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Brandpunt by Lee Child
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Brandpunt (original 2001; edition 2010)

by Lee Child, Bob Snoijink

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2,639472,265 (3.84)51
Member:marcovandorst
Title:Brandpunt
Authors:Lee Child
Other authors:Bob Snoijink
Info:Amsterdam Luitingh 2010
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Echo Burning by Lee Child (2001)

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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Jack Reacher always comes up with a good read and plenty of entertainment. Well done, once again, Lee Child. ( )
  Novak | Nov 28, 2014 |
Lee Child has developed a character and a series with a large following who have bought thousands of copies of his books. If you are one of them, that's great. Carry on reading more installments of Jack Reacher's adventures.

If you haven't read Echo Burning or are new to Lee Child, then you should know that this book is painfully awful.

There are no believable people in Echo Burning, only stereotypes. The men are either black hats or white hats, and there's little doubt about who's which. The women are witches, princesses, or non-entities. So reading the book is akin to playing with a child's edition of Sleeping Beauty with pre-perforated punchouts that can be set up on an improvised stage.

This weakness applies to Jack Reacher himself. He's a drifter constantly on the move from one cheap motel to another, travelling always to wherever the next bus is going. He travels with only a toothbrush, which he abandons in Chapter 1 and never replaces. He buys new cheap clothes every few days to avoid laundering the ones he's wearing. It's not clear how he shaves.

We suspect early on that Reacher is a psychopath; any doubt disappears well before the end of the book. This could be interesting if Child made any use of it. He doesn't. Reacher behaves like a psychopath because that's the simplest way parts of the plot will work. Nevertheless he has a girlfriend who lives abroad. How someone with no home, no mailing address, and no phone could even begin a relationship, let alone maintain one, is unexplored.

The writing is sloppy and undisciplined, and so the book is perhaps a third longer than suits its content. Once we've been told in detail about a woman's makeup, we can figure out for ourselves that there will be lipstick on the napkin she uses to dab her lips. All the occurances of the short paragraph, "Reacher said nothing," would fill many pages if collected. Other people also say nothing, so at times the dialogue threatens to fall eerily silent. Reacher becomes especially speechless just when communication would seem to be most necessary. Yet at other times his monologues last for pages. The gunfight --- you already knew there would be a gunfight, didn't you? --- takes place after a long, very busy, horribly hot day and after sunset in the deep darkness of the desert during a violent thunderstorm with torrential, bone-chilling rain. People die. Without a beat, Reacher returns to the ranch house and, as a west Texas version of Miss Marple, settles into the parlour with the survivors. In a debriefing that goes on and on he unravels the plot and unmasks the villain, who is present of course. This is pretty much redundant since, thanks to the big messy handprints that are all over the plot, we knew what was up long before.

So the plotting isn't great either. An early and crucial incident relies on a criminal lawyer who doesn't know his legal rights and can't recognize fake FBI insignia in full daylight. Child makes much of Reacher's uncanny intuition and understanding of the criminal mind. Before anyone knows for sure that one of the victims is even dead, Reacher is able to tell the police exactly where --- in the unmarked desert --- they will find the body. At the end of the book, many pages reconstruct how Reacher uses his little grey cells to figure out which of many nondescript motels the last of the hired killers is holed up in. It doesn't occur to him that the room keys will be in the pockets of the two he has just killed or in their car, which he has stolen and is now riding in.

The surviving killer has a hostage who needs to be rescued. Reacher has intuited the motel, but which is the room? Child doesn't explain why the register is unhelpful here. The units of the motel are built around a central courtyard, unit facing unit, window facing window. Fortunately for Reacher, the highly disciplined professional killer who is holding an unhappy abductee at gunpoint hasn't bothered to pull the drapes. The Hollywood Superman thing happens, the bad guy is knocked out, and the hostage saved unharmed. The state police arrive to haul the bad guy away, at which point they disappear completely --- no witness statements, no evidence team. Reacher continues to use the killers' rented car, which by now is material evidence in five murders, two attempted murders, and two abductions. It's that kind of book.

