Make Me (Jack Reacher #20), by Lee Child

Four stars

Child brings Jack Reacher to the single traffic-light town of Mother’s Rest. It’s small and seemingly peaceful, perfect for a one-night respite while passing through the agricultural belt of America. However, Reacher encounters Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for her partner, a fellow private investigator. As they stop in town to get their bearings, Reacher realises the townsfolk are all very curious, though none will provide answers, including the question that burns inside him: “Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” Eventually, Reacher teams up with Chang and they search for her missing partner, which begins a Reacher-esque relationships in which his assistance pushes them into temporary amorous synchronicity. This search turns a single night into an investigation that sees Reacher travel out to the West Coast and back to the American Midwest, chasing leads and following the trail of breadcrumbs left at every turn, alongside a gang of thugs seeking to remove Reacher and Chang from the mix. When the internet proves central to the investigation, both Reacher and Chang turn to the experts, who direct them back to Mother’s Rest, where something shocking is taking place under everyone’s noses. As only Child can do, Reacher is targeted from all sides after simply showing up in a town he’d never planned to visit. A wonderful addition to the series and as high-impact as Child as ever written.

I became a fan of Jack Reacher last summer when I binge read the entire series in consecutive order. By doing so, I developed a close affinity for the man and his nuances, as well as Child’s writing style, which has evolved and placed Reacher in many unique situations. Working with few repeat characters, the Reacher novels develop as effective stand-alone novels and permit the reader to pick up the Reacher thread at any point. New characters and settings for each novel allows the reader to focus not only on Reacher minute progress, but also forces them to learn much about those cast alongside the former military hero, sure they will not reappear in future stories. Child does all this in a highly effective manner, offering the reader a wonderful insight into the larger Jack Reacher persona. 

Kudos, Mr. Child for another wonderful addition to the collection. As always, you pique curiosity just enough to make the reader wonder what else you have in store.

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