In an exclusive joint interview not long ago, Joseph Finder and Lee Child, firm friends, got into a very amusing and revelatory public argument about each other's writing methods. Finder accused Child of not telling the whole truth when he claimed he never plans Jack Reacher's escapades in his best-selling thrillers. Child retaliated by saying he simply doesn't know what's going to happen to his famous hero from one page to the next—and he brushed aside Finder's insistence that a lot more research goes into the Jack Reacher novels than their author will admit.
Whatever the truth behind the banter, both novelists are brilliant plotters and they know just how to grip the reader with stories about unique characters who specialise in extricating themselves from very dicy situations.
Both Finder and Child are also well represented in our Select Editions—our readers love the suspense and excitement in their books. We don't choose their whole oeuvre, however. Recently we published our condensation of Buried Secrets in Select Editions (July 2012). But back when Lee Child's The Enemy hit the bookstores, it didn't appear in our selection.
We thought you'd like to see a couple of reader reviews of the time. Thanks to Amy Radovic and Sally Kressider! Which book would you be keen to read, on the basis of these two reports? Can you make up your mind? Let us know why you like Jospeh Finder or Lee Child at email@example.com
BURIED SECRETS: review by reader Amy Radovic
Series hero Nick Heller (this is book 2), former military special ops guy, is now in Boston with his own investigative firm. His services are called upon when the teenage daughter of an old family friend is kidnapped. Turns out there is more than just lots of money at stake—her father is a hedge-fund type who is also involved in some shadier dealings. As the secrets unfold, Nick maintains his trademark good heart and breaks-all-the-rules-for-the-right-reasons personality.
THE ENEMY: review by reader Sally Kressider
This is set at the beginning of 1990 when Reacher is still a military policeman. Two-star General Ken Kramer is found dead in his motel room from a heart attack. Next Kramer's wife is found murdered. It seems that Kramer possessed a brief case which contained shocking secret information and the brief case is now missing. Next a soldier is found dead within the Fort Bird Perimeter. Reacher discovers that at the heart of it all is a power struggle between the various divisions of the armed forces. At the same time Reacher and his brother Joe are coming to terms with the fact that their French mother is dying of cancer in Paris. I can hardly believe it myself but I did have a tear in my eye at one point while reading one of these sections. While it is an enjoyable read, it is not brilliant. The motive for the killings (various commanders in the armoured divisions want to make sure that they don't lose power in a world where the Soviet bloc is no longer the enemy) seemed weak to me. Would army generals really kill to make sure that their section was still in demand?