Book Review: Lee Child’s “Second Son”

Posted May 22, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from my own shelves 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 “Second Son”

"Second Son"


Lee Child

It is part of the Jack Reacher #0.1, Jack Reacher #15.5 series and is a thriller that was published by Random House on August 15, 2011 and has 40 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books in this series include MatchUp

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Killing Floor, Die Trying, Tripwire, Running Blind, Echo Burning, Without Fail, Persuader, The Enemy, 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, The Midnight Line

A short story prequel, 0.1 (and 15.5 publication-wise), in the Jack Reacher thriller series. This story takes place when Jack is 13 in 1974 and the family has just been posted to Okinawa.

My Take

This sets us up for Jack’s math and deductive abilities…even as a kid, that boy was bright!

I do like how Child describes the difference between Joe and Reacher. Joe has no trigger, he’s all brains and into theory; he’s likely to end up in military intelligence. Reacher, well, Reacher is “permanently jammed wide open on full auto”, an unstoppable force of nature with his “get-the-job-done” mentality.

The wrong note in this is that a major and two Warrant Officers are willing to take this kid’s word about the missing test answers and the code book. And they’re willing to bargain with him!

Still, it was sweet! It makes me want to read more about Jack Reacher!

The Story

It’s not “Jack”. Not really. Everyone simply calls him “Reacher”. His parents. His brother. It’s Stan and Josephine. Joe and Reacher.

A new posting. A new batch of kids to impress. And now their new school expects Joe and Reacher to take placement tests?! Ehh, Reacher doesn’t care. He’ll do the minimum to get by. It’s Joe who’s worried about how well he’ll do. It’s that fear that gets played.

Captain Reacher has his own worries when he gets handed a top secret mission…and loses the code book.

It’s Reacher who puts all the clues together — and makes us wonder how we missed ’em. Just a part of taking care of his family.

The Characters

U.S. Marine Captain Stan and Josephine neé Moutier Reacher are Joe and Jack‘s parents. Laurent Moutier is the kids’ French grandfather. A carpenter. After World War II, he was ordered to make wooden legs for the combat vets. Using furniture legs.

Helen is the daughter of one of the NCOs. The fat, smelly kid leaves all sorts of clues…who knew?

The Title

Well, the title is certainly to the point. Jack Reacher is the “Second Son”.