Book Review: Lee Child’s The Enemy

Posted September 7, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lee Child’s The Enemy

The Enemy


Lee Child

It is part of the , series and is a thriller that was published by Dell on May 19, 2009 and has 496 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Killing Floor, Die Trying, "Second Son", Tripwire, Running Blind, Echo Burning, Without Fail, Persuader, One Shot, The Hard Way, Bad Luck and Trouble, Nothing to Lose, Gone Tomorrow, 61 Hours, Worth Dying For, The Affair, A Wanted Man, "Deep Down", Never Go Back, "High Heat", Personal, Make Me, "Small Wars", Night School, MatchUp

First in the Jack Reacher thriller series (and technically eighth) revolving around an ex-military policeman out to see the world. And save it. This story takes place at Fort Bird in North Carolina.

In 2005, Enemy won the Barry Award for Best Novel and the Nero Award, and it was nominated for the Dilys Award.

My Take

I just love how Reacher’s mind works. It’s fascinating to read how he pulls the clues together, how he puts himself into the killer’s mind. I do like the post pathologist. He’s as interested in truth as Reacher and they dance around the evidence and keeping it safe.

Make me laugh… “The Reacher brothers’ need for caffeine makes heroin addiction look like an amusing little take-it-or-leave-it sideline.”

I did enjoy Reacher and Summer’s European tour. Tearing ahead of Willard and terrifying Armored Branch officers. Then there’s the little escape at the airport.

Sadly, Reacher also fit in a trip to his mom’s. Talk about not knowing someone. It takes a situation like this for Reacher to learn an extremely important, valuable fact about his mother.

For the most part, this story was so convoluted, twisting around on itself and so full of betrayals! There is no organization in the world that is without people more interested in their own power, their own status quo than in the organization they are supposed to be a part of. It’s one thing in the corporate world but when it comes to the military or the church — or government! Stop, just stop laughing so hard. So I’m an idealist… You know what I mean. In a perfect world, people would look out or each other. It would be full of Reachers.

This story has one Reacher, but it does have a lot of support for him. My heart raced, I cried for people like Kramer and Carbone for what they had to hide just so they could do what they loved [in the army!], and I was so angry about the lives destroyed just for jerks who want to get ahead. D’ya reckon they might ever come out with a conscience bomb??

I do wonder if Reacher makes the decision he does at the end because of people like Willard and others like him in the army. That he doesn’t want to start down that road.

The major lesson here? Don’t piss Reacher off.

The Story

With the Berlin Wall coming down, soldiers are nervous. No more Cold War means fewer soldiers needed.

There are a few things you can count on the army for: to screw up and to cut inexplicable orders. Jack thought it was odd enough that he was suddenly ordered out of Panama and sent to Fort Bird. He finds it even odder as he discovers that a number of M.P.s, good ones, have all been rearranged around the world. All on the same day. None of the signatures on their orders make sense either. Nor do the lies.

Then there’s the two-star general who bought it with a heart attack in a rundown motel. And his briefcase is missing. He’d had a very good chance of becoming Vice-Chief of Staff. If he’d lived. They don’t have too long to worry about having to tell the widow.

It just gets weirder when Reacher is arrested when he returns from a quick trip to Paris to see his mother. But it does introduce him to his enemy.

Willard may think he has it all over Reacher, but he reckons without the loyalty Reacher commands. Well, how would Willard understand loyalty, anyway?

The Characters

Major Jack Reacher is one of the best of the military policemen in the army and the top people know it. Joe Reacher is his brother who moved over to the FBI from military intelligence. Their mom is dying from cancer. Monsieur Pierre Lamonnier knew her when Josephine Moutier was Béatrice and rescuing downed soldiers. For which she received La Medaille de la Résistance.

Lieutenant Summer is eager to transfer into 110th Special Unit and she thinks she’s lucky to have caught Reacher’s eye. Lieutenant Colonel Norton is an instructor in Psy-Ops for the army.

Colonel Leon Garber suddenly gets sent to Korea with a promotion. Just in time to screw up Reacher’s trip home from Paris. Now, Reacher is answering to Colonel Willard, a.k.a., The Enemy. A jerk who is more interested in the status quo and his own rise than in truth. Blackmail works just fine for him.

Kenneth R. Kramer is, or rather was, a two-star general in Armored Branch, staying in a flea-bitten motel while en route to a hush-hush, no-big-deal conference at Fort Irwin in California. Mrs. Kramer is already home in Virginia for the holidays. General Vassell and Colonel Coomer with Kramer were “the corporate face of Armor” and they were traveling together to this conference. Major Marshall is their driver.

Rick Stockton is the deputy chief near Fort Bird in North Carolina. Detective Clark is on Mrs. Kramer’s case.

Special Forces Sergeant Christopher Carbone seemed like such a good guy. His mates in Delta Force are not gonna be happy. Colonel David C. Brubaker, Fort Bird’s Special Forces CO, is found murdered in very suspicious circumstances. Sergeant Trifonov is also with Delta, but he has an excellent excuse. And his friend’s sister can back him up. So can her soon-to-be-ex husband.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a deserted, rainy street with the light from traffic lights and neon signs reflecting off the wet pavement in a glorious blur of red, white, and blues.

The title is too accurate, for Reacher did find The Enemy. You just know Reacher was army, prepared to make on-the-spot decisions.