Monday, 25 April 2011

Child Violence

I read a Lee Child recently - he is the best-selling thriller author from the UK based in the US.  His hero is Jack Reacher, loner, ex-military cop, tough guy.  The plots are intricate and ludicrous, but satisfying in a Charles Bronson meets Tom Clancy sort of way.  When younger I enjoyed Alistair MacLean's novels a great deal, published in Fontana editions.  One point though - Reacher is very very ruthless.  He kills, on average, ten to twelve people in each book, I'd reckon, by strangulation, throat-slitting, and brain smashing (usually using powerful guns).  He is usually "justified" because the killers are ultra-sadistic killers or terrorists threatening the American way of life, and people Reacher loves or cares for.  Of course, he takes the law way into his own hands, and squeezes it there until it looks all broken and funny.  Good clean fun?  No.  Red-blooded pulp for boys?  Maybe.  More Spillane than Chandler, Child is a good terse prose writer, with a touch of style.  But hasn't his "hero" murdered about 150 to 200 men and women through the series, by now?  That's serial killing, more than vigilante justice, no?
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