Saturday, 8 October 2016
Make Me by Lee Child book review
As a Jack Reacher, and let's face it, Lee Child fan, I was looking forward to reading the latest JR novel.
Good Reads says: “Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.
Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang . . . so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way—right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.
Walking away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.
When Reacher arrives in this sleepy train stop town, he wants nothing more than an easy distraction for a while, but as soon as he steps foot from the train he is drawn into a mystery. Michelle Chang, a beautiful private investigator, is trying to find out what has happened to Keever, her missing investigative partner, and after initially mistaking Reacher for him, Reacher is intrigued. At first, he doesn't intend to stay, but after a couple of odd incidents during his amble around the town, Reacher decides to help. Little do the residents of Mother's Rest know what kind of man they are dealing with.
There are some excellent descriptions of the town that show us the reader that even the most innocuous seeming hamlets could, and sometimes do, hide dark underbellies.
Child takes his time in revealing what is wrong in the sinister town of Mother's Rest and I loved trying to second guess exactly who was the bad guy and why. As it is slowly revealed that it involves not only a missing partner, but a missing son and a science writer who has unwittingly stumbled onto something bigger than he realised, the mystery deepens as to what this is and who wants this information to disappear and why.
This reads a little different to all those that came before and maybe this is because Child is changing tack slightly to the usual formula, but I enjoyed the subtle changes, like the fact that this time when he head-butts a bad guy, he actually hurts himself for once. For my Mum, the changes meant she didn't enjoy it as much as previous novels, but for me I found it refreshing. It will be interesting to see if the next book returns to the normal or sticks with the new formula.
A who-dunnit thriller that packs a Reacher-sized punch. 4/5
Gratuitous picture of my ecstatic Mum meeting Lee Child at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Festival a couple of years back: