Persuader (Jack Reacher Series #7)

Persuader (Jack Reacher Series #7)

by Lee Child

Paperback(Tall Rack Paperback - Reprint)

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Overview

“Gripping and suspenseful . . . Child ratchets up the suspense to new heights.”—The Denver Post
 
Jack Reacher lives for the moment. Without a home. Without commitment. And with a burning desire to right wrongs—and rewrite his own agonizing past. DEA Susan Duffy is living for the future, knowing that she has made a terrible mistake by putting one of her own female agents into a death trap within a heavily guarded Maine mansion.
 
Staging a brilliant ruse, Reacher hurtles into the dark heart of a vast criminal enterprise. Trying to rescue an agent whose time is running out, Reacher enters a crime lord’s waterfront fortress. There he will find a world of secrecy and violence—and confront some unfinished business from his own past.
 
Praise for Persuader
 
“A page-turner . . . [Lee] Child’s tale drives hard and fast.”Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“Wickedly addictive . . . so fast-paced it makes the eyeballs spin.”Orlando Sentinel
 
“A story that will sweep you along as fast as some of the riptides Reacher survives.”St. Petersburg Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440245988
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/19/2009
Series: Jack Reacher Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 14,452
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Lee Child is the author of twenty-one New York Times bestselling Jack Reacher thrillers, twelve of which have reached the #1 position. All have been optioned for major motion pictures—including Jack Reacher (based on One Shot) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in one hundred territories. A native of England and a former television director, Lee Child lives in New York City.

Hometown:

Birmingham, England

Date of Birth:

1954

Place of Birth:

Coventry, England

Education:

Sheffield University

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The cop climbed out of his car exactly four minutes before he got shot. He moved like he knew his fate in advance. He pushed the door against the resistance of a stiff hinge and swiveled slowly on the worn vinyl seat and planted both feet flat on the road. Then he grasped the door frame with both hands and heaved himself up and out. He stood in the cold clear air for a second and then turned and pushed the door shut again behind him. Held still for a second longer. Then he stepped forward and leaned against the side of the hood up near the headlight.

The car was a seven-year-old Chevy Caprice. It was black and had no police markings. But it had three radio antennas and plain chrome hubs. Most cops you talk to swear the Caprice is the best police vehicle ever built. This guy looked like he agreed with them. He looked like a veteran plain-clothes detective with the whole of the motor pool at his disposal. Like he drove the ancient Chevy because he wanted to. Like he wasn’t interested in the new Fords. I could see that kind of stubborn old-timer personality in the way he held himself. He was wide and bulky in a plain dark suit made from some kind of heavy wool. He was tall but stooped. An old man. He turned his head and looked north and south along the road and then craned his thick neck to glance back over his shoulder at the college gate. He was thirty yards away from me.

The college gate itself was purely a ceremonial thing. Two tall brick pillars just rose up from a long expanse of tended lawn behind the sidewalk. Connecting the pillars was a high double gate made from iron bars bent and folded and twisted into fancy shapes. It was shiny black. It looked like it had just been repainted. It was probably repainted after every winter. It had no security function. Anybody who wanted to avoid it could drive straight across the lawn. It was wide open, anyway. There was a driveway behind it with little knee-high iron posts set eight feet back on either side. They had latches. Each half of the gate was latched into one of them. Wide open. The driveway led on down to a huddle of mellow brick buildings about a hundred yards away. The buildings had steep mossy roofs and were overhung by trees. The driveway was lined with trees. The sidewalk was lined with trees. There were trees everywhere. Their leaves were just about coming in. They were tiny and curled and bright green. Six months from now they would be big and red and golden and photographers would be swarming all over the place taking pictures of them for the college brochure.

Twenty yards beyond the cop and his car and the gate was a pickup truck parked on the other side of the road. It was tight against the curb. It was facing toward me, fifty yards away. It looked a little out of place. It was faded red and had a big bull bar on the front. The bar was dull black and looked like it had been bent and straightened a couple of times. There were two men in the cab. They were young, tall, clean-cut, fair-haired. They were just sitting there, completely still, gazing forward, looking at nothing in particular. They weren’t looking at the cop. They weren’t looking at me.

I was set up to the south. I had an anonymous brown panel van parked outside a music store. The store was the kind of place you find near a college gate. It had used CDs in racks out on the sidewalk and posters in the windows behind them advertising bands people have never heard of. I had the van’s rear doors open. There were boxes stacked inside. I had a sheaf of paperwork in my hands. I was wearing a coat, because it was a cold April morning. I was wearing gloves, because the boxes in the van had loose staples where they had been torn open. I was wearing a gun, because I often do. It was wedged in my pants, at the back, under the coat. It was a Colt Anaconda, which is a huge stainless steel revolver chambered for the .44 Magnum cartridge. It was thirteen and a half inches long and weighed almost four pounds. Not my first choice of weapon. It was hard and heavy and cold and I was aware of it all the time.

