“The Midnight Line” by Lee Child is volume No. 22 in the Jack Reacher-Series. This makes it one of the more recent books, which has a lot of influence on the story as well as the general fashion the book is written.
But let me first tell you that it’s a good book. It’s nothing major, but it isn’t bad either. It’s just a solid book for you to enjoy if you liked the other books in the series as well. In it Jack Reacher, on a whim, decides to exit a bus in an old, almost deserted town, where he stumbles upon a class ring from West Point, a US military academy. Curious as to why this ring has been pawned, he tries to trace its way back to the original owner but soon finds himself among a ring of criminals.
For me, it was a great Jack Reacher novel. There’s not much more to say about that. If you’ve liked some previous Jack Reacher stories then you’ll probably enjoy this one, too.
In conclusion, I'll rate this book a 7,5/10. It was definitely enjoyable, but had some bumps here and there. And I'm still not sure about the ending.
Lee Child is an alias for the british author James Grant, who is particularly known for his Jack Reacher novels. He was born on the 29th of October 1954 in Coventry, England.
Date of release: 07.11.2017
If you are interested in buying the book, check out this link:
Note that, yes, this is an affiliate link!
So, I’ve read this book not too long ago, and it was quite good. The action starts almost immediately, with Reacher beating all those bikers and it never really stops. He goes on to find Arthur Scorpio, where he meets Gloria Nakamura, who I thought would play a much bigger role in the story.
She was introduced really early on, but I never understood what here role was. I feel like her only job was to give us, the reader, some more information about what was going on, because the story otherwise followed Reacher very closely. This makes her a strange character, which I don’t mind. I mean, it never bothered me while reading, but now that I’m thinking back, it is something that came to my mind.
Anyway, Reacher then meets Bramall, a private investigator, and later Ms. Mackenzie, who hired Bramall to find her sister Rose. The three of them make a pretty good trio, in my opinion and I liked the way they interacted and worked together.
Now, let’s talk about Rose for a moment. She is a veteran who got a purple heart. Anyone who is familiar with those kinds of medals knows that a soldier gets a purple heart, when he suffers injuries while on duty. In Rose’s case, it was facial injuries, which left her scarred and addicted to painkillers, which is also why she pawned the ring.
However, finding Rose in the first place was a major challenge, which I felt like dragged on for quite some time, and always verged on being boring but never quite crossed that line. They first have to find Seymour Porterfield, who is long dead and leads them to Billy, who fled into a neighbouring state. A big portion of the book is actually spent on this. And to find out that Billy is long gone and Reacher, Bramall and Mackenzie are more or less back at square one, is very underwhelming. The fact that they luckily find a new clue with the cowboys in the town and the drunk man, just adds to this feeling I had.
What is interesting about the whole search is that Lee Child left us hints about the, let’s call it abnormality of Rose all the way. In fact, when thinking back, he basically shoved the fact that no one seemed to recognize Ms. Mackenzie, down our throat the whole time. It took me very long to figure out for myself that, yes, maybe Rose has got some kind of facial injuries. In the end, I figured it out before Lee Child told us, which is nice, but I could have done so, much earlier.
So they find Rose and at this point, the story could be finished, but Lee Child decided against that and added some more story about how Reacher tries to help Rose, which gives us some more action and bad boys getting beaten. Which I don’t mind.
We all know that Jack Reacher stories tend to end very abruptly. And this story in particular, ends so fast that I’m still not sure if I liked it or not. Reacher and the others manage to steal enough painkillers for Rose, in order for them to plan the next steps in helping Rose recover. Then Reacher has sex with Rose (and I almost thought that in this story Reacher wouldn’t get laid after all). And then, well, it’s over. The story ends. Rose and the others drive off and Reacher stays behind, ready for his next adventure.
This leaves me with a strange situation. In most of the other books I’ve read, the whole situation is over. Everyone is either dead or arrested and there is not much more left for Reacher to do. But not here, we don’t really get to know what happens with Rose and if she will recover from her addiction or not. To be honest, I was upset a little bit at the beginning and still now, I don’t know how to feel about this ending.
Anyway, I recommend this book to anyone who has previously read (and enjoyed) a Jack Reacher novel and is looking for another one to read. If you like action thrillers and are not afraid of some brutality here and there, then go ahead and read the book, too!