Persuader is the seventh Jack Reacher novel as Lee Child continues to create interesting situations for Reacher. In Persuader Jack Reacher sees someone he thought was dead and when he tugs on the sole thread that might lead him to an explanation an entire tapestry starts to unravel.
Once again Reacher finds himself in the service of his country only this time with the DEA who are chasing after a very big, very private dealer they believe is a lynch pin in a massive drug organization. Every thriller has an established pattern much the same way cozy mysteries and romance novels do – it is really a question of what can the author do with that pattern to engage the reader. Lee Child is a master of creating interesting back stories and engaging characters but Persuader doesn't quite make the cut this time around. It is a decent enough effort and still better than most thrillers out there but not quite up to snuff in the Jack Reacher line of things.
The problems with Persuader really center on the implausibility of some of the characters and not quite buying that federal agents, especially DEA, would go as far off the reserve as Child has them going – even if it is to help one of their own. Add to this the complete implausibility of one of the characters and an about face on the characters fighting skills (early in the novel he is described as an ex-army close combat specialist but late in the novel he can't seem to do anything but throw haymakers) and bad guys who are suspicious of everyone but never really put their ill fortune and the arrival of Reacher together in their minds.
Most of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series are superb because the situations are plausible and even if some of the specifics stretch credulity the reader is willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the author but Persuader doesn't quite manage it this time around. For completists this novel will find its way into their library anyway but it will probably only be read once and then forgotten. This falls into the category of library loan or second hand bookstore purchase nothing more.
Other Lee Child Reviews
Running Blind - A Jack Reacher Novel: When Jack Reacher inadvertently draws the F.B.I.s attention while dispensing his own brand of justice he finds himself a suspect in an ongoing F.B.I. investigation that he must either solve or resign himself to prison.
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.
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.