Fresh Blood 3 by Mike Ripley and Maxim Jakubowski (Editors) with Lee Child (PWBR00041)
The Writing Life of a Tadpole
Plot or Premise
The collection includes a story by Lee Child called ‘James Penney’s New Identity’, which is the first Jack Reacher story. However, quite frankly, he only has a very small part to play. The story revolves around a guy named James Penny. He works in a small town, where the only industry is a factory that has just laid him off. He storms off, causes damage en route, and the police are after him for the problems he’s caused. It was accidental, but that isn’t going to matter much if they catch him. Enter Reacher to help him out.
What I Liked
I liked the idea of one bad thing getting out of hand and leading to a lot of other problems in Penney’s life.
What I Didn’t Like
Reacher enters the story at the end to save the day, but it’s basically coincidence. There’s nothing tying the resolution to the rest of the story really, and you also don’t get a good feeling for why Reacher was there in the first place and his backstory.