Lee Child Gives It Away

April 11, 2009

Want a free e-book?

One of my favourite writers is Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series of mystery thrillers. From the day I first opened Killing Floor in 1996, I’ve soaked up Reacher’s once-a-year adventures the way Reacher soaks up black coffee. This is highly intelligent writing disguised as mass-market fiction, which never ceases to amaze me.

Jack Reacher is an aging drifter, an ex-military policeman hovering around 50. He’s six-foot-five, 250 pounds of pure muscle and brawn, all of this wrapped around a genius intellect and Holmesian investigative skills. He has no job, no steady income — although money tends to just kind of land in his bank account — and owns nothing but a toothbrush, a bank card and a passport. Every couple of days, he lands in a new American town, buys a change of clothes, turfs the rest, and walks into some kind of major crime crisis. When he isn’t linking together obscure random clues, he’s beating the living shit out of the worst kind of thugs. And he almost always gets the girl.

Child, an Englishman, has written 13 Reacher novels. Each is an exploration of an element of America, something I find fascinating as a non-American. Reacher, see, is an American, an ex-soldier, but he never really lived on U.S. soil; he grew up on Marine bases and served all over the world. So as he explores baseball and the blues, he also discovers the underbelly of American life: militant survivalists, bloodthirsty arms dealers, organized mobsters, small-town killers and corporate warlords. And then he smashes them to the ground. I love this stuff.

As things stand now, last year’s Nothing To Lose (Reacher books hide their gutsy brains behind cliched titles, sadly) is the No. 1 paperback in Canada. And the next book, Gone Tomorrow, comes out next month. I avoid Reacher spoilers, so all I know about Gone Tomorrow is it’s supposedly Reacher vs. al-Qaeda. Well, all right!

But something new is happening right now: Bantam is giving away a Lee Child e-book. It’s The Persuader, a tight little one-set thriller about an isolated family in a seaside mansion, a big secret, and a stranger named Reacher. It’s incredible.

Download the e-book here. It’s available in various formats, from PDF to Kindle. There’s even one for iPhone. Get it while you can.

A couple of years ago, I realized I had bought a copy of One Shot, another Child book, when I already owned it. So I left it on a park bench in the hopes that someone else would pick it up and get hooked. I do that a lot now. This is sort of the same idea, but electronic and therefore better.

In unrelated news, I only recently learned that “Lee Child” is a pseudonym, and the author’s real name is the same as my father’s. That’s kind of cool.



One comment

  1. Awesome! It’s great to see someone else who’s been devouring Reacher since Killing Floor came out. I was never a fan of 24, so the Reacher novels give my fill of super exciting loose-cannon action. With my new job I have plenty of time for reading, so looks like i’ll be getting back into the series.

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