Monday, April 12, 2010

Echo Burning, by Lee Child

Echo Burning, by Lee Child

Another Reacher novel, another winner. Set in Far West Texas, Reacher gets mixed up with an abused wife that asks him to do her a favor: kill her husband. From there a mystery slowly unfolds that is truly puzzling, leading to the inevitable shoot-em-up at the conclusion. The ending is quite predictable, but the journey there is fun.

I live in Texas, and I love it. Austin is a wonderful city: vibrant, alive, and largely accepting of varying lifestyles. The Texas described in Echo Burning is not at all like that: dusty and dry, filled with cowboys, with bigotry and racism a way of life. Sadly, I know this stereotype still exists in all to many parts of the state (not to mention rural areas everywhere), but I dislike reading one-sided portrayals like this. The only redeeming character other than Reacher was a lesbian, vegetarian, attorney from Harvard—about as far from a southern redneck as you can get. I hope at some point Reacher ends up in Austin where a different sort of Texas can be shared.

First Sentence:
There were three watchers, two men and a boy.

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