The books I had taken on a holiday up in the mountains were finished, so I poked around on my host’s book-shelves.
“Is this one any good ?” I asked, holding up a copy of “One shot”.
“Um, don’t know, can’t remember. Let me have a look.”
Re-reading the enthusiastic blurb on the back cover, my host said, a tad dubiously “Yes, I think so. Sort of forgettable, but good.”
And so it was.
I have to admit that I had never heard of Lee Child, and felt suitably chastened and humbled when I read a quote from Bill Clinton.
As in the Bill Clinton. “I love Jack Reacher.”
Jack Reacher, in case there are any more un-Lee-Child-savvy people out there, is the hero of what would appear to be a torrent of successful novels.
“One Shot” is easy holiday reading, though rather too detailed in a bloke-y way for me, to be honest. There’s a lot of technical talk about guns and ammo, so you get passages like the following :
“It was a Springfield M1A Super Match autoloader, American walnut stock, heavy premium barrel, ten shot magazine, chambered for the .308…It was loaded with Lake City M852s…”
You take my point.
It’s a good entertaining whodunnit with characters who all act as they should do – criminal Russian mafia, corrupt city officials, brave heroine, laconic hero – and the plot is clever, if a tad convoluted at times.
And the writing is as rapid-fire as the many bullets that feature in the novel.
“The man with the rifle drove north. Not fast, not slow.” Lots of sentences without verbs, presumably to give a staccato effect.
A good holiday read. No more, no less, as Lee Child might well have put it.
The paperback is published by Bantam Books and costs £7.99.
To buy the book right now, simply click on one of the links below.
Couldn’t be easier. (This Reacher speak is quite addictive…)