Book Review: No Middle Name by Lee Child

Posted May 1, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: No Middle Name by Lee Child

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

No Middle Name by Lee Child
Series: Jack Reacher #21.5
Genres: Thriller
Published by Delacorte Press on May 16, 2017
Pages: 418
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Also in this series: MatchUp

Also by this author: "High Heat", Personal, Make Me, "Small Wars", Night School, MatchUp, The Midnight Line, Past Tense, The Hero, Blue Moon, "Cleaning the Gold", The Sentinel

Twelve short stories in the Jack Reacher thriller series, revolving around an ex-MP with super-human deductive skills, a love for a good brawl, and a crusading spirit.

No matter how far Reacher travels off the beaten path, trouble always finds him. Feel bad for trouble.

The Series

“Second Son”, 0.1
“High Heat”, 0.25
“Deep Down”, 0.5
“Small Wars”, 0.8
“James Penney’s New Identity”, 0.xx (Reacher’s a captain)
“Everyone Talks”*
“Not a Drill”, (after he leaves the service)
“Maybe They Have a Tradition”*
“Guy Walks into a Bar”*
“No Room at the Motel”*
“The Picture of the Lonely Diner”*
“Too Much Time”*

* Takes place after Reacher leaves the service.

The Stories

Too Much Time” may find Reacher in trouble in Maine where he figures, “hey, it can’t take too much time to provide a witness statement”. Thank god for Reacher’s deductive powers…whew…

Second Son” is literal as Reacher is the second son of Captain Reacher, a Marine recently posted to Okinawa with his family. A tale that finds Reacher senior facing charges as a traitor and Joe charged with theft until Reacher saves the day in his typical style. Yep, that Reacher, he’s an early butt-kicker supreme, lol.

High Heat” takes place during the ’77 blackout in New York City when Reacher saves the fair damsel from a mobster.

Phew, the tension. It’s the bad guy’s territory, and Reacher is a cocky teenager in a strange city. And the Son of Sam is lurking…

That Reacher, he’s a multitasker and open to the ladies, young and old(er). And yet it ends on such a sad note.

Deep Down” is just that, a deep down undercover operation that is quite shallow for Reacher, lol. He’s just not a subtle guy and he’s quickly made. Unluckily for the traitor, Reacher is brighter than they think.

Small Wars” finds Reacher in charge of a new unit in Georgia when a young officer is murdered. In cold blood. It’s a tricky case…and the killer may be closer to Reacher than he suspects.

It’s a quick adventure without Reacher doing a whole lot other than giving us a peek in at his resolve to do things properly. He brings in Frances to show the current sergeant the ropes and to get things done the way he likes ’em — with Frances taking out a jerk of a local deputy, lol.

James Penney’s New Identity” starts and goes on without Reacher appearing until the end. A sad tale as a man goes on the run from his life, lashing out at his fate, unleashing tragedy on more than he expected. Part of me is so annoyed at Penney and a larger part of me feels his pain, especially as it continues to deepen, poor guy. It’s a very unexpected save with an even more unexpected — and creepy! — Reacher. There is a macabre payback involved as well!

Everyone Talks” is split between Reacher and a newbie detective trying to prove herself. Reacher does what he does best, saving the day.

Not a Drill” is definitely not the usual with Reacher stuck at the start of a wilderness trail that suddenly has yellow caution tape strung across the entrance. It’s a mystery, and it took me a few reads before I could figure out what was really happening. I understand it, but geez…

Maybe They Have a Tradition” is Reacher’s hope when he’s stuck in the English countryside at Christmas during a blizzard. Well, childbirth is a tradition, just not the one Reacher was hoping for, lol.

Guy Walks into a Bar” and Reacher almost screws it up in this bit of misdirection.

No Room at the Motel” finds Reacher trapped in a small southern town at the start of a blizzard. Always practical, he ensures he has a room for the night. Always the good samaritan, he comes to the rescue.

A sweet story with an unexpected ending.

The Picture of the Lonely Diner” creates a bond between Reacher and the obstructive special-agent-in-charge when Reacher crashes a federal operation outside the Flatiron Building in New York City.

It’s another short story with an unexpected ending. So very Reacher-like.

The Cover and Title

Ya gotta love the cover with its gigantic white cup of to-go coffee, filling the gradated red background. All the text is on a slant (all in red but for the author’s name in white) reaching up from left to right. It starts at the top with an info blurb. A band of red on the cup is the background for the author’s name. Below that, the title is framed top and bottom with a line and three stars on the outside of those lines. Below that more lines frame the series information.

The title is a fact, Jack Reacher has No Middle Name.

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2 responses to “Book Review: No Middle Name by Lee Child

  1. It was, Laura. I can’t get me enough Reacher. I love his thought processes, and his analyses of how the fight will go always cracks me up.

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