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.

To wit: “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. (Gosh, this Reacher speak is quite addictive…)


  1. Lee Child’s Hero Jack Reacher makes ideal 50 minutes train commute reading! I have only got them from my local library, andt they are as you say fast and furious and not too taxing on the half asleep early morning or post work brain!


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