High Heat

by Lee Child


Reviewed by Dick Friedman

Superman has Smallville and Jack Reacher has New York City during the Summer of Sam. In a nifty prequel, best-selling author Lee Child takes a flight of fancy and drops his tough-guy creation--age 16 going on 17--into Greenwich Village on July 13, 1977: the sweltering evening that the metropolis is struck by a blackout. Quickly the wunderkind (already 6-foot-5 and ever ready to rumble) comes to the aid of a damsel in distress,  an undercover FBI agent named Jill Hemingway who has botched her pursuit of a drug-dealing Mafioso named Croselli. Reacher also hooks up with another older woman, a Sarah Lawrence coed cutie named Chrissie (no last name; this is the ‘70s, after all), who conveniently owns a blue Chevette that permits them (after a visit to CBGB)  to go parking down by the East River. There, as they are flagrante delicto, Reacher thinks he spots Sam. The story is delivered with the hard-hitting economy of the straight rights that youthful Jack uses to tattoo the bad guys. And Child evokes that unforgettable steambath of a night:  “A hundred degrees, maybe more, clamping down and now smug and settled and supreme, unchallenged by fans or air conditioning or any other kind of manmade mediation.”  In essence: hot ‘n’ happenin’.

Buy at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore

On the night of the blackout Dick Friedman was one of 14,626 at Shea Stadium watching the Mets play the Cubs--at least, until 9:34 p.m., when the lights went out in the sixth inning with Chicago leading 2-1.

1 reed=poor; 2 reeds=average; 3 reeds=good; 4 reeds=excellent
comments powered by Disqus
New Releases  
Title Author 
From the Heart  D. J. Taylor
The Vessel Taylor Stevens
Everybody's Baby Lydia Netzer
The Neighbor Dean Koontz
The Amateur  David Gordon
The Julian Chapter  R.J. Palacio
Old Girls in Low Cotton  Helen Childress
New Year's  Adelle Waldman
Below Zero  Roger Hurn
By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain Joe HIll
Title Author
 And the City Swallowed Them Mara Hvistendahl
The Hungarian Tiger  Tibor Fischer
The Matters of Life, Death and More: Writing on Soccer  Aleksandar Hemon
 Cloud Racers Adam Peneberg
Pay-Off: How One Millennial Eliminated Nearly $80,000 in Student Debt in Less Than Five Years  Shannon Young
The Spirit of '76: The Year America Went Rock & Roll David Browne
Bear Mountain Mick Webb
Bomber Girls M. J. Foreman
Twice Upon a Time Listening to New York Hari Kunzru
Mind What Your Wear  Karen J. Pine



Change password