Blue Moon

Blue Moon

Book - 2019
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Quotes (20)

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j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

Only a single quote in goodreads as of this morning; number of quotes posted in the site is an excellent gauge on the quality of the read in mho:
Blue Moon Quotes Showing 1-1 of 1
“No particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there.”
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The city looked small on a map of America. It was just a tiny polite dot, near a red threadlike road that ran across an otherwise empty half inch of paper. But up close and on the ground it had half a million people. It covered more than a hundred square miles.
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Reacher could practically see the gears spinning in the back of his head. Coming up cherries.
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He looked a little unsteady. His shoulders were slumped. He looked old and tired and worn out and beaten down. He had no enthusiasm. He looked like he was en route between two points of equally zero appeal.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

Reacher arrived, at a clumsy run, six feet five of bone and muscle and 250 pounds of moving mass, against a lean kid just then coming up out of a crouch. Reacher slammed into him with a twist and a dip of the shoulder, and the guy flailed through the air like a crash test dummy, and landed in a long sliding tangle of limbs, half on the sidewalk, half in the gutter. He came to rest and lay still.
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‘The kindness of strangers,’ Reacher said. ‘Makes the world go round. Some guy wrote a play about it.’ ‘Tennessee Williams,’ Shevick said. ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’ ‘One of which we could use right now. Three blocks for a nickel would be a bargain.’

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

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‘Where are you headed?’ ‘Someplace else. Often depends on the weather. I like to be warm. Saves buying a coat.’ The barman glared again, still from far away. ‘Let’s go,’ Reacher said. ‘A person could die of thirst in here.’
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He considered himself a modern man, born in the twentieth century, living in the twenty-first, but he also knew he had some kind of a wide-open portal in his head, a wormhole to humanity’s primitive past, where for millions of years every living thing could be a predator, or a rival, and therefore had to be assessed, and judged, instantly, and accurately. Who was the superior animal? Who would submit?

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

‘You got a smart mouth.’ ‘I can only hope,’ Reacher said. ‘Sometimes I worry I’m just pedantic.’
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‘Tell me about the lawyers.’ ‘They’re working for free,’ Shevick said. ‘How good can they be?’ ‘Sounds like another country song.’
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The government fund is taxpayer money. The legislation is unpopular. Therefore the government will want the insurance fund to pay. The insurance fund is shareholder money. Bonuses depend on it. Therefore the insurance fund will bounce it back to the government, over and over again, as long as it takes.’

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

A waitress came by. She fit the 1950s music. She was petite and gamine, maybe in her late twenties, neat and slender and dressed all in black, with short dark hair and lively eyes and a shy but contagious smile. She could have been in an old-time black and white movie, with jazz on the soundtrack. Probably someone’s sassy little sister. Dangerously advanced. Probably wanted to wear pants to the office.
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Reacher ordered two glasses of tap water, two double espressos, and two pepperoni pizzas. She asked, ‘Is someone joining you?’ ‘I’m worried about malnutrition,’ he said.
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Rule one, set in stone since he was a tiny kid, back when he first realized he could be either frightened or frightening, was to run towards danger, not away from it. Which right then gave him his pick of forward or backward.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

Her own story was shorter, because she was younger. Born in a suburb in Michigan, raised in a suburb in California, loved books and philosophy and theatre and music and dance and experiment and performance art. Came to town as an undergraduate student, and never left. A temporary gig waiting tables for a month turned into ten years. She was thirty-two. Older than she looked. She said she was happy.
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Organized crime’s traditional staples were usury, narcotics, prostitution, gambling, and protection rackets.
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‘Someone once told me that every day a woman should do something that scared her.’ ‘She could join the army.’

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

Ukrainian girls were very beautiful. Many of them were tall and slender and very blonde. None of them had any chance of advancement at home. In the old country they had nothing ahead of them except a lifetime of mud and drudgery. No fine clothes, no high-rise apartments, no Mercedes-Benzes. They knew that. So they were happy to come to America. They understood the paperwork was complicated and the process expensive. They knew they would have to reimburse their helpers, for the upfront outlay, just as quickly as they could.
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‘Makes us look weak.’ ‘No,’ his guy said. ‘It makes us look like the grown-ups, playing the long game, with our eyes on the prize.’

