The Re-Read that Wasn’t – A review of “Tripwire” by Lee Child

“Tripwire” is the second book in the past month I thought I’d “re-read” only to discover that I either had NOT read it or I’d completely forgotten the plot and all the details, which is highly unlikely. As a diehard Reacher/Lee Child fan I would’ve bet money I’d read them all. Guess I would’ve lost that bet.

“Tripwire” is the third book in the series and the changes in Reacher’s personae from that time to the present are as evident as the changes in technology. Especially noted were the references to pay phones and landlines and the absence of a nod to cell phones or smartphones. Use of a cell phone is included in the story but it sounds like an early model that came in its own bag. I remember those😊

Reacher and Jodie renew their acquaintance at her father’s funeral, her father being General Garber who Reacher served under in the army. They’re trying to find the truth about a helo crash in Viet Nam that supposedly took the life of the only son of an elderly couple who idolized their boy. The army declared him MIA and they’re still hoping he’s alive somewhere.

The plot is complex and complicated with lots of characters brought into the action and the casualties begin to pile up like so much cordwood. Perhaps the most out of character aspect is the relationship that develops between Reacher and Jodie. Today’s Reacher is much more a vagabond loner. But if you keep the timeline in mind, it still works.

In terms of Child’s writing, even then it was as spare and spartan as a monk’s cell, which is not a criticism. On the contrary, it’s one of Child’s greatest strengths as a writer. There is never any wasted, throwaway prose. Every word is essential to tell the story. Yet, as measured as his writing is, it is still replete and rich with details that set the scenes so perfectly the reader can easily visualize the action and its surroundings. That is the mark of a writer’s writer. A rare treat for this reader. Four stars.

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