“Running Blind” by Lee Child is the fourth book in the Jack Reacher series. It starts off the same as the rest of the Jack Reacher books – you are immediately pulled into the story. I like how the book opens with the bad guy narrating. “Suppose you wanted to kill people. You would need to know ahead of time how to do it. That part is not too difficult. There are many ways. Some of them are better than others. Most of them have drawbacks. So you use what knowledge you’ve got, and you invent a new way. You think, and you think, and you think, and you come up with the perfect method.” (Running Blind, pg 2). I liked how cold and detached this person was when describing killing people. It was evident from the start that this was a very intelligent – albeit fucked up – individual.
SPOILER ALERT: I’M GOING TO DISCUSS EVENTS THAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE THIRD JACK REACHER NOVEL, “TRIPWIRE”
In the last book, Reacher was reunited with a woman that he had grown to love when he was younger but always looked at as untouchable. They finally got over the idea that their feelings were one-sided and the book ended on a ‘happily-ever-after’ note. Reacher even found himself with a house that her father left him. He went from being out of the army for a few years and living the life of a drifter, to someone with a house, a girlfriend, and a life that he wasn’t sure he really wanted. It is a difficult thing to connect with, at least for me, to not want to be attached to any one place. I think this quote helps to show how Reacher feels about the house: “…but it represented a big problem. It anchored him in a way which made him profoundly uncomfortable. Being static disconcerted him. He had moved around so often in his life it confused him to spend time in any one particular place. And he had never lived in a house before. Bunkhouses and service bungalows and motels were his habitat. It was ingrained.” (Running Blind, pg 63). It’s something I’ve never really thought about, but if that is what you’ve known your whole life then it makes sense that you might not want anything different.
While dealing with the idea of owning a house and everything that goes along with it, Reacher finds himself pulled into yet another mess. I found this whole situation infuriating. The FBI pulls him in to help investigate women being murdered, and they threaten him until he agrees to help. The way that they went about everything just made me so angry, and the fact that no one would listen to him just added to that. At the same time, Reacher certainly made sure to push their buttons whenever he got the chance.
I really like how we are learning more about Reacher in each book. His character continues to develop as we follow him. “Reacher made no reply. It was a technique he had perfected half a lifetime ago. Just stand absolutely still, don’t blink, say nothing. Wait for them to run through the possibilities…wait for them to start worrying.” (Running Blind, pg 375). There are aspects that we as the readers already know and come to expect – such as this quote where Reacher is utilizing his perfected patience to get answers – but Lee Child continues to develop Reacher beyond that, which I really enjoy.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think that there are many great things about the Jack Reacher series. One of them is that the books are a thrill ride that will hook just about any reader. Then there is the fact that the books, so far, continue to develop Reacher as a character and keep things interesting. Just when you think you know the direction the book is going to take, Lee Child throws a curve ball at you. “Running Blind” kept me hooked and once again, I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.