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

I would like you to drive up behind the Lincoln and nudge it in the back bumper at about walking pace.’ ‘Why?’ ‘The doors will unlock. For the first responders. The car will think it’s in a minor accident. There’s a little doo-dad in there somewhere. A safety mechanism.’ ‘So then you can open the doors from the outside.’
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On the one hand, omerta. Also Italian. A code of absolute silence. A code to live by, and to die for. On the other hand, they were currently in deep trouble. Personally and individually. In the real world, in the here and now. Dying for a code was all well and good in theory. In practice things were different. Right then number one on their to-do list was not honourable or glorious sacrifice, but living long enough to drive home afterwards.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

‘Are they dead?’ ‘We might need to give them another minute. Depends how fast they’re bleeding.’
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‘You killed two people.’ ‘I warned them. I told them not to. All my cards were on the table. It was more like assisted suicide. Think of it that way.’
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Six chances before the week is over, Reacher thought.
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‘I agree there will be an element of challenge.’ ‘More like impossible.’ ‘No such word.’
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The driver was a small woman with short dark hair. In her twenties or thirties, and dressed all in black. Her passenger was a huge guy, about twice her size. He was older, easily six-five and two-fifty, built like a brick outhouse, and dressed like a refugee.
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‘No one likes you. No one would piss on you if you were on fire.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

You’re a dead man,’ the guy said. ‘Not so far,’ Reacher said. ‘In fact right now you’re closer to that unhappy state than I am. Don’t you think?’
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A dogface, just like you.’ ‘Army?’ ‘Stands for, aren’t really Marines yet.’ ‘Like Marine stands for muscles are requested, intelligence not expected.’
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Last year a federal project ran a set of integrated numbers from all across the nation, and it turned out the two most law-abiding populations in America were the Ukrainian and Albanian communities right here in town. They don’t even get parking tickets. That suggests a very close relationship with all levels of law enforcement.’
===
The best fights are the ones you don’t have. Even Marines understand that.’

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

Texts. Unreadable foreign words, but mostly regular letters, the same as English. Some were doubled up. Some had strange accents above or below. Umlauts and cedillas.
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Physically Reacher could have been called athletic in his own right, but it was a heavyweight kind of athleticism, a kind of weightlifter savagery, not nimbleness. He was fast, but not real fast. He was not capable of an instant reversal of momentum. Which meant he spent a certain half second of time locked in a neutral position, neither stop nor go, during which interval the other guy threw another punch, which Reacher ducked and dodged again, and like before the guy danced away to safety and searched on another radius, scuffing his feet, glancing down in the dark.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

‘This is going to turn bad.’ Like a waitress smelling a bar fight coming.
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‘Would he take me to the hospital? Or you? The shoe on the other foot. That’s what sets the bar. Anyway, we can’t. Hospitals ask too many questions.’
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‘You’re going to drive around with him in the trunk?’ ‘Keep your enemies close.’
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I don’t see how his welfare suddenly becomes my responsibility, just because he chose to attack my welfare first. I’m not clear how that works exactly. They started it. They can’t expect me to provide a health plan.’ ‘We should be magnanimous in victory. Someone said that.’

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

‘Your kind of people, or the other kind.’ ‘My kind of people, or the wrong kind.’ ‘Who’s in your tribe?’ ‘Almost nobody,’ Reacher said. ‘I live a lonely life.’
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The geometry had gone bad. The driver and the passenger had gotten about sixty degrees apart. They were well positioned for enfilade fire. The likely sequence of events was easy to predict. Reacher would shoot through his pocket and hit the driver. One down. No problem. But then the sixty-degree turn towards the passenger would be slow and clumsy, because his hand would be still all snagged up inside his pocket,
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The nine-mil round was loud in the small wood room. Colossally loud. Like a bomb.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