There are lots of good whodunits and crime thrillers out there. Echo Burning isn't one of them. ( )
  librorumamans | Sep 27, 2014 |
I couldn't help myself. I had to give it five stars. What a great story! Reacher is at his best, providing aid to a woman in distress. Much unfolds, from an abusive marriage to the killing of mexicans crossing the border illegally. He solves it all and tackles his enemies head on. Great stuff Mr Lee. ( )
  nilbett | Jul 17, 2014 |
Love Jack Reacher.
Another tense thriller, this time deep in the heart of Texas, where it was hot, hot, hot and Reacher with the help of a gay lawyer does his utmost to clear an abused wife and mother of shooting her husband. ( )
  gogglemiss | Mar 13, 2014 |
Jack Reacher while hitching a ride in Texas gets picked up by a woman who begs him to kill her abusive husband who is about to be released from prison. She manages to convence him on how horrible her life is as a hispanic woman living in a very begotted town and especially living with her husband's family. Lots of plot twists as Jack investigates and sifts through the lies and evidence to get to the truth. ( )
  Kathy89 | Feb 26, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0515143820, Mass Market Paperback)

Jack Reacher is Spenser before Robert Parker domesticated his Boston PI--in fact, Reacher's even tougher than Hawk. He can inhale and exhale a few times and pump up his muscles so they make a bad character think twice about tangling with him. And he's spent enough time on the right side of the law to know how to operate in the gray zone if that's what it takes to save the fair maiden, punish the bad guys, and right any other wrongs he happens to encounter in the course of his wanderings. Echo Burning is vintage Lee Child, a smartly paced, intricately plotted, and masterfully characterized thriller starring Reacher, the ex-military cop who's so concerned about commitment to anything--a woman, possessions, a permanent address--that he only owns the clothes on his back. But he's the kind of justice-seeking guy you'd want on your side, especially if you were an abused wife trapped in a marriage you can't get out of until, and unless, somebody bumps off your old man.

Reacher's sympathetic, but he's not crazy. Nonetheless, he allows himself to be drawn into beautiful Carmen Greer's orbit, which ought to teach a guy not to hitchhike. Agreeing to protect her from the husband who's about to be released from jail and, according to Carmen, who's about to pay her back for tipping off the authorities to the tax fraud that landed him in prison, Reacher moves into the bunkhouse of the Echo, Texas, ranch that's owned by the bigoted, bitter, but powerful Greer family, which despises Carmen because she's Mexican and tolerates her only because she's Sloop Greer's wife and the mother of his child. The expected bloodshed ensues, but it's Sloop, not Carmen, who ends up with a bullet in his head. Reacher's convinced that Carmen acted in self-defense, even after other evidence comes to light that suggests there's more--and less--to her unhappy tale than even her own lawyer believes. This is the best Jack Reacher yet, smart, stylish, and convincing. If it's your first encounter with Child's work, be sure to check out his backlist--Running Blind, Tripwire, etc. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:13 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Jack Reacher, the vagabond freelance lawman who never hesitates to stick his nose into private business, takes his lively act to Texas, embroiling himself in what starts as a messy domestic dispute before turning far more ominous. The rugged former army cop comes to the aid of Carmen Greer, who picks him up on the side of the road one morning outside Lubbock, then asks him to kill her abusive husband. Sloop Greer is getting out of prison in a few days, and Carmen fears he will start beating her again. Reacher declines, but agrees to protect Carmen, hiring on as a cowhand at the couple's remote ranch in Echo County, Tex., far outside Pecos. Within hours of Sloop's return from prison, where he was serving time for tax evasion, violence strikes. But the victim isn't Carmen; it's Sloop. He's found shot dead, and Carmen is arrested. End of story? Hardly. Most wandering heroes would move on at this point, but not Reacher. He begins taking a hard look at both Carmen and Sloop's past, as well as local history. What he finds ugly secrets, human suffering, political evil is repulsive to a man who's been around as many blocks as Reacher. -- from Publishers weekly.… (more)

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