The Jack Reacher novels suck.
The action is okay, but the plots are predictable, and Lee Child’s ignorance of firearms is staggering.
If you’re reading a Reacher novel, prepare to be lectured about shotgun cones of death, how a .22 to the back of the head will take a person’s face off, and how FBI special agents are issued long-barreled revolvers.
You can’t escape the ignorance–Reacher was an Army MP, and any time someone is shot or he handles a gun, he inflicts on the reader his munificent experience (as distorted by the British author). Especially glaring is the constant reference to 12 bore shotguns (here in the US, we say gauge, not bore).
The Jack Reacher movie, on the other hand, focuses on the action and plot, and Tom Cruise does not narrate incorrect firearm information.
I wouldn’t have read the first Reacher book if I hadn’t seen the movie first; if I had read the book first, I wouldn’t have seen the movie, and it wouldn’t have been because Cruise doesn’t match Child’s description of Reacher.
It would have been because no book that bad could have been adapted into a movie of any worth at all.
As it is, the Jack Reacher film is a solid action movie, and the books are suitable for leveling that table that has one uneven length leg.