Jack Reacher Catches My Attention: Seven Ways He’s Just Like A Barn Cat
It’s my first Lee Child read and I’m into it, and the writing sizzles like Elmore Leonard.
Make Me is my first Jack Reacher read and I’m all in. For more than three decades I’d been a fan of Elmore Leonard’s distinctive terse style, original characters, incisive writing and sharply drawn characters. He had a way of building the story so that you knew things would come to a head eventually but you never quite knew how or when. And he made it fun. There was always a payoff and the payoff was worth waiting for.
There are plenty of good writers competing for our attention in the thriller genre, though I don’t usually read a lot from this portion of the literary catalog. Now that I’ve discovered that Lee Child can deliver the same visceral thrill, I may find myself becoming a fan.
Getting to know Jack Reacher
I’m one-third through Make Me now. I woke this morning thinking about this guy Jack Reacher and how much he’s like our barn cat Chirps. For those who read Child’s Jack Reacher books, tell me if I am not correct on this.
1. Exceedingly Patient
Chirps has no life plan, just goes with the flow. She hangs out here or there or anywhere with a laid back air of self-contained contentment. Like Reacher, she is off the grid. No destination, no agenda.
Chirps is utterly and completely aware of what is going on around her. She may appear to be nonchalant as she crosses in front of the house or circles out around the edge of the garage, but she’s not oblivious. Little critters and careless birds beware. Similarly, Jack Reacher’s attenae are always up.
3. Plays with Her Prey
There is a sense in which cats can be cruel. They play with their food before eating it. Reacher appears to enjoy getting inside the bad guy’s heads as well.
4. Yet Is Very Serious
When is comes to the hunt, Chirps isn’t playing around. It’s life and death for her targets. Reacher is no different.
The story takes place in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Jack Reacher goes on a walkabout, checking out the lay of the land, making observations that will serve his purposes later. He has a keen eye and enough experience to give proper weight to all he sees.
There’s nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose. That’s Jack Reacher. The bad guys are definitely uneasy because they do have something to lose.
7. Exemplifies Courage
Some of the creatures Chirps tangles with are fairly defenseless, but she’s also faced off with critters with claws and fangs. She lives in rural America, a world where there are larger foes whom she must reckon with. She could easily laze about and live on catfood, but chooses to hunt — like a good barn cat. Jack Reacher doesn’t need to get into this scene either, but he’s locked on. Reacher and Chang have certified their commitment to not let it go until they get to the bottom of it.
Time to turn the page.