Book Review: Lee Child’s Tripwire

Posted June 25, 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 Tripwire



Lee Child

It is part of the Jack Reacher #3 series and is a thriller that was published by Jove on May 29, 2007 and has 559 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, "Second Son", 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

Third in the Jack Reacher thriller series revolving around a retired military policeman, checking out the country and fixing wrongs. The action starts in Key West, Florida.

My Take

I do love Child’s writing. He grabs me and pulls me immediately into the story. The story’s basic concept may be a bit of a cliché, but Child has a lovely way of twisting it into something so much more interesting, especially with a character who understands fear and tucks it away as we get to observe from inside Reacher’s mind, discover how he dissects a situation and plans ahead. It’s also full of tips in how not to be observed or tracked in our increasingly watched society.

Child does a very frustrating job intriguing us with Hobie’s early warning system. Do be sure to read the Prologue — it’s a tiny, but very useful set-up for your understanding later on in the story. A classic bait-and-switch in a new application.

I am rather frustrated about the receptionist’s relationship with Hobie…? But not nearly as frustrated as Jack and Jodie were in the first part of the story!

Child provides a good bit of backstory on Reacher and his relationship to the general and Jodie; with Jodie’s thoughts about Reacher while we careen around corners and bash through doors on their hunt for the truth to save Jodie’s life and bring peace to a patriotic, yet unhappy old couple.

I love “watching” Jack in action. Whether it’s the confrontation with Rutter, his reactions to the car crash, his now-civilian interactions with military personnel, or the denouement with Hobie. After the last two stories, it’s rather fun to see Jack off his stride and slipping into Jodie’s world. I do wonder if, with his emotions running so high, if he’ll change his romantic routine and stick around this time. He’s certainly different emotionally this time around.

The Story

It’s the CEO who introduces us to Hook Hobie’s services. He’s also the one who further enlightens us as to the full extent of those services.

Meanwhile Jack is content to be digging pools by hand during the day and playing half-naked bouncer in a titty bar at night. At least until Costello shows up in Key West. Looking for Jack Reacher. It’s enough to set off Reacher’s curiosity. Who or what could be interested in his whereabouts?

It’s the next group which comes looking for Reacher followed by murder that sets Reacher off, hunting for whoever is so very concerned with finding him.

It’s a hunt that finds Reacher experiencing a great many emotions. General Leon Garber whom we first met in Die Trying and around whom a great deal of Tripwire revolves even if we never meet him in it. But it’s Mr. and Mrs. Hobie whose distress about their son, MIA in Vietnam, that is the crucial point of the real drama. One that points to a much deeper secret, carefully held within the military.

The Characters

Jack Reacher didn’t want to stay in a military police without any excitement and so he retired. Now, he’s exploring the countryside, playing tourist, content not to settle in anywhere. Or, is he? He has certainly found that the tricks he learned as an MP come in extremely handy in civilian life.

Mrs. Jacob is also Jodie Garber. A dream from Reacher’s past. One he had thought was unattainable. Now she’s a financial lawyer with Spencer Gutman. And a lot older than the last time he saw her. General Garber was Jack’s CO for years. CO and mentor. Almost a father figure to him.

Hook Hobie has a singular gift, not one that he utilizes for anyone’s benefit but his own. Tony is his receptionist and obviously knee-deep in the important aspects of Hobie’s life. But we never really discover their back history. General DeWitt has his particular memories of the chopper that went down while General Nash Newman came later with his own particular contribution.

Mr. and Mrs. Hobie want closure. They just know their son is still being held in Vietnam even though the war is long over. The man they hired, Rutter, even has proof. A proof that Reacher easily dispels.

The finance manager who leads the not-too-bright Chester Stone III, CEO, into this mess is important only in that he’s the pivotal figure for Stone’s downfall and I guess Child didn’t figure he merited a name. Stone’s company is in distress, bad enough that he’ll accept help with few questions asked. It’s too bad that his wife Marilyn wasn’t in charge…she certainly takes over when it’s necessary. A woman to admire. Sheryl is a realtor in Pound Ridge. A woman in the wrong place, but capable of playing a critical part. David Forster is the Stone’s lawyer. A very capable man, but neither he nor ex-cop, now private detective William Curry, are too bright in the undercover department.

Officers O’Hallinan and Sark work the domestic abuse side in the police department. They’re very good at detecting; not so good at communicating with their home base. A pity, that.

The Cover and Title

The cover is greens and blues with a bar of barbed wire in front of what appears to be a bullet-ridden license plate.

The title is all about the alarms Hobie has set, several Tripwires to warn him.