Yes, the 18th book in the long running, madly popular and critically acclaimed Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, Never Go Back (Bantam Press) is just excellent – and that’s for damn sure!
Reacher finally gets to Virginia to meet the woman he spoke on the phone with while in Nebraska, way back in 61 Hours – four whole books, about 10 ‘book world’ days and a number of righted wrongs ago. She has his old job as CO of the 110th MP. But she isn’t there, she is in military prison. And Reacher finds himself charged with a felony assault from 16 years ago and having a child (neither of which incidents, or their protagonists, he can remember), inducted back into the army (he didn’t realise he was a reservist, recalled as and when) and very much encouraged to turn tail and run to avoid all this mess and bother.
But we all know Reacher (and if you don’t, you really need to think about trying this superlative thriller series, it truly is at the top of its game), he never goes back (“that’s for damn sure”), he wants to find the woman he has come to meet and he does warn other people not to try to take him on – the consequences are on them if they choose to open that door. So, he sets about meeting the woman from the phone, and sorting out the mess and bother dumped on him – how he does so is very clever and crafty, just like Mr Child’s plotting. Mayhem ensues for all who deserve it, wrongs are righted, Reacher meets his phone voice and a tall, diner-liking, deductive-reasoning 14-year-old girl who may just be related and we get more glimpses into Reacher’s simple/complex nature.
Very satisfying all round, and enough new action (Reacher fights with his hands in his pockets!) and insights (Reacher reflects on his fight rather than flight nature and his call to wander!) to keep things fresh and moving forward – which is a real accomplishment in the 18th book of a series!
And here is a small-world factoid which makes us curl our pages with pleasure: the University Book Shop has a (tenuous but we’re still excited) Jack Reacher connection!
Marcus Greville, our bookbuyer, who has recently joined the team here, while working at a bookshop in the UK some years ago, won a name place, with two friends, in Persuader, the seventh book in the series. While on his way to fight baddies and right wrongs, Reacher sees a door with the sign Lewis, Strange & (ta da!) Greville, Attorney’s at Law: “three people had come out through it and were standing around waiting for one of them to close it. Two men, one woman. They were in casual clothes. They were all carrying briefcases. They all looked happy.”
A role in a Reacher novel — who wouldn’t look happy?