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: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Advertisements

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.