Life

Marie Louise McConville: Brilliant author Lee Child will be a hard act to follow

When I met author, Lee Child in 2011 I found him to be a really genuine, lovely man, who was fully invested in his character, Jack Reacher and his fans
Marie Louise McConville

That's the thing about good things, they must come to an end.

Just like a really good book, no matter how slowly we read it in the hope of stretching it out, it will end.

I used to be a big reader.

At one time in my life I was completely in love with books and loved nothing more than climbing into bed early with a good read.

I would think nothing of reading an entire book in a weekend as there was just something about becoming engrossed in a wonderful adventure and leaving real life behind.

Fast forward a few years and I soon realised that finding the time to read when you are a parent is as hard as finding the time to sleep - pretty difficult.

That said, any little bits of time I did find to myself between naps, I would always reach for the brilliant Lee Child and his fantastic Jack Reacher books.

Based around a former US army major who fights for right and aids those in need, Lee Child has sold more than one million books from this series.

That's why I was very sad this week to learn that this great series is about to come to an end - well, kind of.

Lee Child has revealed that he is to hand over the Jack Reacher writing duties to his younger brother, an established author who will write under the name Andrew Child.

(Not happy).

While I was really saddened to hear the news - because I don't believe anyone can write Reacher as brilliantly as Lee Child - it could have been worse.

Lee, who is 65, revealed he had considered killing off the 6ft 5ins vigilante hero, who has been played awfully by Tom Cruise in the film adaptations.

However, the writer, who believes he is "ageing out" said he loves his readers and knows there are "many, many more Reacher stories" to come.

He went on to describe his younger sibling as the "best tough-guy writer I have read in years".

He revealed that the pair will work on the next few novels together before Andrew will fly solo.

Speaking about the challenge ahead of him, the new Child, Andrew said: "I understand what Reacher fans want - because I am one. And I'll do my best to deliver for them".

Well, we'll reserve judgment on that Andrew until your first offering.

You have a lot to live up to and I'm just not sure anyone can fill Lee Child's extremely talented shoes - shared DNA or not.

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Oh Jennifer, a word in your ear, if you will?

I know fans went berserk this week when you and your ex husband, Brad Pitt, were reunited at the SAG Awards, but I'm concerned.

Yes, it was nice to see him and it gave fans a wee buzz but now, there are rumours of a reconciliation circling.

May I remind you, he walked away from your marriage for Angelina Jolie, didn't even hesitate.

He's now split from her and is fancy free.

Keep moving forward Jennifer, the past is the past for a reason.

Never forget that.

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Competition

The end of the longest month ever is in sight, so how about relaxing through the last week with an "evocative, heartfelt story"?

The Titanic Sisters by Patricia Falvey - who hails from Newry - has been described as a "definite must-read".

One journey will change their lives forever

Sisters Nora and Delia have been given the chance of a lifetime - to escape their poor Irish farm and travel on the Titanic to a new life in America.

Nora is to become a treasured governess for a rich family, while Delia has only a lowly maid's position.

But when disaster strikes, and Nora dies, a small misunderstanding leads to Delia taking Nora's place as governess.

As Delia grows closer to her charge, and the girl's father, will she be able to reveal the truth to find a chance at happiness?

And what will happen when she finds out that Nora is actually alive, and coming to take what is rightfully hers...?

I have five copies of The Titanic Sisters by Patricia Falvey to give away.

If you fancy winning a copy, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to competitions@irishnews.com

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, January 27, 2020

(Q) Who wrote The Titanic Sisters?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

The winner of the Drumbo Park competition is Brendan Kelly, from Coalisland.

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