38 Followers
2 Following
Thewanderingjew

Thewanderingjew

When it ended, I wasn't sure what point the author was trying to make!

The Midnight Line - Lee Child

The Midnight Line, Lee Child, author; Dick Hill, narrator The book is read well, but is often unsettling because the narrator’s voice has a tremor. Also, although he enunciates and expresses the narrative very well, he fails to adequately delineate between the characters so it is often difficult to figure out who is speaking. The story also rolls out slowly and sometimes becomes too detailed, causing the reader to lose interest. Jack Reacher is a wanderer. A former Army officer in an elite division, he does not like to stay in one place. His years of service to his country have left its mark on him. When he wanders into a pawn shop in Wisconsin and discovers a class ring from the West Point class of 2005, he becomes intrigued because he does not believe that anyone who worked so hard to graduate would give it up willingly. The ring is small, indicating it was probably owned by a tiny woman. Reacher is a larger than life man, and he had graduated from West Point many years before, so he purchases the ring and is obsessive about finding its owner. The story follows a circuitous path, which often has some holes in it, leaving the reader wondering about how Reacher arrived in one place or another or reached one or another conclusion. Since he has no car, he hitchhikes and walks to his destinations. On the way he meets many different odd characters, some of whom are dangerous, some of whom are benign. When he finds the person who supposedly knows where the ring came from, he discovers that he has a very shady past. The ring and the people involved with it seem to be, in some way, possibly connected to drug smuggling, possibly as users, possibly as distributers or pushers. Often Reacher uses unconventional methods to glean information. He refuses to give up his quest to find the woman who owned the ring regardless of the obstacles placed in his way. He faces danger, stares it in the face calmly and survives. Soon he discovers that someone else is looking for her. Her twin sister has hired a private detective because she has not heard from her in over a year. Reacher also discovers that law enforcement has an interest in her and in some of the people she may have known. When Reacher tries to get information from West Point, he discovers some files, including hers, are sealed, but he does discover she received a purple heart. This leads him to believe she may be hiding for a reason. Together, all of the characters weave a tale about the search that takes the reader to unexpected destinations, sometimes without adequate explanation. In the end, I was not really sure what point it was that the author was attempting to make. Was it to highlight the terrible drug epidemic in this country? Was it to highlight the terrible effect of war on our soldiers? Was it to highlight the horrific dangers they faced? Was it to highlight their bravery? Often soldiers suffer grievous wounds with poor recovery options. Was it to highlight their lack of proper care or the toll on their psyches? Was it to highlight the corruption that was found in unexpected places that placed people in danger? Perhaps some readers will find a plausible explanation for the quest and the end result. I kept trying to figure out the author’s point, but, ultimately, that point somehow got lost along the way.