“The Enemy” by Lee Child is the eighth book in the Jack Reacher series. What was fun and different about this book was that it took place further in the past, before Reacher left the army to explore civilian life. That is how we meet him in the first book. Also in the first book (spoiler alert) Reacher finds himself part of a murder investigation and learns that the victim was his brother.
I always found the relationships between Jack and Joe Reacher to be curious. It wasn’t that they didn’t care about one another; they just were never overly close. I consider myself to be very close with my siblings, so I find it hard to believe that one could be so estranged from their brother when there was nothing really wrong there. In “The Enemy” we get to see the Reacher brothers together for the first time and it was a nice change of pace. “Joe was probably the only other human on the planet who liked coffee as much as I did. He started drinking it when he was six. I copied him immediately. I was four. Neither of us has stopped since. The Reacher brothers’ need for caffeine makes heroine addiction look like an amusing little take-it-or-leave-it sideline.” (The Enemy, pg 81).
I really enjoyed how in “The Enemy” we get to learn more about Reacher’s relationship with his brother and his relationship with his mother. While he is trying to figure out who the enemy is that he is battling, Reacher learns that his mother is very sick and dying. Not only did we get to learn about his relationship with his mother, but Joe and Jack learn more about her after she dies. It was really interesting to get a better picture of why Jack Reacher is the way he is, beyond just how he was shaped growing up in the army.
Would I recommend “The Enemy”? Absolutely, I really enjoyed this book. I think that it was brilliant for Lee Child to spend some time on a story that takes place in the past so we could learn more about how Reacher grew into the man we know from the first seven books. I highly recommend this series. It is very well written and I’m already salivating waiting to start the next book, which I’m certain I will devour as well. Lee Child has a real gift for writing and considering there are at least ten more books in the series – I have a feeling that he is just getting started.