Jack Reacher, child prodigy?

This short story has 16 year old Jack Reacher as a busy boy in the summer of 1977. During roughly 12 hours? he meets an FBI agent, has the mob after him, hooks up with a Sarah Lawrence student, and puts the word out on the Son of Sam. During the 1977 blackout of New York City.

Many of the reviews are contemptuous. This is the 40 year old Reacher in a 16 year old body, they proclaim. Well yes, that’s the point. (And if he was 16 in 1977 he’s in his 50s, not 40s.) Reacher has always been Reacher. He was Reacher at 6, at 16, and at 40. Experience adds on but doesn’t change him.

Believable? No the short isn’t believable. Nor are the novels. This is a tongue in cheek Indiana Jones piece. Read it for what it is.

As for me? I was in NYC that night — a college student in a coffee house in Washington Square, living at NYU. I could have been one of those college girls, all long limbed and straight hair. And I remember that night, sitting on the steps watching the stars come out over the city.

Lee Childs gets the ambience of that summer right. But I’m one up on Reacher — I got to see the Yankees play.