Book Review

Melissa Ann Howell Schier
3 min readJun 9, 2024

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Filly listened to her audio book the entire time she was running and doing her weight training workout. The book had picked up intensity.

In the book, Jack was trying to save a fellow man who was trapped inside a bunker. He and two women were walking in the moonlight towards the bunker, an odd shaped building perhaps from the 1940s- 1960s that was in a field, painted with camouflage. The two women were FBI agents and one was under cover. They believed the man inside to be CIA only the CIA was not supposed to be operating in the USA. The whole book had slowly and ponderously lead to this point of culmination and the tension was palpable.

They were approaching cautiously, in the dark with barely any light from the moon, walking about forty feet apart when the woman with the pale skin and blond hair got shot and killed.

Completely unexpected.

The way the author described that scene, took Filly from crying to laughing. a spectacular feast of emotions served on a silver platter, using words spoken by the man Jack, who was straightforward, intelligent yet sparse with words and endearing because of his bluntness.

She saved that page with a screenshot, to listen to it again on audio book. The speaker she was listening to, had been set to speak at 85 percent of his normal speed so that she could better hear the inflections, and the sarcasm and feel the timing of responses by Jack. The more she read about this man the more she liked him. She also really liked the voice of the reader.

The part she liked best was when the other woman crawled over to Jack and wanted him to return to the car with her so that they could update their reinforcements who would not be arriving for several more hours because they were flying in from out of state.

The remaining woman, who had a ten year old child, was worried Jack would be killed if he stayed but he wanted to find the sniper who shot and killed the pale woman. When the remaining woman said he would have better odds of living if he left with her, he said his odds of living would be better if he stayed.

When she asked how that was possible, he said that if he left with her, the odds were one hundred percent that he would “die of shame”.

Such honor and chivalry and concern for humanity, even when he had nothing he was obligated to do. Nothing to gain.

That was exactly like the men Filly had grown up knowing. Men who worked hard because they wanted to…not because they were forced. Men who stood up for ladies because they cared about their welfare, not because they thought women were weak.

As she continued to read, Jack had made it into the bunker using a truck. He had already taken out three of the enemy and was on his way to the roof to take out the sniper, at which point he would then go on to try to find the man who the enemy were holding hostage and release him.

One man, against an unknown number of hostiles, in the dark, and yet, Filly knew Reacher was going to go forward, no matter what. She had less than an hour to finish the book…and then she would be reading another of the Reacher books.

If mankind was going to mirror characteristics of what makes for a strong and good man, they might think the character of Jack was too rough, too sarcastic, too transient, yet they could do much worse than to mirror Reacher.

Like Filly, he cared about people, regardless of money, prestige, fame or looks. He made good judgement calls about evil, when he saw it, and he did not let evil proliferate. He saw women as team players and enjoyed the ones who had been commanders over him. He was competent yet not cocky, confident yet realistic, powerful yet not invincible.

Even when it put him in danger, he had crawled to the shot woman, and made sure she was not able to be revived. He did not let the enemy touch her out of respect for her. In the book it was very important for him to be able to reach her. He succeeded.

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Melissa Ann Howell Schier

HoustonWorkout on YouTube, mom of five, journalist and artist and conservative who values life.