by Lee Child

Bantam, April, 2003.
Hardcover, 395 pages.
ISBN: 0385336667

Persuader by Lee Child Jack Reacher, the enigmatic ex-MP, is back in a riveting thriller. In the shocking opening chapter, Reacher rescues a young college student, Richard Beck, from an attempted kidnapping. Beck is grateful and asks Reacher to drive him to his father's house. Reacher reluctantly agrees and ends up at the home of a notorious criminal who is being investigated by the feds who think Beck is a drug kingpin. But all is not as it seems in this set up. Soon Reacher is ensconced in the strange Beck household, which is set in an isolated part of Maine. Reacher is in a very tenuous position at the Beck household: the bodyguards are vicious and delight in torturing both Reacher and Mrs. Beck. But Reacher is determined to stay: he's on the trail of a traitor who sold U.S. secrets to terrorists and brutally murdered Reacher's young protege. Reacher thought he saw the turncoat Quinn die years ago, but now he's resurfaced, apparently alive and well. And Reacher is determined to bring him to justice, once and for all.

Jack Reacher is the kind of hero that we don't really see in contemporary thrillers much today. Enigmatic and intelligent, Reacher is a compelling hero who doesn't say much, but thinks quite a bit. Lee Child doesn't give much away about Reacher's background; but in this book, we get more of his very interesting backstory. Tautly written, with smooth prose and a compelling hero, this is a must-have series for fans of the well-written thriller.

--Claire E. White

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This review was published in the April-May, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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