by Lee Child
All kinds of heroes
Multiple mysteries, multiple heroes wind through this action adventure novel that reads so clearly that it feels like I could walk up the street and find myself at a rather dangerous motel. It was a fast, intense read that I didn’t want to set down. Jack Reacher is on a walk across much of America when he decides to make a stop to follow up on some family history. Barely into his sojourn, he takes the fork in the road less traveled and heads for his Dad’s hometown. Meanwhile, a couple out for a new start find themselves stranded and check into the creepy hotel and find themselves in a plot that is very familiar until it isn’t. The two plots are almost entirely separate from one another, having only a few character mentions cross over, until almost to the very end of the book. But that’s all to the good, because the secondary story ends up building steam all along the way.
I’ve never read a Reacher novel or in fact any Lee Child novel before Past Tense, so I really didn’t know what to expect. While I knew people didn’t think Tom Cruise fit the physical criteria for the part, I found the Reacher movies good action flicks. So, I came into this novel quite the newbie and was pleasantly surprised to find it stood alone quite well. That was great, since I didn’t really know any backstory. The character of Reacher, his dogged determination, honor, and quest for justice was still there, but of course, there was an entirely new mystery – make that mysteries. Reacher discovers that following his father’s history is more complicated than he planned, he might do well playing Cupid, and lost city folks aren’t always totally helpless.
I had fun with this entire book even though there were a few dropped plot points. I’m glad to discover the “real” Reacher, really enjoyed the strong, smart co-heroine, Patty, and her sidekick, Shorty, and loved the twists that were thrown in along the way, not to mention the humorous moments. I really got a kick out of the treasure certain people had been carrying around, although I did find the bad guys at the motel to be infinitely creepy. I’ll definitely be reading more Jack Reacher novels. Quite a fun romp, as there’s nothing better than seeing bad guys get their comeuppance. And for once, the city slickers aren’t quite as helpless as they usual are.
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.
Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.
At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.
The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?
As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.