This is the 2015 Jack Reacher thriller which I received in a lovely hard back edition for Christmas. I was lucky to hear an interview with author Lee Child on radio 5Live last year, which ended with a reading from this book. It also revealed some interesting facts about the author:
- He starts work on a new book on September 1st every year, a superstition based on the success of his first book “Killing Floor”
- He was born in England (and went to the same school as one of my colleagues) but lives in America and writes in American English
- His books often switch between narration in the first and third person, the former allowing Jack Reacher to speak for himself, the latter to allow scenes where Reacher is not present
- He hints that he may end the series of Reacher novels after 21 books, based on some series he read as a young man that seemed about the right length
- He doesn’t plan the whole book before writing it – this way, he doesn’t know what’s about to happen either and it’s more exciting (!)
Reacher has Chang for an accomplice, a beautiful ex-FBI agent, who is searching for her colleague Keever who disappeared – last known location, Mother’s Rest near Oklahoma City. The underlying mystery is one of the deepest in the series – in fact, it’s a long way into the book before we have a clue what is going on in the town of Mother’s Rest, and there’s still time for a plot twist at the end.
Will this be the penultimate book in the series? Jack Reacher shows vulnerability in this one, he’s actually hurt physically and that could carry into the next book. He also grows more attached to Chang than is usual and perhaps she’ll appear in the next book too – maybe he’ll settle down to a more stable investigative partnership (with benefits)? If he’s on schedule, then Lee Child has already started the book and may even know some of the answers.