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The Enemy (Jack Reacher, No. 8) by Lee Child
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The Enemy (Jack Reacher, No. 8) (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Lee Child (Author)

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3,859542,088 (3.94)74
Jack Reacher. Hero. Loner. Soldier. Soldier's son. An elite military cop, he was one of the army's brightest stars. But in every cop's life there is a turning point. One case. One messy, tangled case that can shatter a career. Turn a lawman into a renegade. And make him question words like honor, valor, and duty. For Jack Reacher, this is that case.… (more)
Member:TimothyImholt
Title:The Enemy (Jack Reacher, No. 8)
Authors:Lee Child (Author)
Info:Delacorte Press (2004), 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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The Enemy by Lee Child (2004)

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BOTTOM-LINE:
Nice backstory, weak mystery
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PLOT OR PREMISE:
Jack Reacher is still in the military and gets transferred out of Panama just before New Year's Eve, 1989. The Berlin Wall is falling, Panama is heating up with Noriega, and Reacher is watching grass grow at his new post, until a General drops dead at a seedy motel.
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WHAT I LIKED:
The story gives more of Reacher's back story, and it is interesting to see the "man alone" working within a command structure with others. And it is an interesting premise -- what do you do in the military when the future looks like you're about to become obsolete? The supporting characters were good, and it was nice to see Reacher with his brother and mother. At the end, there is a twist about an error Reacher makes early on that comes back to bite him, and it is a great element to keep. The aftermath is kind of abrupt, with who went where and what happened next, but hard to avoid in a "flashback" style story.
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WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
The premise for the story is a little far-fetched, but when they get to the final reveal, the real specific motive is ridiculous as the people involved would never have done what they did, at least not on paper, and not openly. Reacher stumbles around in the dark long past where certain lines of enquiry should have been obvious, and particulalry for the identify of a specific witness. And the killer.
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DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him / her on social media. ( )
  polywogg | Nov 3, 2019 |
I had previously read this book 10 years ago, and couldn't really remember much about it other than a vague feeling of satisfaction over how it ended. Re-reading it now, I didn't really have any memories of where things went or the plot line so it was almost like reading it fresh (I had read another 1,100 books between then and now, so it's not as if the book is unmemorable in it's own right).

The story itself fits in early to the Jack Reacher chronology, being the first full length novel after the prequel short stories & novella, although in publishing order it's eighth. I quite enjoyed the way things unfolded and the air of mystery and seemingly conflicting information that muddled the investigation as events unfolded.

