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by Lee Child
Delacorte, May 2003
352 pages
ISBN: 0385336667

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

PERSUADER is Lee Child's 7th book featuring Jack Reacher. As always, Reacher has placed himself in a live threatening situation forcing him to use his survival skills to escape. While walking the streets to a bar, he sees the face of a man that should be dead. The dead man does not seem to recognize him; however, Reacher knows beyond a doubt this man should be dead. The sight of this "dead" man, Quinn, causes Reacher to call upon old army contacts for information. Unfortunately, his investigation leads the FBI to his hotel door. Susan Duffy, a FBI team leader, is not interested in the dead man, she is concerned with the car he got into. Duffy wants to rescue a missing agent as well as build a case against s suspected drug dealer. Although Duffy thinks her objectives are the priority, Reacher is always a free agent. He will accomplish his goal of tracking down Quinn and achieve Duffy's goals if he has the time. Reacher once again demonstrates that he has the ability to tackle any situation and find a way out of untold dangers.

Reacher is probably one of the most interesting characters currently in the mystery genre today. He is a loner and a drifter; yet in some ways he is always a one man A-Team. He finds the bad guy and tries to help the innocent. He can handle himself in any situation and knows how to protect himself from his enemies. Yet, he also has depth. Although personal relationships never seem to work for him, he always continues to try. He is concerned about those around him and his own past does haunt him.

PERSUADER approaches Reacher in a manner not done in the previous books. For one thing, this book is written in first person; a real break from the past. It can be incredibly difficult to successfully change the voice of the narrator; however, Child does it well. The voice provided for Reacher seems congruent with the character descriptions and development from Child's earlier works. By allowing the reader to listen to Reacher's thoughts and opinions, Child demonstrates Reacher's growth as a character. This book also delves deeper into Reacher's psyche. Hunting Quinn down is vital to Reacher. This hatred of an old enemy and the reason for this hatred explains a good deal about what makes Reacher tick. Reacher still has unexplained quirks that (hopefully) will continue to be unraveled as the series progresses.

PERSUADER is a testosterone filled, action-driven adventure novel; however, the book is not one-dimensional. Lee Child has hit upon a winner. The Jack Reacher series should continue to make him a powerful voice in this genre.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, July 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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