Thrillers worth checking out |

Thrillers worth checking out

Lee Child has created one of the most indelible characters in page turning thriller prose in Jack Reacher, who’s been the protagonist in more than twenty titles from this prolific author.

Stephen King has referred to Reacher as the coolest ongoing character in genre fiction. Child’s latest effort is “Make Me” (Delacorte Press).

Our hero finds himself in some place called Mother’s Rest somewhere in the middle of nowhere, not much other than wheat fields, a railroad crossing (from which Reacher de-trains) and a mysterious woman named Chang, Michelle Chang, and off we go.

Rather than just following what has been a consistently successful trope in the series—putting Reacher in a situation and allowing him to sniff out whatever minor or major trouble lurks below the surface—this time the evil is truly more than palpable and takes a bit of digging to uncover.

Ranging across he country and around the internet, everything leads him right back to Mother’s Rest, on a relentless quest to sort it all out. As Reacher notes, “if you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.” One of the best in this ongoing series.

Then we have David Shafer’s debut novel “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (Mulholland Books) which came out in late 2014 and I’ve finally gotten around to reading.

Hailed as being darkly comic (which is a most definitely correct appellation), it’s the story of three young thirty-somethings, bored and looking for something authentic who find themselves pitted against an evil online oligarch.

Fearing that all data, all information will be privatized, the trio stumble in to unraveling the layers upon layers of a global plot that is threatening to control and digitize every thought we have, every breath we take.

Equally a techno-thriller and stylish psycho-drama (set decoration by Ikea) for the end of the world, the book evokes worlds previously conjured by the likes of both Thomas Pynchon and Phillip K. Dick, not to mention William Gibson.

But is very much the author’s own distinctive and stylish addition to the rapidly growing canon of dystopian visions of the times in which we live. And, it’s quite the page turner.

Kirk Robertson covers the arts and may be reached at