Book Review: Gone Tomorrow

The best part of readers love thrillers. And no matter what the sub-genre be, thrillers never fail to make them experience the excitement and adrenaline rush vicariously, be it through the various tricky and life-threatening situations the protagonist puts himself in, or through the pure intellectuality and smartness of the story. While I prefer the ones that are more cerebral and psychological in nature, once in a while I make an exception to read raw action thrillers. Yes, I am talking about Jack Reacher.

But who is he? A drifter, a former Major and a relentless civilian vigilante or guardian angel who sorts out all problems no matter how big (and ridiculous) the odds stacked against him turn out to be. At one point in Gone Tomorrow, Reacher reminisces about his old times in the midst of an imminent scuffle between him and the ruffians, the tension very much palpable - "The instructors in the army were always making puns about my reach (because of his long arms), based on my name."

Or, when Reacher, Lee and Mark begin to evade the NYPD and Feds, they wind up in a hotel and later on Lee remarks "We can't live like this indefinitely." To which Reacher responds "We can if we want to. I've lived like this for ten years." Lee, apparently annoyed, hits back "OK, a normal person can't live like this indefinitely." It's moments like these that make the book a very engrossing read.

Narrated in first person (of course, it's Reacher), GT is packed with action, wit and thrills. Reacher takes the NY Subway at night and all's fine until he notices a very suspicious co-passenger who meets his twelve point idea of a 'female' suicide bomber. Puzzled by her choice of timing and place, he approaches her and offers his help. But she commits suicide by shooting herself thus proving him wrong.

Now a witness, Reacher is interrogated by the NYPD and subsequently by the FBI. Also, a gang of four ex-military people believe he is in possession of a valuable information which she shared with him before her death. In the meanwhile, an ambitious senator and ex-military officer John Sansom is running for the US Presidential race who, according to Reacher, is downplaying his military career and suspects his passing allusion to the victim's suicide is more than it meets the eye and gets into action to investigate the whole matter.

With switchback plotting and frictionless prose, Lee Child proves yet again why his Reacher novels continue to retain its charm among readers even after fifteen years. Reacher, in this thirteenth instalment, remains as enigmatic and larger-than-life as ever and his technophobic discourses (Now everyone carries small electronic devices named after fruits or trees, he says referring to BlackBerrys and Apple iPhones) are a pleasure to read through.

The other characters don't really have much to do, as it's Reacher in each and every single frame of the story. Child's unique way of playing out the action sequences down to the nitty-gritty stand out in this brilliant fictive. Though the conspiracy plot is quite formulaic, the suspense elements have been treated with aplomb. This 2009 thriller from Lee Child is very uncharacteristic of the NY Subway car R142A which travels at a speed of 89 km/hr simply because it moves much faster than that. Gone Tomorrow, altogether, is time well-spent!

Comments

  1. "We can't live like this indefinitely. To which Reacher responds We can if we want to. I've lived like this for ten years. Lee, apparently annoyed, hits back OK, a normal person can't live like this indefinitely"

    I too like Lee Child Book's for these kind of things. :) Its beens sometime since I have read a Lee Child,maybe i ll get this one..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha :) You won't be disappointed!

    ReplyDelete

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