Friday, July 30, 2010

a review of "One Shot" [57]

One Shot by Lee Child
Delacorte Press. eISBN 978-0440335474
305 pages, June 14, 2005

"They sleep safely in their beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do them harm." George Orwell

And one such 'rough' man is the hero of this book, the ninth in the series, Jack Reacher. Loner extraordinaire, a man without a home, a car...a change of our Jack. Ex-military police officer, when you need a tough notch investigator to drop in on a bus, to come to your aid and kick some ass, call Jack.

The story opens with a lone sniper setting up in a nearby parking garage and killing 5 office workers as they leave an office building and walk across a plaza. But as professional as the killings appears, there are a number of forensic clues left behind and in a short period of time, police make an arrest. The man arrested, despite all the evidence to the contrary, claims he is innocent and asks for someone to contact Reacher to help him. When we find out their history together, asking for Reacher appears a very odd, but interesting, choice to come to the accused shooter's aid. But then, of course, we find things are not all quite as they might appear at first as the book races on to an exciting, first order kick-ass conclusion..and Jack wanders off to the bus station. Well maybe after taking a short pause to kiss the girl..because I am sure Jack has a girl at evry bus stop.

This is the first book in this series that I have read and  quite an enjoyable book it is. The biggest appeal is, of course, the character of Reacher, and while I felt at a slight disadvantage at not knowing his history presented in the previous books, present dayJack is exciting enough. With one caveat perhaps. Ok, I get the loner thing, traveling around where the spirit moves him, where crime calls, avenging justice. I get not owing a home...even a car, not being tied down. But not traveling without any clothes...come on. Jack, buy a backpack for heavens sake. Throwing out dirty clothes is such a waste.

Still, even given that little annoyance, he is a great character and this is an entertaining book. He is smart, he is tough, he is resourceful...and he is always wearing new clothes! Yes, I had an inkling where this plot was going, even from that opening sniper scene. But the trip to the conclusion with out hero and a good cast of characters was great fun and I will be checking out some more books in the series in the future. And maybe hoping Jack buys a small suitcase.

One other thing about this book I might mention. If you are very observant, you may have notice from the ISBN number that the version I read was an e-book. "But Caite, don't you hate e-books?" Well, yes, I do have some "E" issues, but this was a free e-book, part of a promotion Barnes and Noble had if you downloaded their App. When I saw Mr. Child's book was one of the free books offered for download, I had to grab it. Now, reading a book on a netbook is not ideal..fine, but not ideal...and now I am afraid, terribly afraid, I may have to buy some sort of e-reader in the near future. Oh My....


  1. "I may have to buy some sort of e-reader in the near future"... Oh, my is right! Now I don't feel like such a sellout looking at the Nook yesterday in B&N. The Big Guy is even on board with this one. With Amazon's new $139 price break, the Nook will not be far behind. I see myself owning one of these in the not too distant future.

  2. yes, they are getting to a price point that is very attractive, and there are many sources of free books for e-readers that I happen upon.

    I am still anti Kindle...but the Nook..hmmmm

  3. He does that in every book, with the clothes. And no possessions but a toothbrush and toothpaste. Obviously somewhere along the line his mother or a dentist made a big impression on him!

  4. :) --- while my Kindle has not replaced my "old fashioned" books, there are times when it is incredibly convenient, AND cost effective (I store the majority of my "classics" on the Kindle because they are free as public domain works)

    Don't make any rash decisions :) - but I am glad to see that you are receptive to the eReader idea.

  5. Jill, it just seems a bit too much..

    Molly...kicking and screaming...kicking and screaming...

  6. Where to begin dearest Caite? First, I just discovered that Matt at A Guy's Moleskin Notebook just bought a Kindle. Then I saw pigs fly. And now you? The end is near!!! In all seriousness, I don't think you would be disappointed. Like children, you can love all of your literary media equally.

    As for Jack, I DIG Jack. I think maybe he might be a little smelly at times, but he is a guy with attitude. You should definitely go back to the beginning and work your way through. Like the Prey series, various events make him who he is. In the beginning, you will see him at the end of his military career and dealing with the death of his mother. I have the latest, 61 Hours, locked and loaded on my iPod and ready to deliver yet another installment of dudeishness.

  7. first of all, I do not buy this love all your children equal stuff. My mom always liked my brother better and I will always love my REAL books.

    as to Jack, wearing those clothes several days...JACK, GET A BACKPACK and some clean clothes. pleeeaase!

  8. What?!?! I fell out of my chair when I read the end of your review! I think the world is about to end.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the book and I admire you for jumping into the middle of the series.

  9. Oh no! Heaven forfend. Actually I hope you DO get an ereader and have fun with it.

  10. I am sorry if my comment was so shocking to my readers. ;-)
    I am in no rush, just looking at the options.

  11. Laughing hysterically right now ... you have sampled the Devil's Brew and now you want to drink it. I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!!!!!!! : )

    Also, thanks for the tip on the series. It does sound fun.


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