So, it's one of the more recent Jack Reacher books, the second most recent I think. I had a bit of a phase of reading loads of these all in one go, gave up for a while, and when I saw this in the library figured I should read it.
It's a pleasant enough way of spending an afternoon. I read it all in one go, which perhaps argues for it being a good book. Although I've recently realised that a better mark is being forced to stop and then launching yourself straight back at the book as soon as you've done whatever interrupted you.
I found the constant references to how many hours there were left somewhat irritating. A good way of keeping a sense of chronology perhaps, but not necessary. Especially as I couldn't tell you with any degree of certainty what the countdown was actually to. Was it the lady being attacked or the escape or when the lady was meant to be attacked or what?
The ending was a little bit like the one at the end of Six Sacred Stones, in that it's vaguely cliff-hangerry. You know he survives, because there's another book. It's just a case of working out how (I'm proud to say I was almost right with Six Ancient Stones). But that was good because it was guessable. I'm not seeing any way out based on the text so far, which would mean there's probably some loophole which enables Reacher to escape. Of course, I might just be being ignorant, in which case I'll hold up my hands and say okay, that works. Which I guess means I have to read the next one.
One thing I will say is that it doesn't particularly matter if this is the first one you start with. I presume there's a gradual chronological moving forward, but as Reacher just sort of drifts across America with no personal belongings and as each of the incidents described occur in a different place across America with little tying them together, it doesn't really matter. The only constant figure is Reacher, who according to one of those little sloganny bits you get on books all women are meant to fancy. I'm not quite convinced, but there you are. He's a great character in many ways, and it basically means the author gets to create loads of new characters for every book, which can be as fun as it can be hard work. (Personally, I find surnames hardest. They usually all need to be different, and while you can nab character traits and forenames of real people you know, surnames are a little more personal...).
At any rate, it's a decent enough book, albeit nothing spectacular. If you like crime with a slightly unusual main character, this is a series you'll undoubtedly enjoy. Although at times Reacher comes across a bit Sherlock Holmesy, if you know what I mean :)