A story addicted curmudgeon swimming in a sea of wonderfully crafted words.
This is the first Stephen Leather book I have experienced. Paul Thornton's reading is excellent showing a convincing range of voices to characterised Leather's people The story has many different and complex layers striding effortlessly from Balfast to London to North Africa and the Indian Ocean. My one reservation is the description of sexual violence. I cringed as the words rounded on the horrid specifics of rape ...I was tempted to end the reading though thankfully the writer used the situation to drive the story forward and the violence, whilst remaining horrid, was used as a part of the architecture holding the story together. However, good though the story is it not for the faint hearted.
Having read a review saying this book is predictable and 'clunking' I have to say it is just that and that is its charm. You know you're going to get Reacher at his uncompromising unforgiving best. Jeff Harding's delivery has been compared with John Wayne without his charm now exchange that for Bogart's Sam Spade's drawl, menacing no nonsense voice over and you have a triumph of character formation over anything as trite as the rambling 'Duke'. The Hard Way is where Reacher mingles with other special forces personale but second leaguer and those with fists but no brains. It's a good yarn and one with twists in unexpected directions.