Trace Evidence (Michael Flint #2), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

Having spent years reading Diane Capri’s Hunt for Reacher novels, I discovered this series, almost by accident. Michael Flint appeared in the latest Hunt for Reacher novel, impressing readers, but has his own story, which is just as exciting and even more riveting. Capri has sculpted this protagonist to be one that readers can enjoy with ease, while also being able to devour the novels in short order. This second book in the series delves deeper into the the Flint backstory and touches on some emotional and very personal sides to the man, all while battling a case or two in the present day. Capri shines in this series and has me eager to get my hands on another Michael Flint novel in short order.

When a woman of some means reaches out to Michael Flint for help, he cannot turn her down. Desperate to save her young son, Veronica Beaumont implores Flint to do what other investigators have been unable to do. Jamie Beaumont suffers from an illness and has been able to find no matches, but his biological father, Josh Hellman, might hold the key. Trouble is, Hallman has been missing for the last six years since his small plane went down on a fishing trip.

While Flint learns more about the plane crash and how the body of two men were found at the bottom of an icy lake, he wonders why there is no trace of Hallman. Did he walk away from the crash? Autopsies on the bodies showed non-crash related injuries that led to their deaths, leaving some to wonder if Hallman killed his friends and has since gone off the radar. Whatever’s happening, Flint wants answers. However, when he revisits the scene, some of the men he encounters, who were there at the time of the crash, are vague and appear to be hiding a secret of their own, including a former client of Flint’s.

The exploration for a lost parent sparks an interest in Flint to finally find out who his parents were and what happened to them. While files were spotty at the time, Flint learns that his potential mother may have been murdered by a man on death row, whose execution is imminent. With little time to waste, Flint works this as a side-job, hoping to get some of his own answers before it’s too late.

With a parallel narrative depicting what happened at the time of the crash, readers can see things from Josh Hallman’s perspective as well, including some of the secrets that Michael Flint is slowly unearthing. The mystery behind Hallman’s disappearance remains complicated, but there are some leads begging to be revealed that could help Flint find the key to saving the life of a young boy. Capri does so well with this piece that she will have readers praising her for the foreseeable future.

I discovered Diane Capri as the author of a great Jack Reacher spin-off, which I have long enjoyed. I knew she had some other series being published, but I never took the time to explore them. After Michael Flint’s appearance in the latest Reacher tale, I decided that I ought to expand my Capri reading knowledge. How pleased I was to do that, as Michael Flint turned out to be even better than any Hunt for Reacher novel I read. It’s nice to discover new aspects to an author you and long read and enjoyed.

Capri has a sensationally strong and detailed narrative base in this novel, which juggles numerous timelines and perspectives at the same time. The story gains further flavouring by a handful of one-off characters, who both enhance the larger story, as well as the Flint personal saga that proves to be a great undertone throughout. The Michael Flint backstory is captivating and keeps the reader engaged as a partial distraction from the Josh Hallman plot. The varied plot lines are entertaining throughout and keep the reader on the edge of their seat, as they seek to explore how Flint will be able to help others while doing the same for himself. This is surely the best Capri novel I have read to date and I am eager to see how the third novel in this series proves to be when it is released later this year.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for providing ongoing entertainment for your loyal fans.

Blood Trails (Michael Flint #1), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

After spending years reading Diane Capri’s Hunt for Reacher novels, I was introduced to another of her series that packs just as much punch. Michael Flint, who appeared in the latest Hunt for Reacher novel, has a story all his own and one that many readers will surely find quite alluring. As Flint finds himself looking for a woman who is set to inherit a large sum of money, he’s faced with just how hard some people want to keep from being found, and the ghosts that lurk in their past. Capri shows her versatility with this piece, which capture’s the reader’s attention.

Michael Flint has spent the last number of years tracking down those who are set to inherent something or other. However, heir hunting is not as easy as it seems. While Flint brags that he can find most anyone, he may have met his match.

After he is called to a Houston skyscraper, Flint is tasked with finding Laura Oakwood, who has inherited her family ranch, which sits atop a massive (and as yet, untapped) oil field. Laura knows nothing of these riches, but two oils tycoons want her found or the land signed over for exploration. Laura has been missing for 28 years, not long after she was fingered for being part of a robbery gone bad that left people dead and her wanted in connection with the crime.

While Flint is ready for the challenge, he could not have known it would be this difficult, forcing him to battle henchmen on both sides trying to one-up each other, as well as the multiple dead-ends that the search garners. Flint will have to brave the cold of rural Saskatchewan, in Canada, to locate Laura Oakwood and potentially her offspring, who disappeared with her. Will Flint have enough time before the clock runs out and the land goes to someone else? Flint will do all in his power to bring another heir into the fortune they deserve. Capri keeps the reader enthralled until the very end and shows just how varied her writing can be.

As I said before, I have always known Diane Capri to be the author of a Jack Reacher spin-off, but I knew she had some other series in her quiver. When Michael Flint made an appearance in the latest Reacher tale, I thought that I would give his series a try, if only to compare it to what I had read for so long. Capri shows she has what it takes and kept me guessing until the very end of this crime thriller.

