#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the next highly anticipated installment of Lee Child’s acclaimed suspense series, Jack Reacher comes to the aid of an elderly couple . . . and confronts his most dangerous opponents yet.
“Jack Reacher is today’s James Bond, a thriller hero we can’t get enough of.”—Ken Follett
“This is a random universe,” Reacher says. “Once in a blue moon things turn out just right.”
This isn’t one of those times.
Reacher is on a Greyhound bus, minding his own business, with no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. Then he steps off the bus to help an old man who is obviously just a victim waiting to happen. But you know what they say about good deeds. Now Reacher wants to make it right.
An elderly couple have made a few well-meaning mistakes, and now they owe big money to some very bad people. One brazen move leads to another, and suddenly Reacher finds himself a wanted man in the middle of a brutal turf war between rival Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.
Reacher has to stay one step ahead of the loan sharks, the thugs, and the assassins. He teams up with a fed-up waitress who knows a little more than she’s letting on, and sets out to take down the powerful and make the greedy pay. It’s a long shot. The odds are against him. But Reacher believes in a certain kind of justice . . . the kind that comes along once in a blue moon.
About the Author
Lee Child is the author of twenty-three New York Times bestselling Jack Reacher thrillers, with fourteen having reached the #1 position, and the #1 bestselling complete Jack Reacher story collection, No Middle Name. All his novels have been optioned for major motion pictures—including Jack Reacher (based on One Shot) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in one hundred territories. A native of England and a former television director, Lee Child lives in New York City.
Date of Birth:1954
Place of Birth:Coventry, England
Read an Excerpt
The guy with the money knew where he was going. That was clear. He didn’t glance around to get his bearings. He just stepped through the depot door and turned east and set out walking. No hesitation. But no speed either. He trudged along slow. He looked a little unsteady. His shoulders were slumped. He looked old and tired and worn out and beaten down. He had no enthusiasm. He looked like he was en route between two points of equally zero appeal.
The guy with the goatee beard followed along about six paces behind, hanging back, staying slow, restraining himself. Which looked difficult. He was a rangy, long-legged individual, all hopped up with excitement and anticipation. He wanted to get right to it. But the terrain was wrong. Too flat and open. The sidewalks were wide. Up ahead was a four-way traffic light, with three cars waiting for a green. Three drivers, bored, gazing about. Maybe passengers. All potential witnesses. Better to wait.
The guy with the money stopped at the curb. Waiting to cross. Aiming dead ahead. Where there were older buildings, with narrower streets between. Wider than alleys, but shaded from the sun, and hemmed in by mean three- and four-story walls either side. Better terrain.
The light changed. The guy with the money trudged across the road, obediently, as if resigned. The guy with the goatee beard followed six paces behind. Reacher closed the gap on him a little. He sensed the moment coming. The kid wasn’t going to wait forever. He wasn’t going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Two blocks in would do it.
They walked on, single file, spaced apart, oblivious. The first block felt good up ahead and side to side, but behind them it still felt open, so the guy with the beard hung back, until the guy with the money was over the cross street and into the second block. Which looked properly secretive. It was shady at both ends. There were a couple of boarded-up establishments, and a closed-down diner, and a tax preparer with dusty windows.
Reacher guessed the kid would go for it, right there, and he guessed the launch would be prefaced by a nervous glance all around, including behind, so he stayed out of sight around the cross street’s corner, one second, two, three, which he figured was long enough for all the glances a person could need. Then he stepped out and saw the kid with the beard already closing the gap ahead, hustling, eating up the six-pace distance with a long and eager stride. Reacher didn’t like running, but on that occasion he had to.
He got there too late. The guy with the beard shoved the guy with the money, who went down forward with a heavy ragged thump, hands, knees, head, and the guy with the beard swooped down in a seamless dexterous glide, into the still-moving pocket, and out again with the envelope. Which was when Reacher arrived, at a clumsy run, six feet five of bone and muscle and 250 pounds of moving mass, against a lean kid just then coming up out of a crouch. Reacher slammed into him with a twist and a dip of the shoulder, and the guy flailed through the air like a crash test dummy, and landed in a long sliding tangle of limbs, half on the sidewalk, half in the gutter. He came to rest and lay still.
Reacher walked over and took the envelope from him. It wasn’t sealed. They never were. He took a look. The wad was about three quarters of an inch thick. A hundred dollar bill on the top, and a hundred dollar bill on the bottom. He flicked through. A hundred dollar bill in every other possible location, too. Thousands and thousands of dollars. Could be fifteen. Could be twenty grand.
He glanced back. The old guy’s head was up. He was gazing about, panic stricken. He had a cut on his face. From the fall. Or maybe his nose was bleeding. Reacher held up the envelope. The old guy stared at it. He tried to get up, but couldn’t.
Reacher walked back.
He said, “Anything broken?”
The guy said, “What happened?”
“Can you move?”
“I think so.”
“OK, roll over.”
