I’ve only delved into a few of the Jack Reacher books and, while I find their plots a little ridiculous, they certainly are fun. High Heat is a novella that takes us back to “pre”-Reacher days, when Jack was still in his teens and visiting New York City. Unfortunately, what could have provided Child a great opportunity to showcase the difference between the seasoned Reacher and his younger self instead reads as more of the same.
Only even less believable.
You have a 16 year old military brat telling an FBI agent how to operate her plan. You have Reacher running into the same FBI agent not twice in the same night, under random occurrences, but THREE times… In New York City?!? Seriously? You have a teenager showing up (and beating up) Mafioso, identifying a killer just by the way the man moves, and risking his life to help this same FBI agent with no real motive other than that he’s Jack Reacher.
With writing sprinkled with lazy metaphors and the amount of sheer coincidences populating the plot, this really felt more like somone’s bad version of fan-fiction than something a NYT best-selling author would release into the world. When a hero is so infallible that you can’t find awkwardness and mistakes even in his youth, it’s time to add a layer of believability to your characters before your audience just starts losing interest.