With a strong narrative base, Capri adds depth to her story through a string of strong characters, none of whom appear to get along completely with their neighbours. While there is some great development, it is the backstory of Michael Flint that provides the most interesting aspects for the reader to enjoy. With more to the series, one can only hope there will be moments to add to this character, who has my attention already. Great plot twists, in a story where locating a missing person is high on the agenda, proves highly successful and keeps the reader wondering how things will progress. I’ll set aside some of the foibles in the narrative as they relate to Canada and allow readers to focus on the larger story. I found myself quite enthralled with how Capri presented things, as I tried not to compare things to their other series. There is a lot to enjoy herein and I hope to enjoy the rest of the series in short order.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for keeping me entertained, no matter what you’re writing.

Lone Star Jack (Hunt for Reacher #15), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

Diane Capri is back with the next Hunt for Reacher novel, trying to stay fewer than ten steps behind the elusive nomad. Turning to Texas, Capri tackles some curious situations and adds a few new characters who have caught my attention. FBI Special. Agent Kim Otto has remained front and centre in a series that appears to evolve with each new novel. I am eager to see where things are headed and whether, one day, Otto and Reacher will come face to face.

While Jack Reacher remains on the lam, Special Agent Kim Otto has not stopped looking. However, even she needs a reset and finds herself back in Detroit with family. When she learns that her sister, Sunny, has a new man and that he’s stationed in Texas, Otto wants to know more, However, her impatient boss, Cooper, has tired of the Reacher delays and collects her for the next phase of their mission. Interestingly enough, they are headed to Texas, where Reacher has left a message and directed Otto to meet a lawyer from his past.

Cooper has his own agenda and hopes Reacher will fall for a trap. Still, Otto wants to play it safe and see what the nomad has in store for her. Otto meets members of the Double Death Task Force, who have been investigating murders whereby the killer dies as soon as the act is committed. This could be part of a larger issue, particularly when a riot breaks out at a politician’s funeral.

All the while, an unwitting Pilar Inez Mendoza finds herself in Texas. An illegal migrant who was promised a job in Texas, she finds herself in the middle of a plot that could never have come to her, even if she had been told about it beforehand. How will her desire to get to Pecos, Texas intersect with Reacher and Otto, all while remaining under the radar? Otto teams up with Michal Flint, an unlikely partner, to get to the core of what’s happening as she continues her hunt for Jack Reacher.

I have long enjoyed these novels by Diane Capri, partly because she mirrors some of the work by the great Lee Child in the original Reacher series. Using Child’s Echo Burning as a basis, Capri weaves a story that has some wonderful elements and exciting twists. Capri has long ago proven her abilities and this is enough example of her great skills, sure to impress Reacher fans and those who enjoy her work, simultaneously.

The narrative style of these books reminds me a great deal of the early Lee Child novels, which makes reading them all the more enjoyable. Capri uses her narrative to guide the reader through many a scenario, all of which keep developing until the final reveal, which is in itself only a prelude for the next adventure. Great characters, some returning and others new or one-offs, keep offer the reader something different to enjoy as they make their way through the race towards Jack Reacher. The themes and plots that emerge from both this book and Child’s previous novel help keep things exciting and enticing through to the final page turn, when the reader will learn so much about immigration an the struggle that is real on the American border. Plus, after meeting Michal Flint in this novel, my curiosity is piqued about learning more about him, through the two novels to date that Capri has penned with him as protagonist. I suppose that will be my next adventure. Bring it on!

Kudos, Madam Capri, for another stellar piece of writing.

Jack Knife (Hunt for Reacher #17), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

Enjoying all things Jack Reacher, I enjoy this spin that Diane Capri has taken, weaving together her own themes and plots to keep the reader on their toes. FBI Special Agent Kim Otto is hot on the heels of Jack Reacher, who is speeding out of Chicago. Unfortunately, her partner was injured again, forcing Otto to stay put for a time. Things get a little rocky when news comes that Reacher’s nephew is in trouble, sure to draw Jack from hiding to rush to his aid. It would seem some of Reacher’s past enemies have come to exact some revenge, putting everyone on edge. Capri keeps the action going as she pushes the series into new realms.

With the explosive ending to the last novel, FBI Special Agent Kim Otto has no time to waste. However, she’s suck waiting, as her partner is again recuperating in hospital after a Reacher-related skirmish. Still, it gives her some time to work through the leads she will need to move forward.

When news comes that Reacher’s nephew, Jake, is in trouble down in South Carolina, Otto is sure that this will be one thing that the nomad cannot ignore. She is ready to act as well, hoping that it will draw Reacher out and allow her to help a young man in need. This is not a simple money issue, but rather a kidnapping that could prove fatal.

