Becky’s Two Hundred and Forty-Ninth Book Review: “One Shot” by Lee Child

“One Shot” by Lee Child is the ninth book in the Jack Reacher series. Despite having seen the movie that was inspired by this book (and therefore knowing most of the story before having read the book) I couldn’t put “One Shot” down. It seems to be a common problem with the Jack Reacher series.

The book starts off with a sniper taking out five people with six shots. An investigation quickly points to former military sniper James Barr. After his arrest, he gives one statement – you’ve got the wrong guy and get me Jack Reacher. After seeing this story on the news, Jack Reacher makes his way to Indiana to keep the promise he made to James Barr. To the surprise of the attorney defending Barr, Reacher explains that he is not there to clear Barr’s name, but there to make sure that he gets put away for what he did. With Reacher on the case, he realizes that things are not quite as simple as they seemed. The slam-dunk case starts to unravel. Despite coming to help put away James Barr, Reacher cannot suppress the truth.

I found the bad guys in “One Shot” to be particularly interesting. “I would once have killed to eat. And killed was the truth. Linsky had no illusions. None at all. The Zec and he were bad people made worse by experience. Their shared suffering had conferred no grace or nobility. Quite the reverse. Men in their situation inclined toward grace and nobility had died within hours. But the Zec and he had survived, like sewer rats, by abandoning inhibition, by fighting and clawing, by betraying those stronger than themselves, by dominating those weaker.” (One Shot, pg 272). I just thought this was an interesting reflection. It’s not often that someone is so honest. The Zec and Linsky made interesting antagonists.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think Lee Child does an amazing job with Jack Reacher. “One Shot” was no different. I do wish that I had read the book before seeing the movie. That was the only difference with this book over the others I’ve read – I had a general idea of where the story would go and I prefer to be surprised. But it was still a great read and I already put the next book in the series in my to-be-read pile.

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