I paused in the middle of the sidewalk and looked up from my papers and heard the distant pickup’s engine start. It stayed where it was, just idling. White exhaust pooled around its rear wheels. The air was cold. It was early and the street was deserted. I stepped behind my van and glanced down the side of the music store toward the college buildings. Saw a black Lincoln Town Car waiting outside one of them. There were two guys standing next to it. I was a hundred yards away but neither one of them looked like a limo driver. Limo drivers don’t come in pairs and they don’t look young and heavy and they don’t act tense and wary. These guys looked exactly like bodyguards.

The building the Lincoln was waiting outside of looked like some kind of a small dormitory. It had Greek letters over a big wooden door. I watched and the big wooden door opened up and a young thin guy stepped out. He looked like a student. He had long messy hair and was dressed like a homeless person but carried a bag that looked like shiny expensive leather. One of the bodyguards stood point while the other held the car door and the young thin guy tossed his bag onto the back seat and slid right in after it. He pulled the door shut behind himself. I heard it slam, faint and muffled from a hundred yards away. The bodyguards glanced around for a second and then got in the front together and a short moment later the car moved away. Thirty yards behind it a college security vehicle snuffled slowly in the same direction, not like it was intending to make up a convoy but like it just happened to be there anyway. There were two rent-a-cops in it. They were slumped down low in their seats and they looked aimless and bored.

I took my gloves off and tossed them into the back of my van. Stepped out into the road where my view was better. I saw the Lincoln come up the driveway at a moderate speed. It was black and shiny and immaculate. It had plenty of chrome on it. Plenty of wax. The college cops were way behind it. It paused at the ceremonial gate and turned left and came south toward the black police Caprice. Toward me.

What happened next occupied eight seconds, but it felt like the blink of an eye.

The faded red pickup moved off the curb twenty yards back. It accelerated hard. It caught up with the Lincoln and pulled out and passed it exactly level with the cop’s Caprice. It came within a foot of the cop’s knees. Then it accelerated again and pulled a little ways ahead and its driver swung the wheel hard and the corner of the bull bar smashed square into the Lincoln’s front fender. The pickup driver kept the wheel turned and his foot hard down and forced the Lincoln off the road onto the shoulder. The grass tore up and the Lincoln slowed radically and then hit a tree head-on. There was the boom of metal caving and tearing and headlight glass shattering and there was a big cloud of steam and the tree’s tiny green leaves shook and quivered noisily in the still morning air.

Then the two guys in the pickup came out shooting. They had black machine pistols and were firing them at the Lincoln. The sound was deafening and I could see arcs of spent brass raining down on the blacktop. Then the guys were pulling at the Lincoln’s doors. Hauling them open. One of them leaned into the back and started dragging the thin kid out. The other was still firing his gun into the front. Then he reached into his pocket left-handed and came out with some kind of a grenade. Tossed it inside the Lincoln and slammed the doors and grabbed his buddy and the kid by the shoulders and turned them away and hauled them down into a crouch. There was a loud bright explosion inside the Lincoln. All six windows shattered. I was more than twenty yards away and felt every bit of the concussion. Pebbles of glass blew everywhere. They made rainbows in the sun. Then the guy who had tossed the grenade scrambled up and sprinted for the passenger side of the pickup and the other straight-armed the kid inside the cab and crowded right in after him. The doors slammed shut and I saw the kid trapped in there on the center seat. I saw terror in his face. It was white with shock and right through the dirty windshield I saw his mouth opening in a silent scream. I saw the driver working the gears and heard the engine roaring and the tires squealing and then the truck was coming directly at me.

It was a Toyota. I could see toyota on the grille behind the bull bar. It rode high on its suspension and I could see a big black differential at the front. It was the size of a soccer ball. Four-wheel drive. Big fat tires. Dents and faded paint that hadn’t been washed since it left the factory. It was coming straight at me.

I had less than a second to decide.