As Otto inches towards South Carolina with her partner, she learns that one of Reacher’s old CO’s might have some intel that could help. It would seem that Reacher was in the middle of bringing down a drug ring years back and left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. Now, it seems those who got away have retribution on the mind. This ruthless gang will stop at nothing, keeping Jake Reacher and his mother captive in hopes of luring Jack out for a final hit.

With Otto ready to strike, she has to play her hand carefully, hoping not to ruin her chances at making a real difference. Jack Reacher is so close and this is no time to mess it up. Pulling on all her option, Otto prepares to set a trap, while helping the Reachers at the same time. Capri keeps things interesting in a series that never has the chance to catch its breath or lose momentum.

While I have a long history reading Reacher novels, I was really excited when I found the work of Diane Capri. She parallels the writing of Lee Child, offering stories that add to the original work. Great stories and strong narratives help shape the series effectively, while keeping fans coming back for more as each novel comes to publication. I am eager to see what direction things will take now!

Special Agent Kim Otto stays strong in the protagonist’s seat once again. In the brief timespan of the series, she’s had two partners, finally able to play the senior agent role. Otto has little time for silliness, but seems also to have to juggle a partner who wants to run the show himself, bending rules whenever it suits him. Otto has struggled with confidence in the past, but is more keenly aware of how she can keep hold of command without coming off as too abrupt, which will surely be an issue for her as she handles a renegade partner.

Diane Capri has kept the series on track with some really captivating stories that complement all that Lee Child as done to date. She presents a fresh and intriguing series, as the popular series receives some added depth at Capri’s hand. A strong narrative provides the reader with something to keep them excited, using many characters who entertain throughout. Capri finds ties to Lee Child’s work without it being too repetitive, always proving successful. I am eager to see where Capri will take things and how effective it will be for series fans

Kudos, Madam Capri, for a series that keeps evolving. I never tire of the adventures.

Straight Jack (Hunt for Reacher #16), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

A great fan of all things Jack Reacher, I was pleased to stumble upon Diane Capri’s series that explores a race to find this elusive nomad. Capri explores the chase to find Reacher through the eyes of two dedicated FBI agents and adds a curious case to help them bide their time. Special Agent Kim Otto has been on the hunt for Jack Reacher for the past number of months, but she’s been delayed by her current partner, who is nursing his injuries. Meanwhile, Reacher is said to have been spending time with a recent prison escapee who has taken to being a part of a gang robbing ATMs. Now, the hunt is on to find Reacher, locate the criminal, and stop the heists before things get any worse. Capri does well to stir up all the excitement in this wonderful instalment of the series.

A group of criminals have banded together to use their respective skills to target numerous ATMs across the country. Hoping to hit a big payday, each criminal must rely on the others, but one is still new and fairly green when it comes to this type of crime. While the crimes occur with moderate success, they leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the authorities.

All the while, Special Agent Kim Otto waits in a Nevada hospital, where her partner, William Burke, is recuperating after a clash with the elusive Jack Reacher. Once he is ready to go, Otto and Burke resume their hunt for Reacher, which is sure to take many odd turns. The first stop is in New Mexico, where Reacher is said to have been in touch with a recent prison escapee, who might hold the key to finding the nomadic traveller. However, things go south when a body is discovered in a hotel, leaving Otto feeling that the hunt has taken on a new importance.

Following the bank heists that have shocked various communities, Otto and Burke seek answers and hope to find a man responsible for a murder, but who could also point them towards their ultimate prize. With some assistance from Otto’s former partner, Carlos Gaspar, the pair try to synthesise all they know about Reacher. It is only when the FBI pair make it to Chicago that they are able to make significant headway, in the form of an old acquaintance from Reacher’s past military experience. Might this finally be the moment Jack Reacher meets his match with Special Agent Kim Otto? Capri offers up perhaps her best in the series to date with this novel, proving that Reacher and all those around him still have what it takes.

While I have long loved all that is Reacher, I found new joy and excitement when I discovered the work of Diane Capri. She offers up some great writing to parallel the creations of Lee Child, offering insightful stories that complement the original work. With a great narrative and some well-developed characters, Capri shows how this series can serve to work with the Reacher collection, or stand on its own. I cannot wait to see what else Capri does while keeping things a step behind the great Lee Child’s roadmap.

Special Agent Kim Otto remains in the protagonist’s seat throughout this series. She has had two primary partners, but always seems keen to run things in her own manner. She takes the lead in the investigation and makes it her own, trying to finally crack the chase open and finally bring Jack Reacher in for questioning. Always a step behind, this is Otto’s time to prove herself to others and make the difference in this game of cat and mouse.

Diane Capri has done well for herself, though this is the only of her series that I have tried reading to date. Her ability to keep things fresh as the characters race to stay close behind Reacher’s nomadic wanderings makes for great reading, no matter how much is known about the primary series. A great narrative keeps the reader on their toes, with many characters to entertain throughout the journey. Capri tries to find ties to Lee Child’s work, while keeping it from being too repetitive, which is sure to impress those who know the Reacher series well. There’s something for everyone, it would seem, with some great story arcs that have lasted for a handful of novels, as well as others that have yet to be resolved from the series debut. Bring on the next Hunt for Reacher novel. I cannot wait!

