Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Echo Burning

Echo Burning by Lee Child
Jack Reacher, the vagabond freelance lawman who never hesitates to stick his nose into private business, takes his lively act to Texas, embroiling himself in what starts as a messy domestic dispute before turning far more ominous. The rugged former army cop comes to the aid of Carmen Greer, who picks him up on the side of the road one morning outside Lubbock, then asks him to kill her abusive husband. Sloop Greer is getting out of prison in a few days, and Carmen fears he will start beating her again. Reacher declines, but agrees to protect Carmen, hiring on as a cowhand at the couple's remote ranch in Echo County, Tex., far outside Pecos. Within hours of Sloop's return from prison, where he was serving time for tax evasion, violence strikes. But the victim isn't Carmen; it's Sloop. He's found shot dead, and Carmen is arrested. End of story? Hardly. Most wandering heroes would move on at this point, but not Reacher. He begins taking a hard look at both Carmen and Sloop's past, as well as local history. What he finds—ugly secrets, human suffering, political evil—is repulsive to a man who's been around as many blocks as Reacher.
From Publishers Weekly, Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Copied from Amazon.com
--Echo Burning by Lee Child, Copyright ©June 2001 by Lee Child, published by Jove Books

My Review
Echo Burning is the 5th book in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.

Jack Reacher is in a hurry to get out of Lubbock, Texas. Seems the nose he broke last night at a bar belongs to a local cop. When the cop arrives at the motel with three of his fellow officers, Reacher ducks out the back window and sticks out his thumb. Luck is on his side when he’s picked up within minutes by Carmen Greer.

Carmen is heading to her home in Echo, just south of Pecos. Carmen paints a pretty nice picture of Pecos, so Reacher decides that should be his next stop before continuing on to…anywhere. But Carmen has a story, and she tells Reacher all about her youth and the abusive man she married. He feels for her, but what can he do? Kill him for me, she answers. He’s in jail and will be released in a couple days.

Of course Reacher refuses, but having worked with abuse victims in the Army, he can sense that Carmen’s telling the truth and needs help. He agrees to be hired on as a ranch hand until he can figure out what to do to help her and her daughter, Ellie, out of their situation.

Before he can settle on a plan, Carmen’s husband is released a day earlier than planned. Now Carmen is trapped. But then, almost as quickly, the trap is sprung and Carmen is arrested for killing her husband. Reacher doesn’t believe she really did it, but the proof is pretty damning. He hires Alice Aaron, a local pro-bono lawyer and together they work to put all the pieces together. They have to work quickly, because even though it looks like Carmen shot her husband, she didn’t, and Reacher is next on the killer’s list.

I had a few issues with the previous story in the series (click here
for that review). Child has definitely redeemed himself in my eyes with this one.

I give this story FOUR STARS.

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