Summary and book reviews of Echo Burning by Lee Child

Echo Burning

A Jack Reacher Thriller

By Lee Child

Echo Burning
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  • Hardcover: Jun 2001,
    368 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2002,
    432 pages.

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Book Summary

Ex-military cop Jack Reacher returns in this latest in the award-winning series critics call "spectacular" (The Seattle Times), "relentless" (Denver Post), and "perfect" (The New York Times Book Review).

Reacher is hitching through the heat of West Texas and getting desperate for a ride. The last thing he's worried about is exactly who picks him up.

She's called Carmen. She's a good-looking young woman, she has a beautiful little girl...and she has married into the wrong family. They're called the Greers. They're a bitter and miserly clan, and they've made her life a living hell. Worse, her monster of a husband is soon due out of prison. So she needs protection, and she needs it now.

Lawyers can't help. Cops can't be trusted. So Reacher goes home with her to the lonely ranch where nothing is as it seems and where evil swirls around them like dust in a storm. Within days, Carmen's husband is dead-and simmering secrets send Echo, Texas, up in flames.

Chapter One

There were three watchers, two men and a boy. They were using telescopes, not field glasses. It was a question of distance. They were almost a mile from their target area, because of the terrain. There was no closer cover. It was low, undulating country, burned khaki by the sun, grass and rock and sandy soil alike. The nearest safe concealment was the broad dip they were in, a bone-dry gulch scraped out a million years ago by a different climate, when there had been rain and ferns and rushing rivers.

The men lay prone in the dust with the early heat on their backs, their telescopes at their eyes. The boy scuttled around on his knees, fetching water from the cooler, watching for waking rattlesnakes, logging comments in a notebook. They had arrived before first light in a dusty pick-up truck, the long way around, across the empty land from the west. They had thrown a dirty tarpaulin over the truck and held it down with rocks. They had eased forward to the rim of the ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Boston Globe

Echo Burning is the best mystery I have read this year; best written, best plotted, best in just about every way.

Publishers Weekly

Set in a literally and figuratively smoldering landscape, this is a clean, infectious story that taps deeply into two troubling human emotions the psychology of abuse and the desire for retribution.

Booklist

This fifth Reacher novel is brilliantly plotted. ..For anyone who thinks the hard-boiled genre is growing soft around the edges.

Library Journal

Child's Jack Reacher series just keeps on getting better.

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