Book Review: Lee Child’s “High Heat”

Posted February 7, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from NetGalley 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 “High Heat”

"High Heat"


Lee Child

It is part of the , series and is a short stories, thriller that was published by Delacorte Press on August 6, 2013 and has 64 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, 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, Personal, Make Me, "Small Wars", Night School, MatchUp, The Midnight Line

One of the short stories, it’s technically 17.5 in the publication line-up, and I’m slotting it into the 0.25 chronological line-up in the Jack Reacher thriller series. This particular story is about Reacher when he’s 16 in 1977.

My Take

It was the kid that was my first tip-off, and it seems Reacher has been the man we all know for years, even in 1977. Even at 16, he calculates the angles, the fight possibilities, and he is using that brain of his. It’s brilliant!

Child easily makes you nervous for Reacher when he’s standing in that coffee shop doorway and thinking about his current sexual experience. When it comes to the scene in Chrissie’s car, I couldn’t figure out if I would die of fear or crack up laughing as I read Reacher’s assessment of events as he enjoyed “going to heaven”, LOL.

Child does beautifully in integrating the events of that summer in 1977 into his story, including that reference to the Son of Sam killing spree; wait’ll you read Reacher’s analysis, spot on in seconds. Makes you wish there were a lot more real Reachers in the world.

It’s classic Reacher; you’ll love it as he saves a job and the day. Although, that finish was so not what I was expecting. I still have to read it over and over, and I still can’t believe it.

“Winning ain’t enough. The other guy has to know he lost.”

The Story

Just off the bus from…South Korea…Reacher easily finds trouble when he rescues what he believes is a lady.

Only the mobster he stops wants to get back at Reacher. Lucky for that blackout, at just the right moment.

The Characters

Jack Reacher is a few months shy of his seventeenth birthday, and he’s kicking up his heels with a trip to New York City. And we know the drifting started long before he quit the army. Cadet Joe Reacher is his brother and at West Point.

Jill Hemingway appears to be a damsel in distress in so many ways.

Chrissie is one of the Sarah Lawrence coeds Reacher meets, who’s willing to go hear some music.

Croselli is a made man who is extremely annoyed.

The Cover and Title

The cover is the flaming in oranges, reds, and yellows with the Brooklyn Bridge above and the New York City skyline in the background, simmering with heat.

The title is that “High Heat” summer of 1977 in New York City with blackouts and high temperatures of all sorts.