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Mystery Books - Lee Child - Echo Burning - A Jack Reacher Novel

For a completists the idea of having missed a novel by a favourite author is anathema. One day while looking at my Lee Child collection it dawned on me that there was a title missing – Echo Burning book number five in the Jack Reacher series. This time around Reacher is in Texas not too far from the border of with Mexico in scrub desert country. It is hot, unbearably hot, and a storm is coming.

Reacher is doing what Reacher does he is wandering aimlessly around the country inadvertently helping out people in distress. A modern day Lancelot with a pure heart and a warriors approach to life Reacher is a former major in the military police and just can't seem to break the habits of thinking like a cop and acting like a soldier.  In Echo Burning the set up is unique in the Reacher series – Reacher gets picked up while hitchhiking by a beautiful (okay that part was predictable) Chicano woman named Carmen who has married into a local rich white family. As one might expect Carmen is not as graciously accepted into the family as one might expect. There are questions: is Carmen an abused woman? Is her life really under threat? Can Reacher make it right all alone in the wilds of Texas?

From the time he gets picked up Reacher's trajectory is sealed. Any reader of the Jack Reacher series will recognize the pattern but knowing the pattern is part of the fun. We know that Reacher will help, we know he will be victorious it is all a matter of how will he get there. How will Reacher out muscle, out think and out last everyone else in a game we already know is stacked in Reacher's favour? In this respect Lee Child is a superb writer keeping a sustained tension in Echo Burning that is as believable as it is unrelenting. At 576 standard print pages Echo Burning will keep most readers engaged for more than a few hours. It is an easy read, well laid out and a cast of characters which are easy to follow. The little side stories are well drawn and always add to the plot. Echo Burning is a thrilling read that starts as a slow burn and finishes in a conflagration – add it to your collection.

Denis Bernicky

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.

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.

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.

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