By Jeff Ayers Associated Press
“Personal” (Delacorte Press), by Lee Child
Jack Reacher reads an ad in a newspaper left on a bus and knows it was meant for him in “Personal,” Lee Child’s latest thriller to feature his larger-than-life hero.
The ad specifies that he call a particular individual. Less than an hour after he contacts military man Rick Shoemaker, Reacher is on a flight to an unknown destination.
An assassination attempt on the president of France has failed, thanks to bulletproof glass. The shot came from an extremely long distance, and only a few people in the world could successfully make the shot. The military wants Reacher’s opinion on likely suspects, and he can think of only one person: John Kott. Reacher arrested him 15 years ago for murder and he’s still in jail, or so Reacher believed. When he learns that Kott is out of prison — and has a personal vendetta against him — Reacher reluctantly agrees to help. Is Kott the sniper who is responsible for the attempt on the French president’s life? Or is something even more sinister at work?
Reacher gets to explore Europe this time around, and the fish-out-of-water scenario mixed with the fear of cross hairs focused on him makes for an intriguing and different story from Child.
The final confrontation between Reacher and Kott is a bit of a letdown after an amazing buildup. Still, Child is the best thriller writer in the business, and “Personal” is sure to be on the best-seller lists.