Just finished Persuader by Lee Child. I've read two other Reacher novels. I can't remember the titles of either. One was the first, which had a coincidence that was so outrageous that is was almost avant-garde. Love the flat, direct narrative. Love that Reacher is as twisted as he is heroic. Felt that the ending was pandering and pedantic. The problem with mystery and suspense is that eventually the suspense must be broken and the mystery must be solved. A good writer hits the numbers and follows the "conventions" to bring the story home. A great writer takes the opportunity to move things in a fresh, exciting direction. Delillo did this with Running Dog. Leonard did this with Cat Chaser. Highsmith did it with pretty much everything. You can be an entertaining populist and deliver to all the little boys with their Oedipul adventure needs and still hit this mark. Child, as much as I think he's cool, doesn't even come close.
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