This review will be biased. I am a Jack Reacher fan. I’ve read most of the series. Only a couple of books have evaded me…but not forever.
For anyone who hasn’t read any of the series, Jack Reacher is ex -Military Police, hence his detective skills and army training. Built like a tank, handy with weapons…he’s a formidable force. Some of the books recall his army days but most follow him as he drifts from one place to another, carrying nothing much more than a toothbrush. Bad luck and trouble seem to follow him everywhere but that’s just as well, as we wouldn’t have any adventures otherwise.
This story is no exception. Reacher heads for a small town called Mothers Rest on whim. He expects to see some sort of memorial or a small museum which explains the odd name. What he does find is a Private Eye called Chang, looking for her partner who has disappeared after checking into the motel.
The story has a long, slow build up. The only lead is a scribbled note about 200 deaths and a name. As usual, Reacher checks out the town - I really hope it is a stereotype - there are a lot of shifty, unfriendly folks about in this small farming community…and they are none to keen on having Reacher and his new friend Chang hang around.
Now most Reacher fans will know there’s a kind of formula so I won't be giving this plot away if I say you can expect some gun action, fights, tracking down leads across a few states, “the plan” and the execution of said plan. What might be a little different in this story is that Reacher isn’t as invincible as he once was. He’s getting a bit older, there are a few changes. The other thing that struck me was that there seemed to be less “internal chatter”. The stuff I first loved about Jack Reacher - how he described things, how he calculated the odds and could read a situation. I don’t know whether it's because each Reacher book is now a possible film option, but there seems to be less thinking and more descriptive action.
Good….but different and generally a much slower pace than some of the other books.
As to the plot, all I will say is that truth is often stranger than fiction and this left a nasty stink that clung to me after I finished the book….I hope it was just the vivid olfactory-laden descriptions of the countryside….and not something more about human nature that I was picking up.
The next Jack Reacher book - Night School - due out November 7 2016