DEEP DOWN is an exclusive eBook short story of primary interest to Jack Reacher completists as they await the September 11th publication of A WANTED MAN, the very eagerly anticipated next installment in the series. The eShort also includes the opening chapter of the upcoming novel as a further inducement for diehard fans of the one of genre fiction’s most capable characters.
"Child’s always-excellent prose crackles, even during the quiet parts, so that by the time the story ends with the bang or three that readers expect, everyone should be satisfied."
The reader is transported back to 1986 when Army MP Captain Reacher finds himself hustled from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington, D.C. for an undercover mission in which he is flying next to blind. The Army is requesting a new service rifle, which kick-starts a series of hearings before a Congressional sub-committee. The Army believes that someone is leaking the weapon specifications to an outside party and has narrowed down the suspect to the four political liaison staff officers, all of whom happen to be women.
Reacher’s mission is to identify the officer in question before any further damage is done. The story builds slowly and is a bit more, shall we say, cerebral than one might anticipate a Reacher story to be. Still, Child’s always-excellent prose crackles, even during the quiet parts, so that by the time the story ends with the bang or three that readers expect, everyone should be satisfied.
Revelations concerning Reacher’s “hidden years,” if you will, are always welcome. While the restrictions of shorter fiction aren’t necessarily ideal for a Reacher story --- a big man needs lots of room to move --- DEEP DOWN is still a welcome repast before the banquet of the next novel.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on August 17, 2012