The tenth installment of Lee Child's Jack Reacher saga (One Shot, The Enemy, Persuader, et al.) is quite possibly one of the best thrillers ever written. Featuring a hard-nosed hero that women want to be with and men want to be -- the 6'5", 250-pound former Army M.P. who "casts a small shadow and leaves very little in his wake" -- the plotline of The Hard Way is pure, unadulterated action, adventure, and attitude.
While waiting for an espresso at a New York City café, Jack Reacher watches a nondescript man get into a silver Mercedes-Benz and drive away. Reacher is unaware that he's just witnessed a perfectly executed ransom scheme that has netted a group of kidnappers a cool million dollars. The next day, Reacher is approached by the kidnappers' mark -- Edward Lane, the leader of a band of combat-hardened mercenaries -- who persuades Jack to help find Lane's abducted wife and daughter. Before he knows it, Reacher is thrust into a dangerous drama where no one is as they seem…
Written in short, emotionally charged chapters that all end with some kind of cliffhanger or plot twist, The Hard Way is virtually possible to put down. It's one of the most perfectly crafted thrillers genre fans will ever read. Brilliant characterization, impeccable pacing, and a masterfully intricate and flawlessly crafted story make this an absolute must-read. Paul Goat Allen
From the Publisher"A Reacher novel is the closest thing to guaranteed joy short of a honeymoon."—Rocky Mountain News
"Reacher, a former Army military police major, is a character like no other. Intuitive, independent, indomitable - he walks softly and carries a very big stick."—The Biloxi Sun Herald
Janet MaslinReading Mr. Child is not only a mentally transporting experience but also, at times, a physical one. Don't be surprised to find your hand replicating the finger movements that tip off Reacher to a keypad matrix's four-digit combination.
— The New York Times
Publishers WeeklyEx-army MP Jack Reacher is contracted by Edward Lane, the leader of a mercenary company, to track and recover Lane's kidnapped wife and daughter. But while Reacher is adept at finding people, this time he's got his work cut out for him, for in this case, the client seems to be just as suspect as the criminal. Hill narrates with a crisp, midrange baritone which effectively, if not spectacularly, conveys Child's prose. For the most part, Hill speaks naturally and clearly, but at times, he seems to exaggerate his enunciation, which results in some stilted passages. He doesn't alter his style much when shifting between dialogue and description, and so conversations are sometimes not as engaging as they could be. While Child's prose reads fine on the page, Hill's interpretation of it seems a bit too smug, which makes even the hero a bit unlikable. Hill's adequate performance will likely be sufficient for the casual audiobook listener but not for connoisseurs. Simultaneous release with the Delacorte hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 27). (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalJack Reacher may know the time to the minute without a watch and bring justice to bear wherever he goes, but this time he does it the hard way, sweating the details and working the clues. Because this time-despite his acute observation and intuition-he makes some wrong assumptions and a mistake that could turn tragic. Watching the passing scene over espresso in a New York caf , Reacher sees something that involves him in the kidnapping of Kate Lane, second wife of Edward Lane, whose first wife, Anne, was also kidnapped and killed, despite FBI efforts. Lane, rich from hiring out ex-military mercenaries, contracts with Reacher, who works covertly with private investigator Lauren Pauling, a retired FBI agent who had led the Anne Lane case. In his tenth outing (after One Shot), Reacher is humanized by both his mistakes-as he finds that both kidnappings are not what they seem-and his relationship with the fiftyish Pauling. Tension builds through plot twists to another riveting finish by Child, who shows again his mastery of the thriller. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/06.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalWith it's sparse yet keenly observant prose, plenty of action, and underlying knowledge that wrongs will be righted and true justice served, The Hard Wayclearly demonstrates why Child (The Enemy) is not only a best-selling author but one who clearly will have thinking listeners eager for his thrillers for years to come. Our flawed hero, ex-army military police major Jack Reacher, is called upon by the mysterious head of a private military corporation to use his bravery, intelligence, dogged investigative skills, and ruthless use of controlled violence to find a kidnapped woman and her daughter in New York City. The listener will be tempted to indulge in the whole work in one sitting after being taken on a roller coaster ride that ends with an unexpected conclusion. Dick Hill's narration is like the characters—real and multidimensional. Highly recommended.
—Scott R. DiMarco
In this slick, swift, sexy thriller, it's Jack Reacher, the thinking man's Rambo, against a band of hand-picked, combat-hardened, armed-to-the-teeth, ex-special services guys, but, hey, there are only eight of them. We're talking Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, Green Beret, British SAS and the like, all now free from their savage services but never from their training. Which is to render people dead without wasted motion or mercy. They're commanded by an ex-U.S. Army colonel who has formed these wacko killers into a group called Operational Security Consultants (read mercenaries), and who may be considerably off-kilter himself. Reacher comes into contact with them all by happenstance. Sitting in a favorite cafe, sipping espresso, he notices something odd about a certain parked car-and is noticed noticing. What he's seen, it turns out, is a car full of ransom money. It belongs to ex-Colonel Edward Lane, whose wife and step-child-Kate and Jade-have been kidnapped. In Reacher's world, however, it's a truism that kidnappings are not always what they appear. Kate, Reacher soon learns, is not Lane's first wife. Nor is she his first wife to be kidnapped. Reacher learns this from a young woman with vengeance on her mind. For four years, Patti Joseph, the first Mrs. Lane's sister, has kept Lane under personal surveillance, convinced that he murdered her sister, intent on making him pay for it. From private eye Lauren Pauling-green-eyed and elegant-Reacher learns more about Lane, none of it redeeming. In and out of bed, Reacher and Pauling form an effective team, mounting a search-and-destroy operation that eventually takes them across the Atlantic to what amounts to an English O.K. Corral. QuintessentialChild (One Shot, 2005, etc.)-preposterous as always, but oh, how those pages keep turning.
Lee Child is the #1 internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel. "Jack Reacher", the film based on the 9th novel, One Shot, stars Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, and David Oyelowo and debuted in December 2012. Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City and the south of France with his wife and daughter. Find out more about Lee Child and the Reacher novels on his official website: LeeChild.com, on Facebook LeeChildOfficial, on Twitter #LeeChildReacher, and YouTube leechildjackreacher.