Kudos, Madam Capri, for a series that never seems to get stale. I am eager to see what;s next and how things will evolve.

Jack of Hearts (The Hunt for Jack Reacher #15), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

There’s nothing like a good Diane Capri thriller to bring out the excitement for me, particularly when I am waiting for the next of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. The ‘man with no fixed abode’ continues popping up in small towns across America, while Capri crafts stories around locating and capturing him once and for all. The FBI wants to talk to him, people he has harmed seek to get retribution, and the reader can see how Reacher stays one step ahead, usually.

FBI Special Agent Kim Otto is still getting used to a new partner, which has not been easy. However, she has bigger problems, as she is almost certain that she saw Reacher die in a plane crash…almost. While nothing is absolute, the hunt for him continues, which leads to Otto and Burke making their way to Nebraska. Reacher was there at one point, having saved a local woman and a handful of Thai girls from a man who had human trafficking on the mind.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that this woman has been targeted anew, with no Reacher to protect her. Otto will have to intervene as best she can, but it is sure to put her into significant danger. From Nebraska, it’s off to Denver to work through some of the clues and try to make sense of things. Otto is all about the case first and safety afterwards, which has both her current partner and the man who held the role before slightly concerned.

When things get tense, Otto finds herself falling into a trap and almost dying, only to the rescue and back on the trail of these re-captured women. It’s all part of a larger plan, and a powerful man who resides in Las Vegas, hoping to coax Reacher out of the shadows again, where a bullet awaits him. This is one storyline Otto could not have predicted.

I’ve long enjoyed Lee Child and his books, which was only augmented when Diane Capri began using them as background for her own series. This thriller series that pits two FBI agents against the wiles of Jack Reacher has all the ingredients for a successful series and has never let me down. Each Capri book is loosely based on events Reacher experienced in own of his own novels. This story is pulled from the pages of Worth Dying For, one of the series’ bests. Reacher fans out to explore some of all of Capri’s work to complement their love of what Lee Child developed.

FBI Special Agent Kim Otto keeps up her great work as protagonist. Struggling to come to terms with her new partner, Otto must accept him while trying not to rely too much on the man who used to be at her side. This has been a struggle in the past two novels and really comes to a head in this piece. Otto is, however, razor focussed on trying to make it all work, in hopes of finding Jack Reacher once and for all.

The series is quite entertaining, particularly for those who have developed an affinity for Jack Reacher’s nomadic ways. The narrative pushes the story along effectively yet again, paired with strong characters that accentuate nice plot points. While the Reacher novels are not affixed to any specific time, all of Capri’s novels have taken place over 7 months, adding intensity to the manhunt and series development. While I suppose they could be read as quasi-standalone, why would anyone ever wish to parachute in and not see things as they progressed over time?

Kudos, Madam Capri, for keeping me enthralled throughout. I cannot wait to see what’s next and how Reacher will make an impact from the shadows.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

Jack Frost (Hunt for Reacher #14), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

Diane Capri continues her unique spin on Lee Child’s popular Jack Reacher character and the series of novels that made him a household name (almost ruined by Tom Cruise). The elusive ‘man from nowhere in particular’ continues traversing small town USA, while Capri uses some of the information to create her own thrillers where he is the target. An FBI agent does her best to piece together loose sightings of the man, but always seems to get herself embroiled in local issues. It’s a great way to complement to the Reacher series, particularly for fans who have an affinity for his smooth arrival and departure from any situation.

FBI Special Agent Kim Otto has been assigned a new partner, something that fills her with an uneasiness. While she loves her former partner, change is not something she’s come to handle quite well. Still, she’s focussed on the trail of Jack Reacher, who has been sighted in rural America, making the journey one of great importance. The Feds find themselves in South Dakota, more specifically Bolton Correctional Facility. The hope is to find anyone who might have clues as to where Reacher has gone. He made an impact when last he was there, leaving only one person alive, a crazed gangster with a sharp mind.

While Otto cannot be sure if Reacher was behind the murder of many in this small town, she knows that talking to the one survivor and his lawyer could prove helpful. There’s a problem, though, as a cargo plane crashed onto the property and started a massive prison escape, leaving everyone scrambling to collect the inmates as quickly as possible.

Otto and her know-it-all partner, William Burke, join forces with local law enforcement to capture the gangster, as he may be the key to locating Reacher. However, he’s not keen to return to custody, traversing across the barren lands of South Dakota, with his lawyer and a few others in tow. It’s a race to locate him, in hopes that he won’t make it to Canada and slip away for good, eh?!

I’ve been a fan of Lee Child and his books for many years. When I discovered that Diane Capri was working under the blessing of Child to create this offshoot series, I gladly accepted the chance to read it as well. Capri ensures that series fans understand the backstory and how it complements this piece, though admits that she takes some liberties of her own, as she wields the proverbial pen. This story is pulled from the pages of 61 Hours, a great book on its own. Take a look to see how Capri added depth and excitement to her own thriller.

