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.