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By Lee Child

Putnam, (July, 1999), hardcover, 343 pages. $23.95

Reviewed by Sue Johnson

Jack Reacher was an Army brat. He had never lived anywhere but army bases. Then he joined the army and became a Major with the military police. But now he is out of the army. Footloose and fancy free, Reacher ends up in Key West, Florida. He is making a living by digging swimming pools during the day and being a bouncer in a strip club at night.

Reacher is quite content until a private detective named Harry Costello comes looking for Jack Reacher. Reacher lies and avoids him. The next morning Costello is found dead with all of his fingertips neatly sliced away.

Who is looking for Reacher? Reacher feels that he owes it to the dead Costello to discover what is behind the gruesome death. The trail soon leads to Jodie Jacobs, the daughter of his former commander, Leon Garber. What was her father working on before his death?

Reacher takes up where Leon had left off, trying to solve the mystery of an old couple's missing son. Victor Truman Hobie was lost in Vietnam but never listed as MIA or never named on the Vietnam Memorial. Why not?

And who is murderously trying to keep Reacher from discovering the answer?

In order to avenge Costello's death and solve the riddle of the missing Vietnam soldier, Reacher comes up against the most ruthless, sadistic, and cunning killer of his career.

Lee Child's is a former television writer who has created the character Jack Reacher. This is the second Reacher novel that I have read. It is the third in a series. He writes a good novel of suspense and terror. However I would not recommend his books to the weak of heart. His violent scenes are quite descriptive. His character Reacher is well written. He is a tough former army officer who also has a tender side.

Other titles by this author include: DIE TRYING and KILLING FLOOR.

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