Let's get this straight - this isn't deep. It's not literary. But when I wanted a light read at my in-laws over Christmas, this was just about perfect. It's not taxing, but neither is it the incredibly short chapters and no-mystery-at-all of a James Patterson book. In fact, Child pulled off the difficult trick of making me think that my first instinct about the bad guy was wrong, and then having it be true after all. That's a good move - the staple of J.K. Rowling, when it came to Snape.
And the misleading was subtly done. I was quite appreciative when things became more clear.
So yeah, solid thriller/mystery. Jack Reacher gets marooned in a small Midwestern town in the midst of a terrible winter, just a new prison has been built, and a local witness is under threat from a faraway drug lord. Also, there's a mystery military bunker outside of town that the bikers have set up shop outside of. Reacher ends up pulled into the world of the local police to protect retired librarian Janet Salter, whilst trying to figure out what the military built that has been so utterly forgotten, and what possible importance it could have to those occupying it now.
And again, I didn't see either of those two answers coming, but they were satisfactory when they came.
Reacher is an interesting character, and the people who populated the small town were well-written and distinct. The notion of a travelling hero is an intriguing one, and I think it worked very well in this book, although I have no idea if it's getting a bit repetitive.
I've now read the first Jack Reacher book and this one. I'll probably delve into reading more - not with any haste, but if they come my way, I'm more than happy to pick them up and devour them. Unlike James Patterson books, which have been relegated to the "thanks but no thanks" pile, which is reserved for authors I don't hate, but couldn't care less about.
And of course, the book ends on a cliffhanger, which intrigues me, but doesn't fill me with any sense of urgency to pick up the next book. It's one where the outcome is totally dependent on how the author feels about the series, and I'll probably find out eventually, but in good time. Lee Child sits solidly in the interesting, but not addictive category.