Review : The Hard Way

by Lakshmikanth Koundinya on November 26, 2012

The Hard Way
Author: Lee Child
Publisher: Random House Publishers India
Year: 2011
ISBN: 9780857500137
Rating: ★½☆☆☆
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The last time I actually got thrilled by a thriller was when I read Sherlock Holmes. While it’s quite blasphemous to compare Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with Lee Child, this book, my first of Jack Reacher series, even fails to reach the levels of those by John Grisham, Jeffry Archer and Sydney Sheldon.

This book gives an impression that the author was compelled to write a thriller exactly as prescribed by an external force that gave him neither choice nor time to either contemplate on or refine his writing.

Insignificant and unnecessary details, desperate and deliberate attempts to open up possibilities and repeated mentioning of the protagonist’s illogical ability of telling the time without the help of a watch are some of the tests which the reader’s patience should face. With very low literary value this book indubitably repels the lovers of language and literature. Though the author somehow managed to justify titling this book The Hard Way, I feel it’s extremely apt for an entirely different reason.

Coming to the plot, Lane is an affluent leader of a group of mercenaries. His wife gets kidnapped and Jack Reacher, the protagonist witnesses the collection of ransom money. This gets Jack involved and he volunteers to help Lane. As the story progresses he comes to know that Lane’s former wife suffered the same fate as the present one before her death. He teams up with a comely private detective who believes that the culprit behind all kidnaps is Lane himself. One has to read this book to know who kidnapped Lane’s wives and why.

Short sentences, conversational style and large print make this a very quick read provided that opening up of the plot interests you in the first place. Apart from sudden downpour of violence in the end, this book is no disappointment for ardent lovers of action and like every other thriller, offers a surprising twist for those who can’t predict it and intellectual satisfaction for those who can.

The movie Jack Reacher, based on Lee Child’s protagonist in another plot, starring Tom Cruise is scheduled to release in India on January 4, 2013. Watching it would prove useful as Tom Cruise would enhance the reader’s envisagement of the protagonist and might make this book more interesting.

Written by Lakshmikanth Koundinya

Of Poe’s heart, Russell’s brain, Wilde’s thought and Rand’s strength – a hedonic wanderer and enchantress’ apprentice in the world of Literature

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