2003 Hardcover edition
|Publisher||Bantam Press (UK), Delacorte Press (US)|
|13 May 2003|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3553.H4838 P4 2003|
|Preceded by||Without Fail|
|Followed by||The Enemy|
Jack Reacher is working unofficially with the DEA to bring down a boy's father, Zachary Beck, who is suspected of being smuggling drugs under the pretext of trading in oriental carpets. They stage a kidnap effort on Zachary's son, Richard Beck. A frightened Richard places in his trust on Reacher and asks him to take him back home. Reacher gains access to Beck and gradually gains his confidence by working as a hired gun/bodyguard. While working undercover he regrettably has to eliminate a few of Beck's minions to prevent them from exposing him. During this time he figures out that he was not the only undercover agent appointed on keeping track of Zachary Beck. The house maid is found to be a federal agent trying to get proofs of arms smuggling against Zachery. DEA on finding that they were mistaken about the nature of crime Zachery was involved in, tries to pull Reacher out. Reacher refused to step back as his primary motivation in getting involved at all in this off-the-books operation is to have another go at Francis Xavier Quinn, a former Military Intelligence agent who brutally mutilated and murdered a female military colleague of Reacher's ten years before. Reacher had originally presumed Quinn to be deceased after their last little encounter but eventually found that assumption to be incorrect after running into Quinn in public. It's ten years later and Quinn somehow just happens to be Zachary Beck's boss in a supremely lucrative, international gun-running enterprise. And it is revealed that Zachery was forced into working for Quinn and his family was tormented by bodyguards appointed by Quinn. As always, it is Reacher's all-consuming obsession with revenge, or at least with his personal interpretation of doling out justice, which pushes him far beyond the normal boundaries of physical endurance and acceptable risk.
Leslie Doran of The Denver Post said that the novel had a "gripping and suspenseful opening" and that "for returning Reacher fans...beginning scenes will cause extra suspense". Patrick Anderson of The Washington Post described it as "a skillful blend of sex, violence, sadism, weaponry, spies, smuggling, revenge, deception, suspense and nonstop action", though he also notes that the novel has "several premises that are hard to swallow". After a short description of how quickly he read through the earlier books in the series after reading Persuader, Dale Jones of The Gazette simply stated "You might say I liked it".
- "Jack Reacher trips another bloody two-step". Chicago Sun-Times. 25 May 2003. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
- Doran, Leslie (11 May 2003). "Lee Child's latest a persuasive effort". The Denver Post. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
- Anderson, Patrick (5 May 2003). "Meat and Potatoes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
- Jones, Dale (31 August 2003). "'Persuader' proves to be persuasive, full of suspense". The Gazette. Retrieved 20 October 2010.