Review – No Middle Name by Lee Child

My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Published together for the first time, the complete Jack Reacher short story collection.  Jack ‘No Middle Name’ Reacher, lone wolf, knight errant, ex-military cop, lover of women, scourge of the wicked and righter of wrongs, is the most iconic hero of our age.  This is the first time all Lee Child’s shorter fiction featuring Jack Reacher has been collected in one volume.  Read together, these stories shed new light on Reacher’s past, illuminating how he grew up and developed into the wandering avenger who has captured the imagination of millions around the world.


To be honest, a Lee Child novel pretty much sells itself without the need for reviews.  There is a reason one of his books is sold somewhere in the world every 9 seconds (data from Bantam Press).  However, there are a few people I have chatted with recently who don’t even know who Jack Reacher is (even when I bring up the Tom Cruise film) so it gave me a reason to review this book.

This short story collection is a perfect starting point for those who have not read anything from Lee Child yet and haven’t been introduced to the world of Jack Reacher.  Or even those who love Reacher but want to know how this vivid, complex character became the way he is today.  I have read all 21 books in the series but this is the first time I am reading the novellas.  It was pleasing to find them completely original and I adored reading about Reacher as a young boy.  Lee Child gets it spot on with how he has transformed what is usually a middle-aged man into a 13 year old boy – their characteristics are perfectly matched.

I have to admit that I am not usually one for short stories, as I usually want more from it, but these are a perfect collection.  It also helps that they are all stories based on the same character so in a way it helped me believe I was reading a sort of novel.  It also got me understanding Reacher more as I love to get inside that complicated brain of his!

For me, Reacher is just so exciting.  I love the way he dissects every person and situation at the blink of an eye.  He is intelligent, mysterious and always gets the “baddies” found out after kicking their butts!  He can also get himself out of any situation where something is about to go horribly wrong.  Basically, he is just one awesome character.

There is good dialogue throughout.  One thing I have noticed with Lee Child is that he uses language that everyone understands and it is how people actually talk to each other, nothing fancy and over complicated.  He also writes brilliant fight scenes; imaginative, quick and easy to follow, plus nothing overly gory either.  The narrative is excellent and flows perfectly.  There is also a certain amount of humour too, with witty remarks from Reacher and funny descriptions detailed throughout.  I quite often found myself sniggering a little here and there.  One quote that really jumped out at me was – “The smart money brings a gun to the knife fight. Reacher brought a hydrogen bomb”.  This sums Reacher up perfectly!

Lee Child deserves an MBE for his services to literature.  He has created a character (and continually kept him up throughout 21 books) that is loved throughout the world.

You have to read this action-packed book (and all the others too!).  You will not be disappointed!

Thank you to Bantam Press for sending me a proof copy of what is an amazing short story collection, in exchange for an honest review.  I really appreciate it!

This book is out in shops to buy on 18 May 2017!

My final word: A-MAZING!

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