Thursday, 29 June 2017

Too Much Time, Small Wars, & Not a Drill

Finished June 12
Too Much Time, Small Wars, & Not a Drill by Lee Child, read by Dick Hill

This collection has a number of great stories. The three title stories are all novellas, plus there are several shorter stories.
Too Much Time is set in Maine, where Reacher is walking into a pedestrian square in a small town, and witnesses a man grabbing a bag from a young woman. He isn't the only witness, but the police on the scene ask him to make a statement, saying it won't take much time. Of course, the story is bigger than it looks at first glance and it ends up taking far more time than even Reacher might have thought.  The copy on the cover says that this story leads into the new novel that is coming out this fall.
Small Wars takes us further back in Reacher's life, when he was still in the army. He gets brought into a unit stateside to temporarily take charge while their new commander recovers from a car accident. His first case is of a female commander of a special unit who has been apparently murdered on a country road. He must work with the state police to investigate. He calls on his brother for information on the officer, and brings in his own sargeant Neagley to be his right hand. I liked some of the dynamics of this one in terms of the characters.
Not a Drill is also set in Maine, when Reacher has gone up to the top of I95, just before the Canadian border to just see the end of the road. When hitching back down, he gets picked up by three Canadians who plan to hike a trail out on the peninsula. He gets talked into going with them, and when the trail gets closed down suddenly the next morning finds himself curious about what is behind the appearance of soldiers and questioning of hikers. This went in a different direction than I initially guessed, but a more interesting one.
James Penney's New Identity is another story from Reacher's army years. This one takes place in California and Reacher joins the story late, but has a key role in the plot. An interesting side to him here.
Everyone Talks has Reacher being questioned by a strong female investigator eager to prove herself. While lying in a hospital bed he gives up information slowly as he leads her towards the right conclusion.
Maybe They Have a Tradition takes place mostly in England where Reacher finds himself unexpectedly and in very bad weather. As he ventures towards the nearest town, he comes across a situation he is unexpectedly the right man for.
Guy Walks into a Bar has Reacher walking into a bar (of course) and seeing a woman alone at a table and mesmerized by the singer. As he watches, he gets an idea of what is happening and steps in to prevent the bad guys from getting their job done.
No Room at the Motel is another one that finds Reacher somewhere he hadn't planned, in bad weather, at least bad weather for that area. Here he watches what is happening, taking his time as he does to analyze things, and finds himself in the position to be a good samaritan.
The Picture of the Lonely Diner has Reacher coming up out of the NYC subway into an empty street, and he finds himself discussing the painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper with an FBI agent. Oddly enough, this painting also came up in another book I'm reading.
I enjoyed all these stories, liking the twists and turns of the plot as well as the characters.

No comments:

Post a Comment