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About the Author: Lee Child

Lee Child was born October 29th, 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment. The first Jack Reacher movie, based on the novel One Shot and starring Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike, was released in December 2012.

Lee has three homes—an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar's Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

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(Jack Reacher 5) by

Goodreads rating: 3.97

Paperback, Published in Apr 2002 by Bantam

ISBN10: 0553813307 | ISBN13: 9780553813302

Page count: 572

There was a time when a US-set crime novel by a British writer (such as James Hadley Chase's No Orchids For Miss Blandish) could get away with a certain carelessness in local detail. Not any more. Since the Englishman Lee Child began writing his superbly authentic novels, few readers on either side of the Atlantic would accept anything other than the gritty authenticity of books such as Child's latest, Echo Burning. He prides himself on the plausibility of his settings and characters, and actually has a more striking sense of the American landscape that many native writers. He never allows the reader to forget just where his hero Jack Reacher is, what he's feeling, smelling, seeing. And Reacher has slowly but surely become one of the most fully rounded protagonists in thriller fiction. It's hardly surprising that the novels have been optioned for filming; what is surprising is the fact that it hasn't happened before.

Jack finds himself suffering the intense heat of a Texas summer, and (leaving behind a messy situation) hardly worries about the dangers of who will pick him up when he hitches a ride. But it's a beautiful young rich girl driving a Cadillac who gives Jack a lift. Carmen tells him she has a little girl who is being observed by unseen and sinister forces. And her brutal, abusive jailed husband is more than likely to kill her when he gets out. It's obviously highly inadvisable for Jack to travel to Carmen's remote ranch in Echo County and become involved in her problems, but (needless to say) he does just that. And he's soon encountering lies, lust and prejudice, with untrustworthy cops and lawyers absolutely no help. Jack finally realises that there is only one way to resolve this lethal situation.

As always with Child, the narrative rattles along with real élan, and the sultry characterisation keeps everything ruthlessly on track. --Barry Forshaw

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