Deep Down: A Jack Reacher Story - Lee Child, Dick Hill, Random House Audio

Ahh, this is more like it -- I was afraid that I was going to have to give up on these shorts to preserve my appreciation for the novels. But Lee Child and Dick Hill pulled it off.


Its the mid-80s, Reacher's a Captain in the Army and is called to Washington to go undercover as an Army sniper. Someone is leaking information from a Congressional investigation into whether the Army and Marines need a new, super-cutting-edge sniper rifle. The Army's got it narrowed down to 4 suspects, they want him to narrow it down. Reacher is repeatedly assured that this will just be talking and that there is "no danger."


So, yeah, things are going to get dicey.


The suspects are four women on the fast track to the top of the Army -- if not Commander-in-Chief (Child apparently likes the idea of women on the Fast-Track in the Army) -- we get to spend a little time getting to know them with Reacher. His handler wants Reacher to try to use his masculine wiles with one or all of them. Reacher has a pretty good idea who is target is, and then plunges in, pretty sure he'll have to come up with something better than attempting to seduce superior officers.


Interspersed with the early portions of this story are snippets of two different individuals heading toward the center of D.C. -- it's not immediately clear what's going on with either of them, but you get plenty of opportunities to guess. They do a decent job of increasing the tension, though.


Reacher does get enough clues (naturally) to identify the leak -- not only that, he's able to uncover a whole lot more. Best yet, the book includes a fantastic Reacher fight scene (don't get me wrong, I love it when he uses his brain, but the last two short stories I listened to didn't have a lot of action.).


Some of Hill's female voices leave a little to be desired. But I have no other complaints -- good stuff (he has sort of a Stan Lee quality to his voice from time to time -- if Child ever made him say "true believers," I'd flip).


Good, strong story. Capable narration -- a great way to spend 100 minutes.