Book Review: The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child

Posted November 25, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Book Review: The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew 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.

The Sentinel by Lee Child
Series: Jack Reacher #25
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
Published by Delacorte Press on October 27, 2020
Pages: 353
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audibles
Also in this series: MatchUp

Also by this author: "High Heat", Personal, Make Me, "Small Wars", Night School, MatchUp, The Midnight Line, Past Tense, No Middle Name, The Hero, Blue Moon, "Cleaning the Gold"

The twenty-fifth in the Jack Reacher thriller series and revolving around Reacher, a retired army major drifting across the country, righting wrongs with mathematical precision.

My Take

I reckon it’s adding Andrew Child in as an author that has resulted in Reacher calculating his moves and his odds so much more. Not that I’m objecting all that much. It’s part of what I love about Reacher, his analytical assessments *grin*.

It is promising, as Lee Child intends to retire after a few more books, but, thank god, he’s thinking about us anxious readers, and he’s prepping his brother to take over the Jack Reacher series.

We discover that Reacher is thinking more about music…and he’s starting to change his direction, all because of third person protagonist point-of-view from Reacher’s perspective.

It’s certainly an interesting start with Rusty whining about the injustice, as the Childs lead you down that “postal-worker” expectation only to do a 180. And that ain’t the only 180! As for Reacher, his start is sweet and short with all the results I’ve come to expect. His negotiations were quite additive and so dang funny…and ain’t that the truth about the music business.

As for Reacher’s exacting approach to words, one word, one thing I gotta say…ROFLMAO. His responses to Goodyear? Oh, yeah, lol. Gotta give Goodyear one thing; he can roll out those inanities with a straight face.

“I advise you to take this process seriously, Mr Reacher.”

“Why? You’re not.”

That second time we encounter Speranski? Omigod. Almost made me throw up. And there was a bit of foreshadowing I never saw. His further “conversation” makes me think of Trump and his fake news. The Childs talk about conspiracy theories, sowing discord and division, undermining mainstream media, eroding faith in the election, and more. Hoo boy. Later on, the truth about why this conspiracy is going on is so relevant to this year’s election! Whoa.

It is scary how easily the entire town is manipulated. It’s also scary how uninterested the cops and FBI are in protecting Rusty. Even worse, the lack of foresight by the town’s government.

I’m of two minds about Reacher being such a Luddite. It’s practical for his way of living, but dang, it sure comes in handy during this sort of op. And if it don’t make ya think about backing up your computer and installing an anti-virus program…you just ain’t right.

Such a minor thing, that could take down a huge operation. Goes right along with all those little red herrings the Childs plant, sending my heart a pit-a-pat, as I worry.

With people like Goodyear and the FBI, and ya wonder why people don’t trust the cops?

There’s plenty of action, and it’s definitely driven by Reacher’s character.

And thank god for Reacher, as it’s scary how one man can own a town.

The Story

He’s a wild card no one expected. He’s also the only man who thinks Rusty Rutherford is getting a raw deal, and the more Reacher sees, the more he intends to protect Rusty.

The Characters

A former major in charge of the 110th MP Special Investigation unit, Jack Reacher is seeing America his way. No luggage. No expectations. Joe had been his brother; their mother French. Frances Neagley had been one of Reacher’s “men”.

Rusty Rutherford used to be Pleasantville’s IT manager. Not no more. Mitch is his traveling neighbor. Sarah Sands is a former FBI cyber crimes expert and a computer programmer friend of Rusty’s.

Pleasantville PD
John Goodyear is the town’s only detective. Officer Rule is so angry about her department’s indifference.

Special Agent Wallwork is partnered up with Margaret “Mags” Fisher.

Henry Klosterman, a businessman interested in genealogy, owns the Spy House. Anya is his housekeeper. Heinrich had been Henry’s father.

Speranski is the boss. One of his teams includes Vasili who’s a driver, Anatole, the in-charge Natasha, Petya, Ilya, and Sonya. Amongst others working for Speranski, Marty runs some nasty errands. Denisov is a heavy hitter from Russia. Natalia Matusak was a wife and mother.

Derek Lockhart owns a bar.

There’s Rusty’s favorite diner where Holly work as a waitress. “Bob” is Holly’s jerk of a boyfriend with his own agenda. Cerberus is the security program Rusty and Sands are working on with such unexpected results. Siobhan is the Irish girl Rusty had hoped to marry, when he was six. Toni Garza is a journalist who goes missing. The Sentinel is a computer program that disrupts Russian computer attacks. Polk is in charge of the garbage dump. Dave Thomassino is a delivery guy to the dump. Bill Rudnick owns Fat Freddie‘s, a diner with a good rep. I do like Reacher’s reasoning about ol’ Bill. Norm runs one heckuva fort for self-storage. Steve is a guard at the storage place. Carmichael is a day clerk at the motel; Chuck runs another motel. Zach is a disposable skinhead, an easily duped good ol’ boy. Artur and Kamil Klich are the brothers whose activities inspired the name of the Spy House. Krystian Klich had been their sister. Diane Smith works at the Oak Ridge Laboratory.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a crisscross of gray highway against the blue twilight of a forested background. At the very top is an info blur in yellow with the series info below it in an embossed white. The primary author is huge in an embossed bright yellow with the secondary author below that in the same style and color. Beneath that is the title in an embossed white.

The title is the focus and yet the least mentioned: The Sentinel.

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5 responses to “Book Review: The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child

  1. John Ziebarth

    Two or three years ago I read my first Lee Child Jack Reacher novel and liked it. I then bought all his books and read them all without any major disappointments. A couple days ago I bought The Sentinel and looked forward to another Reacher novel. What a disappointment. It was a convoluted story line with Reacher somehow working his way into being a sort of a lead in an FBI investigation involving Russians and Nazis. There were inconsistencies in the book that a good proofreader should have caught. The fight scene descriptions appeared to be written by someone with no fighting knowledge. Had this been the first Reacher book I had read I would never have bought the previous ones.

    • I hear ya, John. It’s definitely not the usual, and I’m trying to be positive. With luck Lee Child’s brother will catch on and Reacher will keep on keepin’ on.

  2. Jurgen Reid

    I love the Reacher series, I’ve read them all numerous times and strangely find their familiarity a comfort. I eagerly look forward to each November with avid anticipation of the next instalment BUT oh no, oh no, oh no no no no no this is horrific 😱😱😱

    Lee, what on earth have you done to our hero, what happened to your prose, style and panache. I only managed to get as far as Jack getting out at the coffee shop and had to throw it in the bin, so sad, Jack’s dead to me, how will we ever carry on, you get the picture???

  3. Sam Schley

    As an enthusiastic fan of the series, the jarring transitions in style, plot and substance really stood out as i tried to read the Sentinel. Random floods of exposition tried to knit together long stretches of rhetorical flourish that advanced neither plot nor character development. Punctuated by jarringly inconsistent dialogue from Reacher, I got the sense that dual authorship aside, this book really needed an experienced editor. BERY DISAPPOINTING – especially if this is the intended transition path for Lee Childs’ “retirement”.

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