Jack Reacher. Hero. Loner. Soldier. Soldier’s son. An elite military cop, he was one of the army’s brightest stars. But in every cop’s life there is a turning point. One case. One messy, tangled case that can shatter a career. Turn a lawman into a renegade. And make him question words like honor, valor, and duty. For Jack Reacher, this is that case.
New Year’s Day, 1990. The Berlin Wall is coming down. The world is changing. And in a North Carolina “hot-sheets” motel, a two-star general is found dead. His briefcase is missing. Nobody knows what was in it. Within minutes Jack Reacher has his orders: Control the situation. But this situation can’t be controlled. Within hours the general’s wife is murdered hundreds of miles away. Then the dominoes really start to fall.
Two Special Forces soldiers—the toughest of the tough—are taken down, one at a time. Top military commanders are moved from place to place in a bizarre game of chess. And somewhere inside the vast worldwide fortress that is the U.S. Army, Jack Reacher—an ordinarily untouchable investigator for the 110th Special Unit—is being set up as a fall guy with the worst enemies a man can have.
But Reacher won’t quit. He’s fighting a new kind of war. And he’s taking a young female lieutenant with him on a deadly hunt that leads them from the ragged edges of a rural army post to the winding streets of Paris to a confrontation with an enemy he didn’t know he had. With his French-born mother dying—and divulging to her son one last, stunning secret—Reacher is forced to question everything he once believed…about his family, his career, his loyalties—and himself. Because this soldier’s son is on his way into the darkness, where he finds a tangled drama of desperate desires and violent death—and a conspiracy more chilling, ingenious, and treacherous than anyone could have guessed.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have read almost every Jack Reacher novel, but this one is by far my favorite. It is the most introspective and philosophical of them all, which I like. Lee Child's novels are a cut above your typical action-adventure crime novels, in that they tend to have decent prose and can often be rather poignant and clever. This one however approaches beauty. We learn a great deal about Reacher's family, especially his mother, and that portion of the book is rich and luminous, with a tenor often found in French films. I also like how the book explores Reacher's experience as Major of the 110th in the Army, which was fascinating. I think a lot of self-proclaimed literary critics tend to eschew genre novels, but that is a mistake in my opinion. Because I have read better prose here than in the majority of short stories in the New Yorker, and this book has the virtue of being devoid of the self-consciousness and pseudo-crises that tiresomely clutter most aspiring "great" literature.
On the very day the Berlin Wall falls, in North Carolina, inside a dirty motel in the middle of nowhere, a Colonel of the US armored branch dies of a heart attack. And wearing a still unused condom. The highest ranking military cop on duty in the area is Jack Reacher, and was appointed there only one day before. He deftly dismisses the incident. But he gets upraised by his boss, as this is a very important colonel who died. So he has to go and show face, and also break news to the widow -not sure about the condom though. But as it turns out, the dead Colonel was on his way from Berlin to California. So why does he show up dead of apparently natural causes in North Carolina? And is it just coincidence that Reacher was transferred there only one day ago?
I read all of Jack Reacher novels and short stories over the past two and something years. Lee Child's novels don't come out every two months, so I knew I would go back and re read those that lingered in my mind as the most...
This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series that goes backward to deal with Reacher's time in military service. Up to now he has been an "ex-"military policeman. And that seems to get our English-born writer Lee Child into some trouble - however much consultation he may have done, it's evident he missed the boat in understanding U.S. military structure/culture. In its simplest form, it's terminology (for example there is no "Armored" branch in the Army - it's "Armor"). More seriously, the underlying "mystery" that Jack has to solve, and the whole motivation provided for the bad guys to be bad, is so off base that it's just not credible. But those who haven't been in the military may not notice or care about these discrepancies, and will still find it has the hallmarks of the Reacher series - an easy read with a little mystery that keeps interest up during your cross-country flight.
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