Once Reacher had read a paperback book he found on a bus, about how people like to second guess themselves for hours or days, whereas really they know the truth in the blink of an eye. He liked the book because it agreed with him. He had learned to trust his first flash of instinct.
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in a posture the army called modified sitting. His butt was on the concrete. His left leg was bent, like an upside down V, and so was his right, but it was folded down flat on the floor, like a triangle pointing outward, in a different direction, with the heel of his boot wedged up against the cheek of his butt. His left elbow was propped on his left knee, and his left hand was supporting his right forearm, which was straight out from the shoulder. Altogether he was a human geodesic dome, braced and rigid in every separate vector. Which was why the army liked the position enough to give it a name.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

Drop the gun or I’ll shoot the old lady. Except the guy couldn’t shoot the old lady, because a split second after he pulled the trigger he would get his own head blown off. A classic standoff. A permanent triangle. The threat vectors would go around and around for ever, like a feedback loop, howling and screaming.
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He had done many odd jobs since leaving the army, but he had never been a rock ’n’ roll roadie before. He carried Barton’s lethal Precision in a hard-shell case, plus a back-up instrument, plus an amplifier head the size of a rich man’s suitcase, and then finally the huge eight-speaker cabinet. He carried Hogan’s disassembled drum kit. He packed it all in.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

I don’t like people like you. I’m going to find you, and I’m going to make you cry like a little girl. Then I’m going to rip your leg off at the hip and beat you to death with it.’
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Silk shimmered because its fibres were triangular, like elongated prisms, which did nice things with light, but which also locked together so tight it was virtually impossible to pull them apart end to end. A steel cable would give way sooner.
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‘It’s about fake news on the internet. It was coming in from Russia. Now it’s inside the United States. We can’t block it any more.
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All five customers got up and hurried out the door. Maybe a traditional local response, in such situations. In which case Reacher applauded the habit. It left no witnesses.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

No doubt thinking. No doubt about his wide network of bribes paid, and palms greased, and backs scratched, and favours owed, and hair-trigger early warning tripwires carefully set in place. Any or all of which should have alerted him long ago. But he had heard nothing. From anywhere.
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‘Do you have children?’ ‘I don’t think so,’ Reacher said. ‘None that I know of, anyway.’
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Categorically impossible to penetrate from the sides. Or even approach. Or from below. Or from above.
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‘I don’t see how we get in.’ ‘We?’ ‘Sooner or later your luck will run out. You’ll need the Marines to rescue you. You army boys always do. Much more efficient if I prevent that necessity upfront, by supervising the operation from the get-go.’

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

‘Because some of the greatest mistakes in history are made by secret satellite operations cut off from the mothership. No command and control. No information, no orders, no leadership. No resupply. Complete isolation. That’s what I want for these guys. Quickest way to get it is just go right ahead and destroy the mothership. No need to pussyfoot around. The time for subtlety is long gone.’
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‘You’re nuts, you know that?’ ‘Says the guy prepared to drive in a straight line at twenty-five miles an hour towards nuclear-tipped anti-tank artillery.’
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Every plan had to be stress tested, from every possible direction.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

‘If I wanted easy I would have joined the Marines.’
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‘Place this guy under arrest. Keep him safe and unharmed. He and I need to have an important discussion.’ ‘About what?’ ‘It’s what we say in the army when we’re going to beat someone to death.’
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It was a plain rectangular structure about twenty storeys tall, faced with glass that reflected the sky. Above the top floor’s windows was a bland and anodyne name. Could have been an insurance company. Could have been a laxative medicine.
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I have a choice of two things. Either a good memory with a beginning and an end, or a long slow fizzle, where I get tired of motels and hitchhiking and walking. I choose the memory.

j
jimg2000
Dec 24, 2019

‘It’s something they teach you in the army. The only thing under your direct control is how hard you work. In other words, if you really, really buckle down today, and you get the intelligence, the planning, and the execution each a hundred per cent exactly correct, then you are bound to prevail.’ ‘Sounds empowering.’ ‘It’s the army. What they really mean is, if you fail today, it’s completely your own fault.’
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They’re smart people, organized, bureaucratic, cautious, careful, scientific, and painfully rational.’ ‘So how can we win?’ ‘We can exploit the rational part of their natures,’ Reacher said. ‘We can do something a rational person would never even consider. Something completely unhinged.’
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‘The part about you walking out of here.’ ‘What about it?’ ‘It was fake news.’


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