retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The new Jack Reacher novel, "No Plan B," is out, and once again it appears to have been written by series creator Lee Child's brother, Andrew Child.  (The transition has been taking place over the past several books, as Lee Child reportedly has spent more time focusing on the TV series for Amazon Prime Video.)  I've said in the past that I'm not crazy about Andrew Child's writing style - there always was a kind of ironic buoyancy to Lee Child's work that his brother's work, with a blunter style, lacks.

That said, I really enjoyed "No Plan B."  The novel is extremely well plotted, with three separate narrative streams - only one of which involves Reacher for most of the book - taking place, only converging at the end.  There are plot twists and misdirection, resulting in a real page turner.

And as always, there's Reacher - wandering the countryside, picking destinations on impulse and managing to find trouble and injustice pretty much everywhere.  In "No Plan B," he sees the murder of a young woman who literally is thrown under a bus.  When the authorities refuse to believe that there was foul play, Reacher's finely tuned sense of right and wrong leads him on a cross-country journey not just to fond out who did it, but why … and it lands him right in the middle of a conspiracy.

"No Plan B" is a fun ride.  Not quite as much fun as it might've been had Lee Child written it, but it'll do.


Speaking of fun … season three of "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" is back, turning Sunday nights on CNN into destination television.  There's nothing like Tucci's tour of Italy's various regions, telling us just enough about the history, politics and people, but mostly visiting farms and vineyards and restaurants, watching some incredibly talented people make magic in the kitchen, often just by using olive oil, tomatoes and pasta in ways most of us never would've considered.


Amazon has just unveiled the trailer for the third season of "Jack Ryan," starring John Krasinski, and it also looks like a lot of fun … even if it seems to have very little to do with the original novels and character created by Tom Clancy;  he';s more of an action hero in the TV series, as opposed to being the "I'm an analyst, I just write reports" semi-nerd of the Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford movies.In this iteration, Ryan has gone all "Fugitive" after he seems to uncover and then is implicated in a conspiracy.

Check it out:


That's it for this week.  Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Sláinte!!