FBI Special Agent Kim Otto serves as a stellar protagonist once again. She has a lot going on, besides the hunt for Jack Reacher, seeking to balance it as best she can. The story connects her with a handful of well-developed characters that help develop the plot lines and provide insight into the location of one Jack Reacher. However, there is the added connection that Otto has with William Burke, her new partner and a man she cannot fully trust. Burke has a past, something that Otto has discovered by pulling some strings, making the connect between these two Feds strained at best. Capri uses one-off characters effectively while borrowing some of the backstory Child laid down in the aforementioned Reacher novel.

The novel—and the series, to be honest— is entertaining, particularly for fans of Reacher and his nomadic ways. The narrative pushes the story along effectively while characters shed light on plot points that keep the reader guessing throughout. A mix of chapter lengths provide the reader with some teasers and begs them to keep reading, of only to find resolution. While I admit that I do not remember the intricacies of each Reacher novel, nor do I re-read it afterwards, Diane Capri’s book remind me of key points and cement the belief that these two series complement one another so well.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for another winner. I cannot wait to see what story you pair your next novel with, and how close a Reacher-Otto encounter might be.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

Full Metal Jack (The Hunt for Reacher #13), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

Diane Capri has started something exciting, at least for fans of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. While the elusive former soldier continues to have exciting adventures in small town USA, Capri has spun past Reacher novels into her own captivating thrillers. This series has made hunting Jack Reacher a quasi- Olympic event, keeping readers scrambling to remember plot lines from past Child novels loosely tied-in with Capri’s intended twists. Always a pleasure to see the synergy these authors bring when intermeshed.

FBI Agent Kim Otto is partnerless, but still on the trail for Jack Reacher, who constantly eludes her. Otto finds herself in Carter’s Crossing, Mississippi, where Reacher ended his long career in the US Military. While there, turning over every stone she can find about Reacher, Otto comers face to face with an old crime that’s happened once again. A woman’s been killed when a train runs over her. However, as in 1997, the victim’s throat is cut, leaving the possibility that a killer staged the railroad outcome to cover something up.

Otto seeks to dig u other dirt on Reacher, but is pulled into the middle of the case, only to come face to face with a local sheriff who has a great deal to say about the crime and a lot to add from 1997. Otto begins to feel that Elizabeth Deveraux could be the key to both investigations, though she’s stonewalling as best she can. It’s up to Otto to peel things back and get to the core of the matter before it’s too late.

Having been a longtime fan of Lee Child, I was pleased when I discovered this series. The fact that Diane Capri has Child’s blessing makes it all the more enjoyable, as breadcrumbs from the former Reacher novel emerge throughout this piece. Pulled from the pages of The Affair, Capri adds new depth and an excellent analysis for fans of her work.

Kim Otto headlines a collection of wonderful characters that help keep the book exciting from the opening pages until the very last sentence. Riding solo after her partner retired, Otto will have to work perspectives she knows well while using intuition to fuel her passion for answers. As with Child’s work, Capri brings one-off characters from the shadows and into the limelight to shape the story quite effectively.

The piece is highly entertaining, particularly for those who have a history with Reacher and his nomadic ways. A strong narrative pushes the story alone while well-developed characters allow things to come to life from off the page. Chapters that pull the reader in balance themselves with those teasing new and exciting moments to keep the plot developing. I’m always left a little more curious when I finish a Capri novel, having caught new angles that may not have been as prominent for me when completing the Reacher experience. This was no exception.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for helping me re-live Jack Reacher in a roundabout way! I cannot wait to explore the next novel in the series to delve into another adventure.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

Prepper Jack (The Hunt for Reacher #12), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

Diane Capri is back with her latest novel in this series that has hints of the Lee Child popular collection. While Jack Reacher remains at large and one step ahead of the FBI, there are other issues that take precedence this time around. When Treasury Agent John Lawton is kidnapped as he leaves a lunch meeting with an accountant in New Mexico, worry races up the chain of command. FBI Special Agent Kim Otto is alerted to matters and sent down to investigate and assist, as there are some mean players in the vicinity. It’s suspected that drug cartel leader, Pinto Vigo, is behind the kidnapping, as Lawton is said to have been meeting with a mole within the cartel. Otto’s arrival in New Mexico is not entirely business related, as she and Lawton have a loose relationship that has been simmering for the past while. Is she being drawn to help because of the victim, or is this all business? Liaising with her former partner, Otto discovers that Lawton is likely being held amongst a commune of ‘preppers’, those who are ready for an end of days or the need to secede, should the situation arise. Learning a little more about the locals and Vigo’s way of life, Otto is joined by a few other federal agents, as they seek to rescue Lawton before capturing Pinto Vigo once and for all. Reacher is surely around, but Otto’s mission is focused elsewhere for the time being. A great addition to the series, which usually packs a punch. Recommended to those who like crime thrillers that keep on spinning, as well as the reader who has come to enjoy this series.

