The Enemy

19. The Enemy by Lee Child. 496 p. Published April 2005.

It’s New Years Night, 1990, and the Berlin Wall has just fallen. Jack Reacher, an MP Major in the U.S. Army, has just been transferred out of Panama and the search for Noriega to command a base in North Carolina. Still pondering this strange change in orders, Reacher is called out to a seedy motel where a Two-Star General has suffered a fatal heart attack, apparently mid-visit with a prostitute. Even stranger is that this general is half-way around the world from his post in Germany and it appears his briefcase has gone missing. But Reacher doesn’t suspect foul play until the day after, when he and Summer, a female MP from the base, go to notify the General’s wife, only to find that she’s been murdered.

Reacher’s investigation into the General’s demise is cut short when the body of a Delta Forces soldier is found on base in an obvious show of aggravated homicide. But Reacher’s new CO – a sudden overnight shift – orders him to cover up both investigations, threatening to implicate Reacher himself if he does otherwise. And now another body – the commanding officer of the Delta Force himself – has turned up in an apparent drug-deal gone bad.

Summer and Reacher dodge around the globe, from Germany to California and into the Pentagon itself, to track a killer and find out what links these four victims. In doing so, Reacher uncovers a failed plot that risks to future of the Army and finds an enemy far more powerful than he had considered.

The Enemy is apparently the eigth Reacher book, but because of the time frame, I thought it was the first. Even so, it’s a pretty good stand alone mystery. Reacher is an enjoyable character – the upstanding rogue type. The situations are realistic, the story well plotted, and the intrigue bears the reader at a decent pace. Child’s game seems to be pretty standard and I can appreciate the lack of serious surprise twists in her storytelling. It’s nice to have a simple mystery to figure through once in a while.

Rating: 3 out of 5

In The Woods

11. In The Woods by Tana French. 429 p. Published May 2007.

In The Woods

Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox have been called to Knocknaree, a Dublin suburb, where the body of Katy Devlin, a 12 year old local, is found in the middle of an archeological digsite. On top of an old druidic sacrificial alter. Of course, most of Ireland remembers a similar case in Knocknaree 20 years prior, where three children went missing and only one returned, found soaked in blood. What no one knows is that Ryan was that boy. Now the two detectives must burrow through suspects and motives both old and new in an effort to find who murdered Katy and whether they’re linked to the dissapearance of Ryan’s childhood friends.

As French’s debut novel, In the Woods is a spectacular achievment. Normally, text so descriptive quickly loses the reader’s attention. But instead, French manages to captivate, using quick unabashed wit to maintain constant interest in the narrative. As the novel progresses and Ryan and Maddox comes closer to solving the case, French’s depiction of their actions and relationship reflect the vivid changes each are going through.

All in all, I enjoyed this book, even if the ending left me feeling unfulfilled. But then again, I believe this reflects French’s efforts to portray the reality of the situation, where the case concludes with certain questions unanswered.

An amazing excerpt from In The Woods can be read here.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Other Reviews of In The Woods: In Which Our Hero, Fresh Library