About the Author: One of the world’s big time thriller writers, Lee Child writes novels that figure in the bestseller list in both hardback and paperback versions on both sides of the Atlantic. His novels have been translated into 40 plus languages. Coventry-born (1954), he is an awe-inspiring person. Spending his early childhood in the nearby city of Birmingham, he bagged a prestigious scholarship in the same school that JRR Tolkien had attended. Tolkein was an English writer and University professor among other things. Post a degree in Law from a Sheffield school in England, Lee worked part-time in theatre. Eventually he landed in Granada Television in Manchester to complete an 18 year career as a presentation director. These years were considered to be British Television’s Golden Age. In 1995, at the age of 40, he was laid off after he did some corporate restructuring. All through his life, he has been a voracious reader. After being fired, he took a sabbatical as an opportunity to write a book, Killing Floor, with a few recently bought pencil and paper worth 6 dollars. This was the very first and a successful novel in the Jack Reacher series.
After this first novel, there was no looking back, for him. With every new sequel, he became a best-selling author, from the point-of-view of both sales and impact.
Now, he travels between his Manhattan apartment and a country house in the South of France. His favorite hobbies are reading, listening to music and watching soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. A tall man, despite an atrocious diet and a refusal to exercise, he is still slim!
About the book: Lee Child’s invention, Jack Reacher, has earned a prominent place in the pantheon of cool, smart-talking American heroes, according to the New York Times. The story starts with Jack Reacher, who has a freshly busted nose patched over with silver duct tape, trying to hitch a ride. Being tall and having a prominent wound on his nose, hitch-hiking is a difficult task. Cars both whizz past him or slowdown and then after one look at him, gather speed and move on. He has to urgently go to Virginia for some important work, so doesn’t call it quits. Finally, 2 men and a woman pick him up. Conversations lead to one thing and then other and Reacher, gets the right idea that all the men are lying. Sometime before Reacher is picked up, a man is murdered inside an old pumping station. Bringing two and two together, Reacher realizes after a couple of road-blocks organized by the police that the woman had been kidnapped by the two men and probably the murder was committed by the men. Eventually, Reacher is left high and dry in a lodge, where the investigating female officer Sorenson finds him. How the two murderers are caught? Was the woman released? These are the questions in our minds even as we reach the middle portion of the big novel.
My take: A Wanted Man is a slow-moving novel. But I found the use of words that explain the movement of the novel very interesting. I particularly liked the way the kidnapped woman signals Reacher about her predicament via head movements and blinks through the rear view mirror. It can be taken as a variation of the Morse code perhaps. If I say anything more I would be divulging the entire story. All I want to say is after the murder mystery is solved; Reacher is dropped on the road nearer his destination by the woman, whose car it is, to find another car to hitch hike. With her is one of the men who had kidnapped her.
Book Title: A Wanted Man.
Genre(s): Murder mystery and thriller.
Author: Lee child.
Publisher (Year): Random House (2012)
Number of Pages: 427
Price: (not mentioned in the book)