Books

Thoughts on… The Enemy by Lee Child

the enemyTitle: The Enemy
Author: Lee Child
Publisher: Bantam Press
Date: 2011 (2004)
Summary: New Year’s Day, 1990. A soldier is found dead in a sleazy motel bed. Jack Reacher is the officer on duty. The soldier turns out to be a two-star general. The situation is bad enough, then Reacher finds the general’s wife. This stomach-churning thriller turns back the clock to a younger Reacher, in dog tags. A Reacher who still believes in the service. A Reacher who imposes army discipline. Even if only in his own pragmatic way…


It has been a long, long time since I read a Jack Reacher book. I finished The Enemy about two years after I read Persuader and I think my taste has changed a lot in those two years.

I did really enjoy aspects of the book but it took me 18 days to actually read the first chapter. I must have read it 12 times before moving on to the second chapter because I just couldn’t absorb any of it. After that, I pretty much devoured the book but it still wasn’t as good as some of the other Reacher books I’ve read. I enjoyed the plot, it was interesting and a bit different from the others I’ve read since this one is set while Reacher is still in the military police, but, on some levels, it just wasn’t as exciting as the other books I’ve read in the series. It also made me feel much more uncomfortable than the other Reacher books I’ve read before.

For one, I forgot how much of a perv Reacher is. He can’t interact with a female colleague without thinking what she’d look like naked and it’s just annoying. I just wanted the plot to progress, not for Reacher relay his sexual fantasies about a woman he knows professionally. Parts of the book are rather heavy on the homophobic slurs, particularly towards gay men, and this may be ‘accurate’ for the US Army in the 1990s but it just felt gratuitous and too heavy-handed. I think a reader would have understood the severity of the situation without the use of so many slurs. 

I’m not sure if I’ll ever pick up another Jack Reacher book but I know I’ll never buy another.


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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on… The Enemy by Lee Child

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