Monday, 24 April 2017

Night School by Lee Child book review

In the morning, they gave Reacher a medal. And in the afternoon, they sent him back to school.

Night School takes Reacher back to his army days, but this time he’s not in uniform. With trusted sergeant Frances Neagley at his side, he must carry the fate of the world on his shoulders, in a wired, fiendishly clever new adventure that will make the cold sweat trickle down your spine.

This is the 21st Lee Child Jack Reacher thriller and I have to confess to being a little disappointed with this one and I think I have realised what seems to be lacking, there are fewer gripping fight scenes and physical descriptions of Reacher and more about the characters arrogance. Now I can't speak on whether Tom Cruise has a personality to match the new leaning for the character, but it seems as if Child is now writing the novels with the film persona in mind.  Gone are the 'hands like shovels' references that we fans love so well.  Also, there is far less action that set the scene perfectly and more 'look how clever I am at working this out' even though as a reader it seems that most of this is down to coincidence.  Not to mention that this novel has gone back in time, so I would think there would be more fight scenes, not less, as in this novel Reacher would be young and fit again.  Don't get me wrong, I normally like the confidence and his sarcastic one liners are one of my favourite Reacher things, but there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and in the last two novels, the character seems to have crossed it.

Having said that, Neagley being reintroduced was a boon and her character was well drawn.  It was great to see that Child still favours a kick-ass female, as even the messenger was portrayed as far more intelligent than her predecessor.  I enjoyed Neagley so much I wanted more from her in the novel and wonder if Child has thought of writing a spin-off with her as the MC.  I would be first in the queue to buy that and wonder how many of my followers and Lee Child fans would too.

The plot of a Jihadist cell in Hamburg with something stolen from the Army that is worth $100M and an undercover agent that could be in danger of being revealed was interesting enough, but the pace plodded a little for me.

More a mystery than an action thriller.                                                               3.5/5         

#NightSchool #LeeChild         

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