I eagerly await every time I see that Capri has been working to release a new Hunt for Reacher tale, as they tend to be well-crafted novels. This was no exception, though there was less of a Reacher feel and more one of action adventure in the plot. With Special Agent Kim Otto working alone, the tale took on more of a solitary spin, though the action did not dissipate throughout. Otto’s backstory is not covered herein, though the eleven previous novels should have done much of that. Rather, the reader is able to see what makes Otto leap up and take notice, both with her Lawton connection and ability to discover nuances in the larger mission. Never one to shy away from controversy, Otto pushes forward to help locate the federal agent, as well as bring down a drug cartel. Others appear throughout the book, complementing Otto or the larger plot effectively. Capri fashions these characters to keep the reader interested and pushes the narrative forward with their presence. The story itself was quite easy to digest, working in the Southwest part of the country. Offering up some insight into the world of ‘preppers’ and how they fit into the larger American fabric, Capri entertains and educates in equal measure. While not the sharpest of the series novels, this one fits nicely into the mix, leavin fans eager to see how and when Reacher might appear again. Some will bemoan that this is not ‘pure’ Reacher, though the series is done with the blessing (and encouragement) of Lee Child, who is in regular contact with Diane Capri. The two series complement one another nicely and I will keep reading as long as the stories remain crisp and worth my time.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for another great piece, even if dear old Jack was not a central topic.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

Jack of Spades (Hunt for Reacher #8), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

In her latest instalment of the Hunt for Reacher series, Diane Capri takes readers close to the elusive man’s family, or so we are led to believe. FBI Special Agent Kim Otto continues to track down Jack Reacher, following some leads up to a small town in New Hampshire. It’s here that she believes she can make some headway, as it appears to be a town full of Reachers. No one admits to knowing Jack Reacher or being a part of his immediate family, but Otto is not giving up. She’s honed her investigation on Reacher’s nephew, who is headed out to California to get some answers from the uncle no one seems to know. While he travels there, a Canadian couple who was intricately involved in a recent Jack Reacher sighting in Laconia, New Hampshire now holds onto a duffle bag that could bring them much trouble. With the rightful owners ready to shed blood in order to get what they feel belongs to them, Otto will have to keep an eye out for trouble while also looking for the man who has continually been one step ahead of her. With a new partner and her old one offering nuggets of wisdom, Kim Otto will have to work quickly or face another dead-end situation. A great addition to the Hunt for Reacher series, permitting Capri to build on some of the most intense Reacher work that Lee Child wrote not long ago. Recommended for series fans, as well as the reader who enjoys a quick read that packs quite the punch.

I have long loved anything Reacher, so when I stumbled upon this series, I am eager to see how it would all tie in. While Capri loosely hints at the benefits of reader the associated Lee Child work alongside her own, I enjoy going at it alone and doing by best to make sense of everything. Capri offers some wonderful characters and delves deeper into some of the cases that appear in Jack Reacher novels. Kim Otto has grown tremendously in this piece, coming into her own and finding ways to run the investigation effectively, even when she’s paired up with a new partner. Others do well in their participation of the story, sometimes adding to the initial introduction they received from Lee Child, while others make their mark for the first time. The story moves quickly and leaves little time for pandering around, as there is much to accomplish in short order. Capri has honed her skills and shows that she is not only in-tune with her close friend, Lee Child, but is able to complement his work and provide a deeper look into some of the central characters who may offer valuable insight into finding Jack Reacher!

Kudos, Madam Capri, for another wonderful addition to the series. I am eager to see if Otto will ever catch Reacher, or if this is a game of cat and mouse destined never to end.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

Ten Two Jack (The Hunt for Reacher #10), by Diane Capri

Seven stars

The hunt continues for Jack Reacher in this well-developed series by Diane Capri, paralleling some of the work done by her close friend, Lee Child. While still on the hunt for Reach, FBI Special Agent Kim Otto is home in Detroit, awaiting her next lead. She is approached by a DEA agent who has some information that might help her investigation. Reacher is said to have been associated with two women out West, one of whom is married to a somewhat nefarious businessman, likely dabbling in the drug trade. While Otto travels to St. Louis to garner some more information, she discovers that the women—twins—have been missing and the husband has hired an investigator to locate them. While trying to piece the puzzle together, Otto meets this investigator, who seems more intent on trying to scuttle her progress than anything else. Otto is left with more questions than answers and connects with her partner, Carlos Gaspar, down in Houston, where he has been working some angles on his own. Meanwhile, in the shadows a figure is trying to lock down his sizeable stash of opioids, ready to hit the streets. These two women might be the only thing standing in his way to a successful business venture, though the mysterious Jack Reacher is also a hurdle that must be neutralised. Working a few leads, Otto and Gaspar find themselves travelling a great deal to find Reacher, discovering his connection to one of the twins and how things might not be entirely as they seem. Capri works her magic again and ties this story in nicely to one of Lee Child’s Reacher novels. Those who enjoy the series will find something in this piece to whet their appetites. Recommended for those who enjoy both the Reacher novels and the Hunt for Reacher series.

