Just finished Lee Child’s most recent novel romp with his donnybrook prone vagabond protagonist Jack Reacher. On this one he’s teamed up with his brother Andrew Child to pen “The Sentinel.”
Former Army MP Reacher — a tall and muscular specimen who appears to survive on a lack of sleep, strong black coffee and greasy burgers — has just been dropped off in the tiny burg of Pleasantville, Tenn., by his latest hitchhike driver, landing by circumstance and mistaken identity into some rather unpleasant and violent contretemps.
Reacher bumps into the town’s recently fired IT manager. It seems the town’s paper archives have recently been destroyed in a fire, which was quickly followed by its computerized data being blocked by a ransomware hack. The IT manager was falsely blamed for not protecting data and he is out to clear his name and somehow recover the data, which is not what a bunch of Russkie spies and a gaggle of neo-Nazis would not like to see happen, for reasons that remain a bit murky. (Coincidentally, the neo-Nazis are planning a huge well-lighted celebration of Hitler’s birthday, which happens to be today, April 20.)
As is Reacher’s wont, on more than one occasion he winds up protecting the IT guy and himself from a half dozen or so of the baddies by using his head — in more ways than one — as well as his fists, elbows, knees and feet in tightly detailed and choreographed combat in which Reacher comes out largely unscathed but the others well scathed and a few hospitalized.
You might assume, as I did, that Reacher is the titular Sentinel, but toward the end it turns out the feds are secretly working on a software program dubbed The Sentinel, which is intended to block malware and ransomware hacks. Or is that a red-herring like so many others? One should not assume all is as it appears.
Looking forward to the next outing with Reacher, but, meanwhile, you likely would enjoy this one.