I flipped the tail of my coat and pulled out the Colt. Aimed very carefully and fired once at the Toyota’s grille. The big gun flashed and roared and kicked in my hand. The huge .44 slug shattered the radiator. I fired again at the left front tire. Blew it out in a spectacular explosion of black rubber debris. Yards of blown tread whipped through the air. The truck slewed and stopped with the driver’s side facing me. Ten yards away. I ducked behind the back of my van and slammed the rear doors and came out on the sidewalk and fired again at the left rear tire. Same result. Rubber everywhere. The truck crashed down on its left-side rims at a steep angle. The driver opened his door and spilled out on the blacktop and scrambled up on one knee. He had his gun in the wrong hand. He juggled it across and I waited until I was fairly sure he was going to point it at me. Then I used my left hand to cradle my right forearm against the Colt’s four-pound weight and aimed carefully at center mass like I had been taught a long time ago and pulled the trigger. The guy’s chest seemed to explode in a huge cloud of blood.

Table of Contents

Interviews

The Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

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Persuader (Jack Reacher Series #7) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 422 reviews.
SlapShot62 More than 1 year ago
This is #7 in the series and I've read them in order. This is my favorite thus far; Without Fail (#6) was a disappointment and Child bounced right back with a winner here. The plot has much greater depth, there is a host of characters who all play significant roles in the story, it roars with plenty of action and Reacher gets all the bad guys. If you want an excellent escapism-type book, one where good wins out over evil and you don't mind the violence that comes with it, then this is a book you'll love. The Jack Reacher series is one of my favorites - along with the Camel Club, Harry Bosch, Lucas Davenport, etc.
Kate72 More than 1 year ago
I cannot say enough good things about Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series. Old fans will enjoy this novel as much as the others, new fans will rush out to buy the rest of the series.
spinspinnsuga More than 1 year ago
After reading "The Enemy", I expected the same sort of fast-paced, tension filled thriller for this book as well. I was a bit disappointed. What started off promising left me disappointed throughout the book. While the storyline itself is solid and Jack Reacher is his same dry, witty self, the story line lacked the heart pumping action I experienced in "The Enemy". The ending was predictable. However, the book still entertained and kept me engaged.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With the publication of his initial Jack Reacher thriller this author made it clear that both he and his protagonist were forces to be reckoned with. Lee Child's early promise is abundantly fulfilled in his seventh Reacher adventure. As readers of earlier works in this series know Jack Reacher is a former Army cop who travels like a turtle - his home is on his back as are his possessions. He has no family, and has made no promises. What he does have is a penchant for facing down big time trouble. A chance encounter on a Boston street more than rekindles memories, it sets them on fire as Reacher sees an old enemy he believed to be dead. It's been some ten years but he hasn't forgotten the one who apparently got away with murder. The jig is now up, and it's time to pay the price. But, what price is Reacher willing to pay for bringing the guilty to justice? Jet propelled action from cover to cover and realistic dialogue propel this can't-put-down thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all in order and so far this is the best one yet. Without Fail was the worst I have read yet but this book made up for it in a big way. I had a hard time putting it down. Enjoy
harstan More than 1 year ago
Jack Reacher is minding his business when he sees the cop and others go after Richard Beck in what appears to be an abduction attempt. Deciding in a nanosecond to become involved, Jack kills the cop and the others kill Richard¿s bodyguards. Jack takes Richard with him as they escape the bloodbath. Richard persuades Jack to take him to his home in Abbot, Maine where he swears his wealthy father, an oriental rug vendor, will reward him. Reluctantly, Reacher agrees only when Richard shows a missing ear sliced off from a previous kidnapping. However, what is obvious is not always clear when it comes to Reacher. The kidnapping was a ploy staged so that Reacher could infiltrate the impregnable home of Beck, who deals in a lot more than just rugs. Jack knows that Beck is his mark to finding the dead Quinn. Though not one to normally become involved, Reacher has unfinished business with a man reported dead for some time. The seventh Reacher novel is the usual terrific wild ride along side a macho maniac who fears nothing including a game of Russian Roulette in which he is the only player. The story line is exciting becauuse nothing is what it first seems although Lee Child always clarifies the obvious with a new obvious quite quickly. The audience never fully knows who is doing in whom with Reacher dissecting the middle. This testosterone thriller will persuade the sub-genre throng to reach out for this novel and once readers know Jack the previous works too. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jack Reacher series is always exciting and keeps you on the edge while trying to figure out the mystery. Really enjoy all the books in this series.
labdaddy4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been working my way through Child's Reacher novels, reading them in order. This is the poorest one - plodding
Reacherfan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This has a an interesting story line. There are really two stories that take place at the same time, and at one point, both stories merge.Reacher is walking down the street, and Reacher sees the impossible. A man that died 10 years ago. How does Reacher know that the man died? Easy, because 10 years ago, Reacher killed him, or so he thought.It's up to Reacher to find out why that guy didn't die, and infultrait the man's job operation so he can see what's really happening. The problem is that Reacher can't do it directly, so he has to find out who the guy he killed is working for, and work it from that angle. I know that sounds strange, but trust me, it's a wonderful read! There is so much action that the reader will be glued to every page. What I liked about this is there's a guy named Paulie, who's bigger than Reacher. Also, this is the first time that Reacher really shows any fear when he fights someone. Reacher thinks, "Okay, I'm going to die".I don't want to say to much of the plot, I just don't want to give anything away. This has so many plot twists and a ton of action. It's a "guy" book. You won't be sorry if you read this. This is a great Reacher adventure, one of my favorites!