Capri keeps things fast-paced, which allows the reader to stay focused on the endgame without getting too bogged down. I found myself enjoying this novel, though was at times a little overwhelmed with all the twists and turns that emerged from the subplots. Otto and Gaspar retain their protagonist roles, working the narrative effectively as they travel and seek to find Jack Reacher once and for all. Of course, they end up in the middle of a case that sees themselves diverting attention from the ultimate goal. Some of the other characters prove exciting and alluring as they push things in one direction or another, without hijacking the narrative. Touching on some of the poignant topics of the day, Capri gives the reader some insight into opioids and their trafficking around America, while also posing the question of how Reacher fits into the larger web. The story was highly entertaining and the chapters flowed very well, keeping me hooked throughout and hoping to learn a great deal more. I am eager to see where Capri takes things, though I am still finding it hard to fathom that this is all taking place in a compacted time period, while Reacher’s nomadic adventures seem paced out over years. Something to chew on for a bit, I suppose.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for another wonderful novel in the series. I have recommended you to many others and will continue to do so.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

Black Jack (Hunt for Reacher #9), by Diane Capri

Eight starsReturning to a tried and tested series, I sought out Diane Capri’s latest in the Hunt for Reacher collection for a memorable summer read. After being seconded by the New York Field Office, FBI Special Agent Kim Otto makes her way there amidst piles of snow and blustery weather. Her assignment, to assist on a case that has ties to Jack Reacher. A woman’s body is found in a bathtub, partially filled with green paint. The victim appears to be none other than Jodie Jacob, former lover of the aforementioned Reacher. With a string of identical serial murders in the not too distant past, and Reacher as a potential suspect at that time, might he have returned to exact revenge on a girlfriend who left him high and dry? Otto cannot help but wonder, as she continues her larger assignment to locate Reacher, one she has been on for months. As the case progresses, Otto becomes uncomfortably aware that there is a power struggle within the New York office, one that reaches as high as her own boss. Might Otto have been brought it, not only to help lure Reacher out of the shadows, but also to stick a thumb in the eye of her superior? Working alone, Otto is forced to cobble together pieces of the investigation while receiving odd messages on her burner cells. She is left to wonder if Reacher is watching her in the city, but must also try to determine if it was truly Jacob in that tub and how this plays out on a larger scale. Meanwhile, a killer is going around town killing people who have slipped through the justice system, an odd form of revenge all its own. After reinforcements arrive for Otto, she seeks to piece the entire narrative together, but there are more than Reacher’s eyes watching her and it could spell disaster. Capri does well in this piece to pull the reader into the middle of the ongoing search for Jack Reacher, as well as a case that resonates and has its own red flags. Recommended for series fans or those who love Jack Reacher novels, as it is sure to please and keep them wishing for another novel featuring that rugged (non-Tom Cruise) protagonist.I have always enjoyed Capri’s take on the Reacher series and her ability to slide these novels/novellas into the middle of the Lee Child crafted books. I will admit that I binge-read many of the Reacher novels a few years ago, so the impact of each individual novel is lost on me. That being said, while I cannot reference the individual crimes to which Capri refers (tying in to Child’s work), I find these books both highly entertaining and thoroughly captivating. Kim Otto has always been that independent character whose determination could not be derailed. She shows her gumption here, left without her partner for part of the book. Otto works well under pressure and the reader can feel a close connection to her, even when faced with daunting odds. Carlos Gaspar makes his appearance in the latter portion of the book, having been on medical leave. His role is less active for obvious reasons, though his banter with Otto helps buoy the novel effectively. The Otto-Gaspar teamwork comes to the surface throughout and the reader need not worry that it will be lost in this ninth instalment. The secondary characters, including Reacher himself, show themselves to be effective conduits as the narrative pushes forward. A few breadcrumbs come out about the special Reacher assignment, including some of the FBI politics surrounding it, which can only help the reader have a better understanding of the situation. The story is strong and does have solid ties to a past Reacher novel. There is always that feel that Jack is just out of eyesight and watching as Otto and Gaspar seek him out. With ties to a past crime and Reacher’s heart, there is sure to be some intervention, though catching the man is always harder than first appears. Capri keeps the story moving well, mixing short and longer chapters to keep the reader guessing and wanting to read a little while longer. I am eager to see what else Capri has in store for series fans, with another novel almost ready for publication. This is a series that, if handled effectively, could surely go on for many more years. Kudos, Madam Capri, for keeping an energetic writing style throughout and showing readers how much fun hunting Jack Reacher can be. I look forward to the next in the series and will talk about the previous eight pieces to anyone who will listen.A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

