Lee Child’s Personal – a 2014 Jack Reacher thriller

A review of Lee Child’s latest installment in the Jack Reacher series.

dscn2056Jack Reacher is an enigma. He walks alone, yet he seems to keep finding more than his share of trouble and adventure.

In Lee Child’s latest thriller series, Personal, Reacher answers a newspaper advertisement and finds himself flown across the globe trying to find (and stop) a sniper with a personal vendetta against him, and a possible world leader in his scopes.

Child brings us right into the action by giving a first person point of view narration. He also answers some questions about Reacher’s past, giving us a glimpse into the hero we know him. We discover more about his mother – Joséphine Moutier Reacher, and his greatest failure – Dominique Kohl.

In chapter eighteen, Reacher visits his mother’s grave and shares some insight into where he may have inherited his heroism.

‘What did she do?’

‘Resistance work. Allied airmen shot down in Holland or Belgium were funneled south through Paris. There was a network. Her part was to escort them from one railroad station to the next, and send them on their way.’


‘Most of 1943. Eighty trips, they say.’

‘She was thirteen years old.’

However, it is the chapters explaining Kohl that gives the reader a much needed insight into the beautiful mind that is Jack Reacher. In chapter eleven, he explains to his latest partner, the raw and inexperienced Casey Nice who Kohl was.

Casey Nice asked, ‘Who was she?’

I said, ‘She worked for me. I sent her to arrest a guy. She was captured, mutilated and killed. I should have gone myself.’

All throughout the book, Reacher is tormented by Kohl’s death. His guilt is projected toward Nice whom he feels could find the same fatal fate especially when faced with London’s underground.

Like any Reacher thriller adventure, the story would be incomplete without a massive conspiracy and this paperback edition, published by Transworld Publishers does not disappoint. All 393 pages kept me trying to figure out the conspiracy until the very end.