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting, non-complicated, butt-kicking story. One of the best Reachers yet - no out-of-place politics or romance - guy just saves the day, as expected. Nice plot, nice pacing, even the ending fits what one expects from a Reacher novel. Excellent.
tororojo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jack Reacher is one of my all-time favorite characters, and I am a big fan of Child's direct, concise writing. Although this isn't my favorite Reacher novel, it easily meets my high expectations for the novels in the series.The tale begins with some curious goings-on that aren't easily reconciled with Reacher's character. The discrepancies are explained, and hidden agendas are explained.As always with Child's novels, once Reacher figures out what's really going on, the reader sees the clues that were scattered along the way. Reacher novels are enticingly frustrating in this regard. Which details are key, and which are superfluous?
TomWheaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 7th book in the Jack Reacher series and I didn't like it as much as some of the earlier books. I thought it started rather slowly and took awhile for me to really get into the storyyline. However, the last 100 pages where good and it turned into a page-turner. I will continue to read the next books in the series hoping for another good read.
gauravrekhi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is the lowest I would ever rate a Jack Reacher novel. I love them and will soon have read each one of them. This one is good as usual, but its not great as usual. I think the plot has some great twists but the final one if a bit weak. But overall, Jack Reacher novels rock and I will not let this slight aberration hinder my following the best investigative/action thriller series we have around.
firedog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first experience with a Jack Reacher book. It definitely was action packed and unpredictable from start to finish. I will definitely read more in this series.
neringros on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book started out kind of dull. I almost changed my mind at the first couple of pages, until I realized that all the cliches were there for a reason...Good light read overall, this book has the ability to keep the reader enthralled, but it did feel like it was written by a guy, tailored for a guy - full of grit... Alter ego, perhaps?
justabookreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jack Reacher is a man of many talents, chiefly among them seems to be rescuing others in dire circumstances. His former career as a military police officer seems to be a constant fall back --- as much as he does try to distance himself from it.Persuader opens with a shoot out on a college campus and Reacher just happens to be there to save student Richard Beck from being kidnapped. With the dramatic rescue accomplished, he worms his way into the family's house and finds a job as a body guard.As it turns out, Reacher isn't really there to protect anyone but himself. He's been sent in off the books by Susan Duffy, an agent from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), to rescue another DEA agent who went silent. He's also there for another more personal reason --- he plans to settle an old score with a man named Quinn who is supposed to be dead.As with all Lee Child books I have read, this one starts out at a brisk pace and keeps going. There are a lot of characters and numerous twists but he some how manages to keep it easy to follow. The suspense is high and readers stand to learn a lot about guns and other ways to kill. While it might not be an interesting point for every reader, imagining Reacher inspecting each gun he is either given or stolen is an intriguing insight into the character and his background.There is one thing to note with Lee Child novels --- you need to suspend all belief to get the most out of it. Reacher is a drifter who was downsized out of the army and spends his days hitching rides across the U.S. He carries no bags and has no family, the way he likes it. Yet, he somehow always manages to be in the right place at the right time and some government agency is always salivating to hire him for an off the books job after a peek at his service record.This doesn't make the books bad. It's the exact opposite. You keep reading because you want to find out how he's going to get out of a hostage situation, fight his way out of a locked room, and get the girl; which in almost every single book I've read this year (and there were seven of them) he has.Enjoy this book for what it is --- a fast paced thriller that will keep you engaged to the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best so far.
Bestine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why haven't I heard about Lee Child before this year? These Jack Reacher novels are great: gritty and imaginative with nifty, blind-siding plot twists and fascinating, well-developed characters. He also (IMHO) manages to use the 'spare, noir writing style' without sounding like he's trying to ape the classics of the genre.
MSWallack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed Persuader, I couldn't help but feel that Lee Child had grown somewhat tired or fatigued of his character. Several of the episodes in the story reminded me of previous novels in the series (for example, the unusual house in which much of the story takes place harkens back to the unusual house in which much of Echo Burning took place). That said, I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks into Reacher's past and it was nice that Reacher finally had the chance to be the tough guy again.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a bad thriller at all but having read two books where the end justifies the means and it doesn't matter what the law actually says I need to read something a little more fluffy
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