Jack Reacher, adrift in the hellish heat of a Texas summer.
Looking for a lift through the vast empty landscape. A woman stops, and offers a ride. She is young, rich and beautiful.
But her husband's in jail. When he comes out, he's going to kill her.
Her family's hostile, she can't trust the cops, and the lawyers won't help. She is entangled in a web of lies and prejudice, hatred and murder.
Jack Reacher never could resist a lady in distress.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well, it's okay - the last third is pretty pacy. But up until then the book drags. There's not a lot of action, and worse there's not much plot development between the point A we find at the start of the novel and the point B it ends on.
Lee Child is normally a genius for feeding the reader information: enough to keep us interested and guessing, not enough to spoil twists and turns in the plot. In Echo Burning the entire novel rests on a single, yes-or-no question: Carmen tells Reacher she is being abused by her husband and more broadly his family, but is she being straight with Reacher? This is an intriguing question at first, with evidence supporting both answers,and there are one or two skillful swerves to confuse us along the way. But the question also makes it difficult to sympathise with Carmen, and our engagement in the novel rests on our investment in her plight. In other Reacher novels we are desperate for him to solve the crime, avenge the victim etc. Here I kind of wanted him to walk away. I wanted him to help Carmen, of course, but her situation didn't seem so desperate she needed someone like Reacher involved (at least, not for the bulk of the novel). It's repeatedly brought up that she has other options, so Reacher's devotion to her cause is a little mystifying.
Without being able to do much with such a yes-or-no central question, Lee Child fills in the middle part of the novel by having Reacher get into and out of scrapes which are interesting enough but don't really move the plot along at all, and all seem slightly non-sequitous.
And because the plot is so thin and linear compared to other Reacher novels, coincidences that might seem unremarkable in another book feel more contrived. Without wishing to spoil, it's pretty obvious that an apparently unconnected murder case that someone mentions will become relevant by the climax of the novel.
It's a shame that more wasn't made of some very promising elements. For instance, I liked the part of the novel where Reacher has to turn debt-collecter in order to enlist the local pro bono lawyer's help. I quite like the idea of a Reacher novel with a trials-of-Hercules structure. A straightforward central plot would be fine if supported by interest episodic side-missions and subplots.
Anyway, a decent listen, I never felt tempted to give up on it, and it's certainly worth a punt - though I;d reccomend an abridged version;there's a lot of slack to be cut, unusually for a Child.
Only part one downloaded!
Not the best
I am starting from the beginning on the Jack Reacher audio books, usually look forward to my commute to work so i can catch up with the books , but this book was boring and predictable, I will try the next one in the series and hope it is better.