Lee Child's PERSONAL

In Personal, Jack Reacher, a former Army MP, sees an ad for him to contact an acquaintance in a military paper that he finds on a bus. He does and is whisked away within hours to  the former Pope Air Force Base.

He learns of a possible assassination attempt at the G8 summit, and our government thinks that a former sniper that Reacher put away fifteen years ago may be one of the suspects. Reacher, along with a rookie analyst from the State Department, try to track down the sniper, recently released from jail. Their journey takes them to Arkansas, France, and England where they battle two different gangs and bureaucracies of several governments.

The title becomes evident in the last few pages of the book. And Child ties up all of the loose ends. He does a good job with building tension in this novel. I always like Jack Reacher, but I wasn't that fond of his sidekick in this one.

FACEOFF - Edited by David Baldacci

I downloaded the International Thrill Writers' anthology, Faceoff, edited by David Baldacci. Most anthologies have some sort of theme. This one is interesting because it pairs multiple writers and their protagonists in each story. It also introduced me to several new-to-me authors, and I look forward to reading their novels.

My favorites included Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly's "Red Eye," set in Boston. Both characters are looking for the same kidnapper. One is because of a recent abduction, and the other is chasing a lead from a cold case in California. Steve Martini and Linda Fairstein's characters meet at a lawyers' conference in "Surfing the Panther." I also liked the twist in Heather Graham and F. Paul Wilson's "Infernal Night," set in New Orleans. "Pit Stop" by Raymond Khoury and Linwood Barclay encapsulates an action-packed car-jacking in the limited space of a short story. I also liked "Good and Valuable Consideration" by Lee Child and Joseph Finder. Jack Reacher stories are always a great read.

And the beauty of a short story anthology is that if you don't like a particular story, you can always move on to the next one. There is something in Faceoff for all tastes.