“The Hard Way” by Lee Child went in a slightly different direction than the other Reacher books. Instead of Reacher rallying himself behind the little guy or even his own interests, he gets roped into a situation where there are bad guys and worse guys. He gets sucked into these circumstances by just being in the wrong place and having to make impossible choices. As the series develops, so does Reacher.
The way that Reacher views himself is curious. “Reacher always arranged the smallest details in his life so he could move on at a split second’s notice. It was an obsessive habit. He owned nothing and carried nothing. Physically he was a big man, but he cast a small shadow and left very little in his wake.” (The Hard Way, pg 2). I think that this is a good example of Reacher not even realizing how he devalues his own worth. But that is kind of how Reacher is, he doesn’t over think it, he just does what is right in his mind and lives for the small luxuries like a hot shower and a cup of coffee. He doesn’t let possessions weigh him down.
“The Hard Way” was slightly darker than the other Reacher books have been. Part of this was the other characters in this book being terrible people and worse people. The other part was Reacher’s resignation to his violent tendencies. “He was calm. Just another night of business as usual in his long and spectacularly violent life. He was used to it, literally. And the remorse gene was missing from his DNA. Entirely. It just wasn’t there. Where some men might have retrospectively agonized over justification, he spent his energy figuring out where best to hide the bodies.” (The Hard Way, pg 475). This quote was dark and badass at the same time, very Reacher. His straight-forward attitude towards everything is endearing, and part of what makes him such a likable character.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely – it was a suspenseful read that I devoured. I think that Lee Child’s writing is highly enjoyable and I love that the further we get into the series, the more we learn about Jack Reacher and why he is the way he is. I’ve already acquired the next book and it is in my short to-be-read pile. I have to force myself to read these books one at a time so that I can really enjoy them. It’s difficult to restrain myself, but I try.