Book Review | “No Middle Name”


If you like Jack Reacher, you will love this book.  I usually take a book in my briefcase and pack one in my suitcase when I travel so that I always have something to read in case of flight delays.  On my last trip, I forgot to pack the extra book so ended up browsing in the book store at DFW airport.  My eyes were immediately drawn to this book.

For those of you familiar with Jack (no middle name) Reacher, you know that Lee Child will hold your attention from cover to cover with his adventures.  Don’t call him Jack, just Reacher.

This is a book of collected stories, some ranging from 80 pages to stories only 10 pages long.  It covers different times during Reacher’s life from a teenager in New York City, through the current day of Reacher as a loner.

The back cover gives you a little hint of the contents of the book: “Brace yourself for the ultimate Jack Reacher reading experience.  This pulse-pounding collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Lee Child, features eleven previously published pieces” and begins with a new novella, “Too Much Time”.

Reacher was raised in a military family, moving quite often around the world.  He joined the Army and many of Child’s books are during his career as a military policeman.

These are stand-alone stories so if you aren’t familiar with Reacher’s growing up or background in the Army, you will still be able to follow along.  These are action/thriller stories that do keep you at the edge of your seat and speculating what will happen next.

I especially enjoy his stories after Reacher’s discharge from the Army when he just travels the country.  Having relocated so many times during his youth and Army career, Reacher doesn’t like staying in any one place very long.  He travels light, just carrying a foldup toothbrush, driver’s license and ATM Card.  When he needs clean clothes, he just goes and buys them from inexpensive stores or resale shops.  He always manages to get into some trouble along the way, and you just fly through the story wondering how he will get out of it.

Most of the stories are well defined.  However, I did feel that the shorter stories didn’t give the author enough room to fully develop the story.  As many Reacher books as I have read, the stories were all new to me.  They range in publication date from 1999 to 2017.

“Lee Child is the author of 21 New York Times bestselling Jack Reacher thrillers, 12 of which have reached the #1 position.”  He lives in New York.

I really like this quote from the Seattle Times as it explains why I enjoy the series so much: “Jack Reacher is the thinking reader’s action hero”.

To be sure this book is in the Jefferson Carnegie Library, I’ve donated my copy for your reading pleasure.  You will enjoy all of the Jack Reacher books and this is a very good introduction to the series if you are unfamiliar with Child’s works. To see the full collection of Jack Reacher novels – in both print and audio CD versions – at Jefferson Carnegie Library, check out the library catalog, now accessible through the library’s website at


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