Friday, November 29, 2019

Finished: Child's 'Blue Moon'

Watching the Dallas Cowboys lose on Thanksgiving was made even more enjoyable by wrapping up the 24th Jack Reacher book by Lee Child - "Blue Moon."

It got off to a good start, with Reacher using his intuition to foresee a crime and stopping it, but it goes downhill from there. The overly descriptive paragraphs of alleys and building layouts were tedious. The plot grew outlandish. Reacher turned into a gleeful murderer rather than the reluctant user of violence. One body count of the book put it at 70 stiffs. It got ridiculous.
Reacher is on a Greyhound bus, minding his own business, with no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. Then he steps off the bus to help an old man who is obviously just a victim waiting to happen. But you know what they say about good deeds. Now Reacher wants to make it right. 
An elderly couple have made a few well-meaning mistakes, and now they owe big money to some very bad people. One brazen move leads to another, and suddenly Reacher finds himself a wanted man in the middle of a brutal turf war between rival Ukrainian and Albanian gangs. 
Reacher has to stay one step ahead of the loan sharks, the thugs, and the assassins. He teams up with a fed-up waitress who knows a little more than she’s letting on, and sets out to take down the powerful and make the greedy pay. It’s a long shot. The odds are against him. But Reacher believes in a certain kind of justice . . . the kind that comes along once in a blue moon.
While somewhat entertaining, I found myself speed reading through it. Hoping the next one is better. Or, maybe it's time for Child to expand his portfolio and imagination and start a new series. 

I gave it a 6 of 10 on the Haugenometer. Amazonians were more generous with 3.9 of 5, though some of the 1 star reviews were scathing, and Goodreaders went crazy with 4.1 of 5. So maybe I'm the outlier on this one, or the prescient one who doesn't feel the need to automatically bend a knee to a great author. Even Mark Twain wrote a clunker or two, probably.

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