Nothing to Lose
Two small towns in Colorado: Hope and Despair. Between them, nothing but twelve miles of empty road. Jack Reacher can't find a ride, so he walks. All he wants is a cup of coffee. What he gets are four redneck deputies, a vagrancy charge and a trip back to the line.
Reviewed on 2nd January 2012
The second weak Jack Reacher story in a row, this novel tells of his visit to the towns of Hope and Despair in deepest Colorado. As the name suggests, Hope is lovely, but Despair triggers all Reacher's warning bells, and he sets out to find out what's going on.
I think what disappoints me about this book is that Reacher's motivation is only curiosity and his own petty vendetta, and as such there's no real goal to what he's doing - unlike most of the books in the series where he is motivated by his morals, or to protect someone. In terms of the plot, nothing becomes clear until very near the end, so this just makes the character look like a bit of a prat.
The other characters are fairly depthless again, with one exception, and I am left wondering why this novel is presented in third person and not the first person that some of the books are - as a reader you are tied to Reacher's viewpoint for the entire story - at least in a first-person narrative it would be excusable that the other characters are barely fleshed out.
Overall, I found this book slow going - I just couldn't get into it enough to absorb a large chunk at a time and so it's lasted at least twice as long as expected. I don't think it's Child's best work, and I hope that the most recent novels which follow will be improvements.