If like me you have read through all the Jack Reacher books you may have got to book number 20 titled “Make Me” and thought, “yes, that was good, probably stop now Lee Child”.
I guess I was wrong to even suggest that Lee Child should stop writing about Jack Reacher, as we now have book number 21 titled “Night School”
If you are reading the books backwards in the wrong order, from the author Lee Child book list, then can I please say politely “STOP”. In my humble opinion, you need to start at book 1 “Killing Floor” and take a look at the Blog “the Jack Reacher books reading order” on my site to get the best out of them.
Right firstly lets get down to the good stuff.
Night School is it the real deal, is it up to the normal standards?
Okay lots of questions and thoughts about this book so here we go. Lee Child is obviously an exceptional writer, his fast pace scene setting and the selective descriptions he uses really capture your imagination and makes you feel that you are in the story itself. As normal this book is so easy to read due to Lee Child’s unique writing style. Going back to Reacher’s early days is also a clever aspect of this book as it has endless possibilities for further “spin off” books in the future and gives you a look at a younger Reacher before he left the army.
For me, even though these aspects would normally enhance the reading experience of a Lee Child novel, this time it seemed to give me a slightly different feel as I progressed through the story. Maybe Lee Child is a victim of his own success as I don’t recall any previous “Reacher” books whereby I really struggled to get to grips with it right until the end.
I had to keep really putting the work in to read this book and try and get excited about what I was reading. Again it could be a bit like the Star Wars Last Jedi film whereby I already had an opinion of what was going to happen. Upon reading the book or seeing the Star Wars last Jedi film, it just didn’t fit into my idea of what I thought was going to happen. This doesn’t mean to say its a bad thing, just that I prefer the continuity of characters through a series rather than changing things just because!
The main plot of Night School, revolves around an undercover agent overhearing a request for 100 million from middle eastern contacts but no one knows what this request is for. Reacher teams up with an FBI agent and a CIA agent to solve the mystery but this really doesn’t work as their isn’t much communication between the two agents during the book. Reacher goes off and teams up with Neagley to solve the mystery but during this part of the story, there is a lot of chopping and changing between characters that you kind of get the impression that the book has been written for movie/film scenes in the future.
An example of this would be Reacher chatting through plans in a hotel then stepping out to fight some undercover officers. This type of thing happens throughout the book which slowly becomes boring as there doesn’t seem to be any need for the fight scenes like in previous books.
The ending is really not a massive highlight either as most of the books in the series usually are, this leads me to think maybe the main plot from the start just wasn’t a good enough subject to get the average Reacher fan excited.
Overall I think the book would in my eyes a much higher rating if you were new to the Jack Reacher series and had just started reading the Lee Child novels. As a Reacher fan, for me it would probably be the worst of the series due to the incoherent writing and the switching between the scenes.
I’d love to hear your comments on this book so let me know if you agree or disagree with me. Night School can be bought here