Tripwire by Lee Child (audio)

Y’all, I just have to tell you something as an aside: I suspect I’m pretty unique in this, because I know so many strict series-in-order readers, but I LOVE reading out of order. Is there something wrong with me? I love the fun feeling of knowing something the in-order reader won’t. Rather than ruining the surprise (which, honestly, I don’t think I can remember happening to me ever!) I often find it enhancing things; it’s like a whole new fun, knowing what’s coming, especially in that moment of realization. In Tripwire, for instance: I will try to do this nonspoilerarily, but there is a character we meet for the first time, who I pretty quickly recognized as a character from a later book I’ve read. So I had this moment of OH! she will be THIS later, and now I have a new angle from which to watch the action unfold: I’m looking for hints of what I know is to come. No, I don’t want to know who the bad guy is right from the start. But that’s not the kind of thing I find spoiled by a series out of order. Perhaps this is because often, in mystery series, we don’t see the same bad guy in book after book. Or if we do, it’s not the FACT that he’s the bad guy that drives the later book – it’s finding him. So, no spoiler. See? Flipping to the end would spoil the book; reading the book after the book often does not. On the other hand, though: knowing that there are more Reacher books after 61 Hours definitely does spoil the question of whether or not he survives. I guess the only way to be cliff-hanged on that one was if you read it when it came out and before the next in the series…

I’m sorry. Back to Tripwire. Ahem. I loved this book… I seem to say this every time… this is one of my favorites of the series. It opens in Key West, which is fun because we were just there recently. I love the idea of Reacher digging swimming pools (by hand!!) and getting even more muscled, gaining weight, and getting a tan while he’s at it. I also love that he’s drinking lots of water. I’m a fan of water, too, and like Reacher I like mine at room temp, not cold. I’ve digressed again. So we open in Key West but then quickly move up north to New York City, where Reacher is reunited with a friend from his past. Again I’m working to avoid spoilers here, but the relationship, past and present, was extra special to me because it continues to develop Reacher’s character, and is especially poignant in exposing his strong emotions and vulnerability. What makes Reacher so loveable is that he is a Rambo superhero type, yes, and also very clever, but also vulnerable. There are humorous moments. Will the house have… closets?? (Go read it, you’ll understand.) And of course the mystery is clever and complex and kept me guessing. I love Reacher’s deductions, like in dealing with decades-old skeletal remains – this puzzle dates back to the Vietnam War – and I love how it ends, with a new chapter in Reacher’s life.

I recently bothered you with a rundown of my reading of Reacher to date. While putting together that list, I realized that they fall into two categories for me: memorable, and not so much so. I’ve enjoyed every single Reacher I’ve read, but some I LOVE and continue to mull over after the fact, and some, in compiling my list, I had to reference to even see what they were about. (The titles are not always descriptive of the action of the book.) Are you curious? Below, see those I have read and loved, those I have read and mostly forgotten, and those I have not yet read. (For links to my reviews, see this post.)

1. Killing Floor
2. Die Trying
3. Tripwire
4. Running Blind
5. Echo Burning
6. Without Fail
7. Persuader
8. The Enemy
9. One Shot
10. The Hard Way
11. Bad Luck and Trouble
12. Nothing to Lose
13. Gone Tomorrow
14. 61 Hours
15. Worth Dying For
16. The Affair
and the short story, The Second Son.

Tripwire ranks up there. I fear my Reacher reviews are getting repetitive for you. Excellent as usual. Continuing on with Without Fail next. What are YOU reading?

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