reacher’s mind. The action scenes remind me of the new Sherlock Holmes movies – his mind works incredibly fast, anticipating his opponent’s every move. And the reader can be assured that Reacher will dominate, not only physically but mentally, as well. He is brilliant at strategizing and determining probability. His mind is a steel trap, never letting go of even the smallest piece of information.
I’m not the only one who has discovered Child – Hollywood has, too, which means you’ll be seeing Jack Reacher in a theater near you come Christmastime. (Though I’m not sure they’ve read the books, because if you have, you would know that in no universe is it possible that Tom Cruise could reasonably be expected to resemble the 6’5″, 250 pound, built-like-a-pro-linebacker Reacher). But I digress.
If you’re new to the series, too, don’t worry about jumping in and reading his newest one first. While it’s great to go through the series chronologically, and you might be short on one or two details (for instance, there’s a reason he wants to get to Virginia, which other books make clear), you won’t really be lost. As soon as I do get my hands on the first one in the series, though, I plan to enjoy them one at a time. As with any good writer, Child’s characters evolve over time, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in that evolution.