Book: Learn from the best. Learn from Jack Reacher

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He’s cool as a cucumber and doesn’t stand for any nonsense. And his name is Reacher. Jack Reacher. (Tom Cruise plays Lee Child’s hard-ass book character in the movie). Reacher is a former major in the American military police who is now trying to evade the authorities and also (in his extensive series of books) trying to solve murders in an unconventional way.

And now Jack Reacher has his own manual, Reacher’s Rules (R150 in book stores). Want to learn how to decipher codes, tackle your opponent with a knife or break into a building? Let Jack Reacher take you under his wing. After all, you never know if you’ll one day end up in a situation where you have to smash through a steel gate in a Chrysler. (In case you’re wondering: 1. Open the car’s windows so the force of the impact doesn’t deafen you; 2. Hold your arm in front of you so the airbag doesn’t knock you out; 3. Bring the car to a halt about three metres from the gate; 4. Rev the engine with your foot on the brake pedal, and ram the gate; 6. Flee before the police arrive. That’s cunning, Reacher. Cunning . . .)

If you’ve read his 20-odd books, you’ll enjoy Reacher’s Rules, a sort of summary of the best quotes and strategies in his books. Such as: “Either you walk out of here by yourself, or you’ll be carried out in a bucket.” Just the thing to entertain your mates around the braai fire. But if you haven’t got to know this tough nut’s books yet, steer clear.

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