Overall, an excellent military police procedural novel. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Oct 3, 2019 |
I wonder if I should be reading these in order? I read #1 first but now this is #8. Oh well, I'm living on the edge! Lol ( )
  LizBurkhart | Sep 5, 2019 |
Synopsis: Major Gen. Kenneth Kramer dies of a heart attack in a seedy North Carolina motel, apparently while in the company of a prostitute. MP Maj. Jack Reacher investigates and comes to the conclusion that the woman Kramer was with stole his briefcase. Reacher's superior, Col. Leon Garber, orders him to deliver news of the general's death to his wife. Accompanied by a female officer, Lieutenant Summer, Reacher travels to her house in Virginia. When they arrive, however, they find evidence of a break-in, as well as Mrs. Kramer's body.
Reacher returns to the bar across the street from the motel in an attempt to identify the alleged prostitute. He gets into a fight with a bouncer, breaking his knee. Afterwards, Reacher is told by the motel's night clerk that he heard a military vehicle leaving after Kramer's death, and Reacher concludes that the woman Kramer was with is a female army officer. He is later confronted by two officers, Col. Coomer and Brigadier Gen. Vassell, members of Kramer's staff, who inquire about the briefcase but leave after Reacher mentions Ms. Kramer's death.
Later, a Delta Force soldier, Christopher Carbone, is found murdered in a manner that suggests he was gay. Garber is suddenly transferred to a new command in South Korea and replaced with Col. Willard, a deeply unpleasant bureaucrat who instructs Reacher to write off Carbone's death as an accident. He also reveals that Carbone filed a complaint against Reacher accusing him of assaulting the bouncer, and that he intends to use it as evidence that Reacher killed Carbone unless he closes the investigation quickly.
Shortly thereafter, another murder is reported: David Brubaker, Carbone's CO, is shot dead in a Columbia alleyway with money and heroin in his pocket. Believing that the two murders are connected, Reacher and Summer focus on the one thing missing from Kramer's newly recovered briefcase: the printed agenda from a conference he was supposed to attend for members of the armored divisions. Coomer and Vassell deny that such an agenda exists, and Willard begins to turn up the pressure on Reacher, forcing him to rely on his wits, contacts in the military police, and years of experience as he tries to unravel the true reason why Kramer's briefcase was stolen.
In the midst of it all, he receives a call from his older brother Joe informing him that his elderly mother Josephine has passed away from cancer in Paris. Despite having been assured by Josephine earlier that she was ready to die, Reacher feels her loss immensely.
After returning to the United States with Summer following his mother's funeral, Reacher secures a meeting with the Chief of Staff, and reveals his findings: with the collapse of the Soviet Union imminent, the army is preparing to downsize its armored units in favor of infantry, and Kramer and his fellow officers, not wanting to lose their prestigious jobs and perks, were preparing to orchestrate an elaborate public relations and lobbying scheme to persuade Congress and the American people to reject the plan. Having foreseen this, the Chief admits that he arranged for twenty of the army's best investigators, including Reacher, to be assigned to specific posts across the world on a specific day, using forged orders from Garber, so that they would be in a position to prevent such manipulations. He provides Reacher with evidence of his claims, and notes that the Secretary of Defense was also working with the plotters.
Reacher deduces that Kramer was gay, and that he met Carbone at the motel, who stole his briefcase when he passed away and informed Brubaker of the contents. He also set up Reacher to be charged with assault to cover his tracks. Coomer and Vassell, eager to recover the briefcase, set up an exchange between Carbone and their gofer Maj. Marshall; Marshall killed Carbone and then murdered Brubaker as well before he could use the information. He also killed Ms. Kramer while searching her house for the case; Reacher realizes that Marshall also had a relationship with Kramer and killed his wife out of anger and jealousy.
Reacher travels to California and arrests Vassell and Coomer for conspiracy to commit homicide. He then travels to a firing range in the Mojave Desert where Marshall is conducting firing exercises to arrest him as well. Marshall attempts to commit suicide by maneuvering the tanks into firing on his position, but Reacher shoots him in the shoulder and takes him into custody. The missing agenda is subsequently retrieved from Carbone's billet: it contains a plan to assassinate eighteen prominent infantry officers, including many rising stars, to cripple their modernization efforts. The evidence is turned over to military authorities, and the accused are sentenced to life imprisonment for their crimes.
Reacher is informed that, due to the charge filed by Carbone, he will be demoted to captain unless he denies it, which his lawyer encourages him to do. Instead, Reacher accepts the charge to avoid disgracing Carbone's memory further, and looks forward to serving on the front lines again. Before accepting his new command, he tracks down the corrupt Willard and executes him in his own house, planting drugs on the body to hide his involvement. The story ends with Reacher reflecting on the fact that he never saw Summer again despite hearing that she also received a promotion to captain.
Review: While the entire story is rather riveting, the ending falls flat. It's like Child gets to his word minimum and simply puts, The End. ( )
  DrLed | Apr 15, 2019 |
I do enjoy the Jack Reacher series. This one takes a step back in time and chronologically takes place before the previous six books. It's January 1, 1990. Reacher is still in the army and he's got a dead general and soon afterwards, several other bodies on his hands.

This is full of conspiracy and unsurprisingly Reacher taking his own unsanctioned path to the truth. There are several parts of the mystery that are sure to intersect but at the beginning it's unclear quite how. This one was much more a police procedural (well, as procedural as Reacher is willing to be anyway) than some of the other books in the series what were more action thriller type books.

I enjoyed the look back to Reacher's army days and the setting at the end of the Cold War was interesting. I liked Lieutenant Summer - she was a good assistant/accomplice for Reacher.

The secondary plot involving Reacher's brother and mother filled in quite a bit of background about both him and his family.

This would actually work well as a starting point book for those new to the series. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Jun 28, 2018 |
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Dedicated to the memory of Adele King.
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As serious as a heart attack.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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