In this, Lee Child’s (Killing Floor, Persuader) ninth Jack Reacher novel, Child’s unmistakable trademark immaculate style shines through in one of his best novels to date. One Shot has one of the best opening scenes I’ve read in quite some time. It’s beyond un-put-downable; it is so hot you might need to put oven mitts on. One Shot quickly and completely immerses the listener from first word.
The story begins in Indiana as an unknown sniper drives into a parking lot across from a city plaza and assassinates what seems like five random civilians during the evening rush hour. There is chaos and confusion in the area, but the panic is quickly diffused as the police find a suspect in James Barr. The case seems ironclad with all the evidence they have: eyewitnesses, shell casings, fingerprints, the whole nine yards. But when the police interrogate Barr he utters only two sentences; “You have the wrong guy” and “Get Jack Reacher for me.” The defense doesn’t know who or what Jack Reacher is (they wondered if he was a doctor or lawyer), but Reacher does find out about the case and heads to Indiana with express intent of making sure Barr is convicted of his crime.
Suffice to say there are many more twists. Reacher has knowledge of Barr’s past which gnaws at his conscience, but he quickly surmises that this case is too good to be true and sets out with lawyer Helen Rodin to uncover what really happened that day. As they do, the clues they uncover affect not only Barr’s case and Reacher’s life but Rodin’s personal life, as well. One Shot is a nifty thriller combined with a police procedural that has plenty of action and twists to please fans of Child’s previous work. The audio is once again done masterfully by Dick Hill, the only quibble being the constant use of the phrase, “He said nothing.” Perhaps it doesn’t affect the written word, but listening to it over and over again gets to be a bit much. Overall, One Shot is a very entertaining audio book.