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Running Blind    by Lee Child order for
Running Blind
by Lee Child
Order:  USA  Can
Jove, 2007 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Ex-army MP Jack Reacher might well subscribe to the belief that no good deed goes unpunished after the FBI arrest him at the beginning of Running Blind. He has just dealt out his usual form of vigilante justice to help a restaurant owner being threatened by two scumbags running a protection racket. Jack doesn't set out to save the world, but simply 'wasn't about to let anything happen under his nose. He couldn't just walk away. He never had.'

Why did the FBI pull Jack in? There have been a series of killings of women who served in the army. They had all pressed charges of sexual harrassment against superiors and ultimately resigned. Jack knew the first two women and the FBI profilers (in particular virulently hostile Special Agent Julia Lamarr) have their sights on him as the killer - or so they claim. Each woman was found dead in her bathtub, which was filled with green army issue paint - but the cause of death could not be determined by pathologists and the killer has left no clues. The FBI put heavy pressure on Jack to help them as their Army liaison, saying that without his contacts they're just running blind.

As this episode in Jack Reacher's tumultuous life opens, our antihero is romantically involved with Manhattan attorney Jodie Jacob (who's working long hours with a partnership imminent) and lives uneasily in the mansion left to him by Jodie's father, his old commanding officer Leon Garber. Though very happy with his girlfriend, Jack feels uncomfortably anchored by ownership of the house and longs for a hobo lifestyle. Jodie warns Jack that the FBI is using him as a magic bullet, but he ends up with no choice but to work with them - in his own way of course. He ends up partnered with a very attractive young agent, Lisa Harper. Together they make progress on the case.

Though I figured out the killer's identity about half way through the book, the details of the unique - and quite surprising - murder method eluded me and kept me glued to the pages. Running Blind will not disappoint the growing legion of fans of Lee Child's strong individualist antihero, Jack Reacher.

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