Night School – Lee Child – Audible Book Review by Pat V.
Hot on the heels of the première of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise in the title role, Audible have released a recording of the latest Reacher novel, Night School, the 21st in the series. Moving back to 1996, Child has set this book during the period when Reacher was still in the army working with the United States Military Police Corps and the story begins with him receiving a medal for bravery during his last assignment. Immediately afterwards, however, he is given a new mission which he is told he cannot refuse. The only information he has is that something is being sold to Saudi terrorists by an anonymous American for one hundred million dollars. Reacher’s task is to find out what it is and to stop the sale.
Along with an FBI agent and a CIA analyst, as well as his trusted sergeant, Frances Neagley, he leaves for Hamburg where the deal is to take place. What follows is the usual Reacher fare: crooked cops, fist fights, some romance and, for added spice, an encounter with Neo-Nazi thugs. The story cuts from Reacher’s investigation to the terrorist cell considering the purchase of the mysterious cargo and to the enigmatic American seller who leaves a trail of bodies in his wake. Realising that the sale is imminent and that the consequences might be catastrophic not just for America but for the whole world, Reacher’s team is under pressure to identify the people involved and to discover what is being sold.
Unfortunately, unlike many of the other titles in the Reacher series, Audible have released Night School only in an abridged version. The effect is like listening to the story in fast-forward. Events pile up on each other and the build-up of tension, which is what draws Reacher aficionados to the books, never gets a chance to develop. The reader, Kelly Shale, does his best and manages to capture the detached, impassive voice of his hero but the action is always on the move and it is hard to fully engage with the story.
There are fourteen of Lee Child’s Reacher novels available from Audible, seven of them unabridged. If you like a tense action adventure and haven’t listened to them before, choose one of these. You won’t be disappointed.
All of the audiobooks are available from audible.co.uk and Night School lasts 4h51