By Thom Geier
Updated October 05, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Wanted Man

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Lee Child isn’t making it easy for Tom Cruise, who’s starring in Jack Reacher (this December’s action film based on Child’s ninth novel, One Shot). He may be okay with Cruise playing his rugged hero Reacher, but on the second page of A Wanted Man Child reminds us the ex-military cop is ”a big man, six feet five inches tall, heavily built.” Reacher needs that heft for his new adventure, which involves a terrorist cell, a murder in rural Nebraska, and a kidnapped cocktail waitress. Child’s prose is muscular and fast-paced, though not speedy enough to make up for a convoluted plot that doesn’t always track. B

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A Wanted Man

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