Lee Child’s thriller One Shot, was released in 2005, but has now been re-released as Jack Reacher – One Shot (ISBN 978-0-857-50119-6, Bantam Editions, 2012) following the release of the movie taken from this book called just Jack Reacher and starring Tom Cruise.
To me this does sound rather odd as the fictitious Reacher is 6’5″ whereas Tom Cruise is 5’7″, but has a strong following in action movies after the Mission Impossible series. Apparently the Cruise Reacher works OK on the silver screen. (Perhaps he stands on telephone directories?)
Like all of these Jack Reacher books, author Lee Childs has developed the Reacher persona into someone believable. As well as his height and weight, Reacher is supremely logical. He can look at a threatening group of five assailants and work out the ringleader who will move first, then the second and third who will be wary after seeing the ringleader go down, and the fourth and fifth will run away, so he has only one to hurt and the fight is over. That sounds logical, the way Childs has written it, but I admit I have never been that brave, personally adhering to the dictum, “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.”
In this book, a small town in America is awakened with a mass shooting in the center of town. The police wrap up the investigation in a couple of hours and the DA is primed, ready to proceed with this watertight case. There is only one problem, and that is the fact that the guilty party refuses to respond to questions, but only says, “Get Jack Reacher for me.”
It turns out that the guilty chap and Jack Reacher were at one stage both in the military, though they were strangely in opposite corners. It is these series of conundrums that Childs lays out for you that makes the reading irresistible. You know he’s wrong, using your own logic, but using Jack Reacher’s logic, you are the one that is wrong, because you are not such a student of human nature as Reacher is portrayed.
To complicate the situation even further, the accused is set upon in the city jail and ends up with concussion, bleeding into the brain, leading to a coma and multiple fractures.
Other characters include the daughter of the DA trying to make her way in the legal world, a TV anchor lady who is (almost) ready to do anything to be noticed by one of the major networks. Even to the stage of lending her Ford Mustang to Reacher to go off on what might have been a wild goose chase. And someone known as the Puppet Master with his half dozen minions.
Reacher does not manage to go a complete novel without receiving a few body blows himself. He bleeds!
At B. 385 on the Bookazine outlet shelves in Big C Extra, it is an inexpensive read for a weekend, and you will curse every time you are interrupted! If the film is anywhere near as good as the book, it will be a blockbuster!