ONE SHOT is the ninth entry in the Jack Reacher franchise, but it doesn't matter. Every novel is an entity in itself. They aren't linked in anyway, except for the presence of Reacher. In this one, a sniper sent a midland city in panic by shooting five seemingly random citizens at 5 PM on a Friday. The evidence quickly leads to James Barr, an ex-army sniper with a mountain of problems. He is arrested, charged and beaten into a coma by Mexican people, in county jail. Before going under, he has one simple, yet mysterious request: "Get me Jack Reacher." Nobody is able to honor that request and find Reacher, but in good Chuck Norris fashion, Reacher finds them **. He has come to fulfill an old promise to James Barr, except that his super-duper investigator skills tell him something telse: Barr is innocent, this time.
There is an annual competition to find real life Jack Reacher lookalikes. Usually it's a younger, bigger lookalike of his potato-faced author that wins. That's no fun. The only thing that kept Jack Reacher fun for me was to imagine him as a hyper pipsqueak with a chip on his shoulder. Jack Reacher is a perfect human being, except he's not. There are plenty of flawless characters in literature. Michael Scofield, from PRISON BREAK, is as flawless as it gets. The difference between them is that Reacher is obsessed with his flawlessness. That makes him childish, rude and utterly annoying. He keeps correcting everybody about petty details ***, bragging about his sexual exploits and ridiculing his enemies' toughness. I stopped finding that type of behavior cool since I blown the twelfth candle on my birthday cake.
* Dubiously renamed...MATT DAAAM- I mean, JACK REACHER.
** Except that, you know. Lee Child doesn't have any sense of humor about that.
*** There is a very minor character once, who says: "You're a hard man to find, Reacher," and Reacher answers: "Correction, I'm an impossible man to find". I mean c'mon! Take the compliment and shut up. Don't butter yourself up some more!