Thursday, June 02, 2016

“Make Me” by Lee Child – Reaching for the Truth

Make Me by Lee Child - front cover
Living life in the shoes of a person such as Jack Reacher is truly hard. A master of all trades and badass in all categories, the same rules that apply to the average person are often forgotten. In situations that most people would much prefer ignoring, Jack will be the one to intervene. Though that may make him somewhat like a hero, it also draws him onto some dark, twisted and dangerous paths that may very well prove lethal for him, as is the case in one of his newer adventures, Make Me by Lee Child.

Things start off quite innocently as Reacher finds himself in a small and nearly-deserted little corner of the world called Mother's Rest. The secret as to how the town got its name seems to be more firmly guarded than the recipe for Coca-Cola, with none spilling so much as a hint about it. In this little town, Jack comes across a woman named Michelle Chang, and she mistakes him for her partner who went missing. She believes it had to do with a small-time investigation that somehow turned very dangerous, and that her partner may in fact be dead. While most people would nod and wish her luck, Reacher decides it's time for him to get involved, especially since he has nothing better to do.

As you'd expect, very soon things take a turn for the complicated, and the unlikely duo find themselves racing across Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco, scouring the darkest corners of the internet, breaking the faces of countless thugs and assassins sent to stop them. With all the arrows pointing back to Mother's Rest where his journey began, Reacher prepares himself to confront a terrible nightmare, one he may actually have preferred to walk away from.

As is typical with a Reacher novel, Lee Child uses a quick, brusk and concise writing style that creates a very quick pace, rather appropriate for an action thriller. He manages to grab your attention from the opening paragraph and does his best not to let it go until the very end. One of the differences between this book and the previous Reacher novels is how dark it gets. Some of the topics and themes explored here can be classified as quite disturbing, especially as the end approaches and it becomes increasingly obvious what the whole investigation revolves around. While this makes some parts of the book somewhat unpleasant, it serves to build the villains, who we feel are much worse than your run-of-the-mill bad guys... they truly are evil incarnate.

With so many of the resources being dedicated to the action and advancing the story, you'll find that there is little room left for character development. Most of the people we meet in the book fell rather single-faceted without really being unique or having much to make them memorable. This is especially true for Michelle Chang who feels like yet another generic damsel in distress that helps to get the show started. However, considering how fast things go, this doesn't make for that big of a detriment, one that you'll probably stop noticing the deeper you get into the book.

All things considered, while Make Me isn't a groundbreaking Jack Reacher novel, and probably not the best, it nevertheless remains a very entertaining thriller that will give you that action/suspense/mystery fix we all need from time to time. While you may not pick it up for a second read anytime soon, it's a book that will definitely stay with you for a little while, one that I recommend to all thriller fans.

Lee Child

Personal site

Lee Child is actually Jim Grant’s pen name, but at this point, it is the one by which most people recognize him. Ever since his first novel, Killing Floor, Child has been sending giant ripples across the world of literature, amongst other things creating the formidable Jack Reacher.

More of the Lee Childs's book reviews:
The Affair

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