Author: Lee Child
Series: Jack Reacher, book 1
Review: I picked up this novel on a whim from a local bookstore. Sometimes when an author's series takes up two shelves worth, I get awfully curious about it and buy the first book in the series. I've never heard of the author before that day, nor had I seen the movie alluded to on the book jacket.
The book starts out really well and sucks you in almost immediately. We get introduced to Jack Reacher, who's a tough guy, an ex-military cop, and who is wrongfully arrested for a murder in a town that he's just passing through.
There are a number of idiomatic elements in the book. There's a black police detective, a hot female cop who takes a liking to Reacher, and an asshole chief who always gets in the way. The elements work pretty well together and I definitely enjoyed the fast ride that begins the first half of the story.
The part that I didn't enjoy is all the killing that happens in the second half of the book. Things seem to get gruesome just for the sake of being so and the fact that Reacher has no compulsion about killing first and asking questions later made me rather uncomfortable with him as a protagonist. At the end, Reacher's body count is no smaller than that of the bad guys and to me that's a bit of a turn off.
Otherwise, the book is quite well-written, with strong pacing and lots of good "aha" moments in the investigation. There are a few plot points that I thought somewhat shaky, but overall, that's a solid mystery novel that kept me reading well into the night to finish the story.