The mark of a good story teller is the ability to convey all the necessary backstory information in a way which is entertaining while still moving the story forward. Lee Child is a good story teller and Running Blind is a good story. Whether you are new to Jack Reacher or you have been with the character from the start of the series Child welcomes all readers with a strong story arcs and well define characters. Make no mistake about it the Jack Reacher books are part thriller and part mystery. There isn't a lot of room for anything else and that is just the way it ought to be.
Reacher of course is a man's man and can't help notice the women around him just as they cannot help notice him. In the John D. MacDonald tradition of Travis McGee women find comfort in his presence and in his arms but unlike MacDonald's salvage specialist Reacher doesn't cure all their ills and certainly doesn't stay around for longer than is necessary. That being said the momentary lapses from solid mystery action to kissy face schmaltz are momentary and don't do anything to derail the main story.
The main story in this particular case is that Reacher is picked up by the F.B.I. on suspicion of being a serial murderer. The UnSub profile established by the F.B.I. team points to Reacher or someone exactly like him. The fact that Reacher worked on cases involving the victims and seems to be the only connection between them makes him all the more likely a suspect.
Nothing is ever clear in the world of politics and legal brinkmanship and when all is said and done the F.B.I. turns out to need Reacher more than he is worried about them or what they can do to make his life difficult. While having to deal with the inevitable bureaucracy of America's largest police force Reacher is also on the bubble time wise as he tries to figure out who the next victim will be in a list that is so long as to be impossible to work with.
Running Blind is a strong novel and the reader is given enough hints along the way to figure out a lot about the perpetrator of the crimes though maybe not quite enough to actually figure it out before Reacher does. Running Blind is well written, well executed and well worth the read.
Other Lee Child Reviews
Without Fail - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher takes the job to kill the Vice-President of the United States - kind of.
One Shot - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher investigates a sniper shooting in which a former Army sniper is accused of being the sniper. All the evidence is there but something is not quite right.
Tripwire - A Jack Reacher Novel: When a private eye finds Reacher in Key West then suddenly turns up dead Reacher becomes interested in why the man was looking for him in the first place.
The Enemy - A Jack Reacher Novel: When a two star general from Amoured division dies in a seedy motel almost 300 miles from where he ought to be Jack Reacher gets the call to look into things.
Persuader - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher finds himself chasing a ghost and living with one of the biggest dealers on the eastern seaboard while doing the scut work for the DEA.
The Hard Way - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher helps find the kidnapped wife and child of a mercenary
Bad Luck and Trouble - A Jack Reacher Novel: Do not mess with the special investigators takes on a whole new meaning when Calvin Franz turns up dead and Jack Reacher takes on the case.
Killing Floor - A Jack Reacher Novel: When Jack Reacher wanders into the town of Margrave he is quickly arrested on suspicion of murdered and the strength of an unimpeachable eyewitness.
Nothing To Lose - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher finds himself moving between Hope and Despair while trying to figure out why he is being kicked out of the township of Despair Colorado.
61 Hours - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher is trapped in a small town under lockdown and snowed in while a drug lord makes arrangements to kill a witness.
Gone Tomorrow - A Jack Reacher Novel: Reacher thinks he is dealing with a suicide bomber on a train but he is only half right and comes up against an enemy as strong and clever as he is.
Worth Dying For - A Jack Reacher Novel: It is the Duncan s versus Jack Reacher in the middle of a Nebraska county they control with an iron fist. It is irresistible force meets immovable object.
Echo Burning - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher is wandering through Texas and gets picked up by a beautiful woman looking to hire a killer.
The Affair - A Jack Reacher Novel: Still with the 110th Jack Reacher is sent undercover to Carters Crossing to investigate the death of a local woman that may have met her fate at the hands of a soldier.