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Persuader
Persuader By Child, Lee Book - 2013 | Dell mass market edition

This review discusses two Lee Child novels in the Reacher series: The Persuader (pub. 2017) and Past Tense (pub. 2019)
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I was fascinated to read several negative reviews of Past Tense; including one that suggested that it was not up to par with author Lee Child's previous work and another that said it was a 'same-old' plot line for a Jack Reacher thriller. Suffice it to say I disagree wholeheartedly with both, and here is why:
I took a bit of a Reacher break after A Wanted Man (pub. 2012), to which I gave halfhearted reviews. The first I picked up thereafter was Make Me (pub. 2015), which I very much enjoyed and blame for a certain amount of bedtime anxiety I experienced in the months following. A few months later it was The Midnight Line (pub. 2017); this choice influenced mostly by what I was finding available on library shelves, but one I found rewarding if not spectacular.
More recently I’ve delved more deeply into my neighbors’ shelves, as here in Portland, Oregon we have a wonderful network of little lending libraries where anyone can take or leave a book at will, with no commitment or paperwork of any kind. Someone in my ‘hood is obviously a Reacher fan and I have unearthed The Persuader (pub. 2017) and Past Tense (pub. 2019) in immediate and pulse-quickening succession; in such a way that I had hardly put down the former before picking up and finishing the latter. Thus, I am combining the two reviews here:
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Both of these titles bring me fully back into the Lee Child camp, I believe fully again both in Reacher and that the world may somehow be OK, despite all the baddies out there. The Persuader is a legitimate heart-accelerating page turner, even if the more assiduous Reacherites will notice some plot similarities between this and at least one previous Child creation. Nothing worthy of a Pulitzer, but a lot of ways to be entertained, and I highly recommend it.
Past Tense is a different animal in the Child stable, not because it is lacking the signature quick readability and accessible excitement that the English author has built a career upon (it has both), but because it’s the first Reacher novel I’ve read that manages completely parallel plot lines, both interesting, keeping them far enough apart to maintain the mystery but close enough that their eventual reunion makes perfect Reacher sense. I loved this book and continue to be enthralled by Child’s mastery of various literary devices, in particular his unique way abridging of dialog and grammar that hastens the read and deepens the reader’s engagement.

Mattou's rating:
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