by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Why is Reacher angry at Puller and Baldacci

An year back was that unbearable bore of a novel - Jack Reacher #17 - A Wanted Man.  I dubbed the book review Jack Reacher is not A Wanted Man.  In that novel Reacher becomes remarkably angry at a man in uniform, and insults him.

Last weekend I read the next Jack Reacher novel #18 - Never Go Back, a book which is very hard to put back down.  In this novel, Reacher seems to have gained more confidence, and angry at another man, injures him.

Nothing remarkable by itself in a Jack Reacher novel.  Lee Child depicts the character Jack Reacher as a man who is not afraid to use violence to protect himself or others who depend upon him.  Usually Reacher provokes or proactively resorts to violence, in order to gain advantage over his opponents - not that he actually needs any.

But there seems to have appeared one opponent, about two years back.  He is named John Puller, a character developed by David Baldacci, almost similar to Jack Reacher.  If you want to know the contrasts and similarities - a sort of Jack Reacher vs John Puller, read my post about Puller Prowlers and Reacher Creatures.  Normally I would not expect these characters to appear in each other’s novels - after all they do not share the same Marvel Universe!

Or so I thought!  Seems Lee Child really has taken David Baldacci’s John Puller to his heart, as an opponent.  In Child’s Universe, Puller and Baldacci do end up as opponents of Reacher.  So we do have Jack Reacher vs John Puller, sort of!

In A Wanted Man, he made Jack Reacher insult and threaten a character named - yeah - Puller.  A Deputy Chief named Puller comes into the story when the Sheriff Goodman dies. 
  • Even in their first meeting, chapter 48, Reacher insults ‘the guy named Puller’ (Lee Child’s words, not mine).  He asks Puller, ‘Were you dropped on the head as a baby?’
  • In chapter 50, he quips to Sorenson ‘But who’s going to do anything about it? That idiot Puller?
  • In chapter 52, he uses Puller as decoy and when Sorenson laments they might get him killed, Reacher retorts, ‘In which case we’ll be helping the gene pool.’
  • In chapter 54, Reacher compares dealing with Puller as a hassle - Like Teaching Hindu to a beagle.
In Never Go Back, Lee Child makes Jack Reacher injure a man named - yeah - Baldacci!  One of the 4 thugs following Reacher has driver’s licence and credit cards in the name of Ronald David Baldacci!  Though they’ve run into each other earlier,
  • In chapter 46, Reacher confronts Ronald David Baldacci on an airplane and breaks both his elbows in the toilet.
  • In chapter 47, he finds out Ronald David Baldacci is a serving soldier and starts to merrily use his credit cards, cash and driver’s licence for himself (and again in chapters 50, 51, 59, 60, 63).
  • In chapters 49, 54, 57, 64, 66, Ronald David Baldacci gets a mention as a suspect or part of larger conspiracy.
Apart from the fun of spotting something which others haven’t, doesn’t this qualify me for a Jack Reacher back pack in the Jack Reacher Competition by QBD books? (competition dates 27-29 Sep)  Even if I am not an Australian?



  1. I noticed it. Still, good catch and great commentary.

  2. I noticed it. Still, good catch and great commentary.

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