Jack the Reaper (The Hunt for Jack Reacher Series #8), by Diane Capri

Seven stars

Diane Capri has returned to add to her Hunt for Reacher series, taking a slightly different approach to events. After an explosion in a home, everyone is presumed dead, including the elusive Jack Reacher. FBI Agents Otto and Gaspar have been two steps behind him for so long and now, it would seem, things have gone frigid. However, after the controversial document dump, TrueLeaks, transcripts of a telephone call speaking of Reacher being alive and well, which means Otto and Gaspar must rush to New York to continue their investigation. All the while, General MacKenzie ‘Nitro Mack’ Parnell has come to learn of a sizeable amount of money being hidden away in an New York apartment, money that was tied to an operation he sanctioned years ago. Now, Parnell wants what he feels is his and will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Nitro Mack has a history with Reacher as well, someone who had little love loss for his superior while still serving in the military. As Agents Otto and Gaspar piece together a better understanding of what is going on with Reacher, they are soon following the track of Parnell’s mess as he hunts down the money. As more bodies pile up and the money is nowhere to be found, everyone begins to wonder if, like Reacher, it’s disappeared in plain sight. Capri does well to stand alone while keeping Reacher true to his nature. A decent effort that Reacher fans may like, though the series grows and stands on its own merits.

As she tends to do with each novel’s introduction, Capri pays homage to Lee Child and his creation of the Jack (none) Reacher character. She speaks of how each novel she writes parallels with one that Child has created, which allows the reader to read them one after the other and notice the chronological ties. I have never done so and feel that Capri’s work can stand alone, though the elusive nature of Reacher from Child’s novels is just as strong in this series. Otto and Gaspar remain central characters here and pose no threat to overpowering one another. Many of the past novels have developed their characters, but here, it would seem as though they are in neutral and the focus is strictly Reacher and Parnell. Capri’s glimpse into Otto’s personal thoughts and a run-in within her apartment is about as in-depth a character reveal as the story offers. The secondary characters, as with the mainstream Reacher stories, change each time, though they are well placed here to deliver a strong story. While the story was good and paced itself well, I found it difficult to affix myself to everything that was going on. I wanted to, as I love Reacher, but this piece seemed less focussed on Reacher and more on how the agents would eventually fall in line with Parnell’s antics. It could be an anomaly of the series and I will not rake Capri over the coals for my own sense of confusion. Overall, a decent effort and I am eager to see if she can redeem herself with the next book, highlighted at the end of the narrative.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for keeping Jack (none) Reacher alive between Lee Child novels. You do well on your own and it shines through with each novel you produce in this series.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

Deep Cover Jack (Hunt for Reacher #7), by Diane Capri

Seven stars

In her latest Hunt for Reacher novel, Diane Capri adds a new layer to the ongoing chase scenario that keeps the protagonists one small step behind their intended target. FBI Special Agents Gaspar and Otto continue their search for Jack Reacher, sent to Houston to follow-up on another lead. It appears that former DEA and ATF Agent Susan Duffy has been seen with Reacher over the past three weeks and might be able to shed some light on his whereabouts, or reveal his location, inadvertently. While in Houston, Gaspar and Otto learn that Duffy is on indeterminate leave and no one is willing to share anything concrete with them. Duffy’s apartment appears to have been emptied and her most recent partner is also highly defensive when it comes to sharing anything. Upon learning that she might have returned to Abbott Cove, a small community in Maine, Gaspar and Otto rush across the country in order to follow a trace that might lead to Reacher or provide some concrete leads. Within the confines of a large compound in the Abbott Cove area, a man by the name of the Diplomat is entertaining a number of rich men whose criminal capabilities are piqued by a new weapon on the market; one that can obliterate from such a distance that it is virtually undetectable. While following up leads in Abbot Cove, Gaspar and Otto learn that Duffy might be in the area, though she has gone missing after trying to locate another of her colleagues. All signs point to the aforementioned compound, where rumour has it women were being kept for an international human trafficking ring. The collective who seek to find and free Duffy must work together to remove her from harm’s way, which might permit essential clues about the whereabouts of the ever-elusive Jack Reacher. All this while the Diplomat seeks to sell his most lucrative weapon to date to the highest bidder and keep his trafficking ring intact. Succinct but full of drama, Capri knows how to lure the reader in and keep them interested until the next cliffhanger. 

This series has always been an interesting one for me, as I am an avid Jack Reacher fan. While Capri’s series is concentrated in a very small window of time and each books feeds immediately after the end of its predecessor, the stories remain fresh and highly entertaining. With plots that focus on finding Reacher, things generally spiral from the intended mission and a new mystery emerges. Using a few central characters and an ever-changing collection of those in a supporting role (a la each Reacher tale), Capri is able to keep the reader interested and curious about what is yet to come. Gaspar and Otto have grown in the short chronological period of the novels, with Capri adding new layers to keep the reader connected to them during each mission. I remain interested in the evolution of the series, though the nomadic Reacher character proves to be my greatest interest. 

Kudos, Madam Capri for a sensible addition to the series. Even if Reacher remains one step ahead, you are able to develop your characters effectively.