Book Review: Cleaning the Gold by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter

Cleaning the Gold by Lee Child and Karin SlaughterCleaning the Gold is a short novella co-authored by two of my favorite authors: Lee Child and Karin Slaughter. I’ve been waiting for this story ever since I’ve heard it is being written, and my wait panned out. At less than 100 pages, the book is short, indeed. However, it is engaging from the very first page.

Basically, the story is about Will Trent going after Jack Reacher based on a cold case, believing that he is a cop killer, Of course, when they finally meet, things take a very different turn. The readers of the Jack Reacher series will know that Reacher is not a cop killer. This is not a spoiler at all. It’s a simple deduction based on the over 20 Jack Reacher books Lee Child has written today. If you’ve read them all, you have a pretty good profile of our favorite hero.

As the two start working together with distrust in their eyes, they both get a big surprise when it turns out that there are stronger forces at play than they both realized or counted on.

My slight disappointment comes from the fact that the bigger story the two stumble upon gets to resolution. I don’t know whether it will be brought to closure in the next Will Trent or the next Jack Reacher book, but here’s hoping. Otherwise, it will stick in my mind like an annoying loose end that wants to be tied up.

There is not a lot of character development in the novella given the book’s size, but the main traits of the two people are there, and readers of both series will easily identify with the characters. If you’ve only read, say, the Jack Reacher series, you can still get a lot from the book. Only Will Trent will seem a bit strange to you, an unknown in the equation. Equally, if you’ve only read the Will Trent books, you might not know a lot about Jack Reacher and your suspicion of him might stay with you for a long time.

However, again, I won’t spoil in saying that both are good guys. After all, they’re the main characters in their respective long-term series. They simply can’t be bad, and I know that even before I’ve read the novella.

Since the Jack Reacher series is my all-time favorite (not to diss Will Trent because he is a great guy with a great storyline), if you haven’t read the series yet, I urge you to pick up and read the Jack Reacher books in order. It will be well worth it. Reacher is a strong and well-defined character that just grows from book to book. Of course, some people might have watched the Jack Reacher movies and not read the book. Here, in this novella, his enormous size is amply described and often mentioned. So if you didn’t take part in the uproar caused by Tom Cruise’s casting, I hope you see now what the hoopla was all about. Tom Cruise is definitely not a bear of a Jack Reacher. But I digress.

If you haven’t picked up the novella yet, give it a go. It’s short, can be read in less than a whole afternoon, and it’s cheap too.

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  1. Bought the book based on the two tv series. Loved the book. Hated the ending.

  2. Book great. No ending. How can they do that. Someone write a continuation book. I am waiting

  3. I agree with the other comments. I thought that there was an error, that part of the book had been accidentally left out. I am also a devoted Lee Child reader, there is no one like him in his descriptions (which are enhanced when Dick Hill reads them). But this “novella” falls far short of what he usually writes. How did he get talked into doing this?

  4. Do not waste your money on this farce of a book. My Kindle version was listed at 120+ pages. After 80 pages the story just stopped. No ending. The rest of the book (more than 30%!) was an extract from Slaughter’s new book which I certainly will not be buying. Message to Lee Child – do not let this writer get her hands on Reacher again.

  5. I read it. I’ve never been so disappointed by a Lee Child story. It was going pretty well until the end, but that was a low blow to anyone who has read every one of his Jack reacher books and stories. It was a cheap trick. It is a book with no ending and I hate those. I almost feel like I need to get a free book to make up for this! Don’t waste your time.

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