“On your back,” Reacher said. “Then we can sit you up.”
“First I need to check you out. I might need to call the ambulance. You got a phone?”
“No ambulance,” the guy said. “No doctors.”
He took a breath and clamped his teeth, and squirmed and thrashed until he rolled over on his back, like a guy in bed with a nightmare.
He breathed out.
Reacher said, “Where does it hurt?”
“Regular kind of thing, or worse?”
“I guess regular.”
Reacher got the flat of his hand under the guy’s back, high up between his shoulder blades, and he folded him forward into a sitting position, and swiveled him around, and scooted him along, until he was sitting on the curb with his feet down on the road, which would be more comfortable, Reacher thought.
The guy said, “My mom always told me, don’t play in the gutter.”
“Mine too,” Reacher said. “But right now we ain’t playing.”
He handed over the envelope. The guy took it and squeezed it all over, fingers and thumb, as if confirming it was real. Reacher sat down next to him. The guy looked inside the envelope.
“What happened?” he said again. He pointed. “Did that guy mug me?”
Twenty feet to their right the kid with the goatee beard was face down and motionless.
“He followed you off the bus,” Reacher said. “He saw the envelope in your pocket.”
“Were you on the bus too?”
He said, “I came out the depot right behind you.”
The guy put the envelope back in his pocket.
He said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea. More than I can possibly say.”
“You’re welcome,” Reacher said.
“You saved my life.”
“I feel like I should offer you a reward.”
“I can’t anyway,” the guy said. He touched his pocket. “This is a payment I have to make. It’s very important. I need it all. I’m sorry. I apologize. I feel bad.”
“Don’t,” Reacher said.
Twenty feet to their right the kid with the beard pushed himself up to his hands and knees.
The guy with the money said, “No police.”
The kid glanced back. He was stunned and shaky, but he was already twenty feet ahead. Should he go for it?
Reacher said, “Why no police?”
“They ask questions when they see a lot of cash.”
“Questions you don’t want to answer?”
“I can’t anyway,” the guy said again.
The kid with the beard took off. He staggered to his feet and set out fleeing the scene, weak and bruised and floppy and uncoordinated, but still plenty fast. Reacher let him go. He had run enough for one day.
The guy with the money said, “I need to get going now.”
He had scrapes on his cheek and his forehead, and blood on his upper lip, from his nose, which had taken a decent impact.
“You sure you’re OK?” Reacher asked.
“I better be,” the guy said. “I don’t have much time.”
“Let me see you stand up.”
The guy couldn’t. Either his core strength had drained away, or his knees were bad, or both. Hard to say. Reacher helped him to his feet. The guy stood in the gutter, facing the opposite side of the street, hunched and bent. He turned around, laboriously, shuffling in place.
He couldn’t step up the curb. He got his foot in place, but the propulsive force necessary to boost himself up six inches was too much load for his knee to take. It must have been bruised and sore. There was a bad scuff on the fabric of his pants, right where his kneecap would be.
Reacher stood behind him and cupped his hands under his elbows, and lifted, and the guy stepped up weightless, like a man on the moon.
Reacher asked, “Can you walk?”
The guy tried. He managed small steps, delicate and precise, but he winced and gasped, short and sharp, every time his right leg took the weight.
“How far have you got to go?” Reacher asked.
The guy looked all around, calibrating. Making sure where he was.
“Three more blocks,” he said. “On the other side of the street.”
“That’s a lot of curbs,” Reacher said. “That’s a lot of stepping up and down.”
“I’ll walk it off.”
“Show me,” Reacher said.
The guy set out, heading east as before, at a slow shuffling creep, with his hands out a little, as if for balance. The wincing and the gasping was loud and clear. Maybe getting worse.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Yeah I was surprised by the amount of slaughter in this story. Obviously getting a nod towards a John Wick screenplay.
I wait a year for Lee child book and have never been so disappointed. I felt like I was reading some other author. so very sad. I live to read. oct 2020. hope for the best
I cannot wait for the next Jack Reacher book. Will start at number 1 and reread them all again.
Entertaining, but pretty predictable
albakaar says the book is okayish and not that great and since i have read it ..you can have it too
I just don't know about this one. Maybe it was the story about two gangs taking over a city.
Finished in a day...Fast good read with most of all us Reacher fans want!
Eastern European gangs are every where and not this easy to deal with. But it's fiction and entertaining.
Absolutely loved it. My favorite book was One Shot, but maybe that's because I used to live near Pittsburgh. I've read all 24 Jack Reacher books. Keep writing, Lee!
I have read all of the Reacher novels. Some of course are stronger than others but I always look forward to them. This book, to me feels like it could have a subtitle, "Slaughter in a small town". I am disappointed.
One of the concepts that makes the Jack Reacher series so entertaining is Reacher appearing to be a mortal man with extraordinary abilities who wanders around getting into and out of unusual situations he encounters. This book went too far and is almost comical. Reacher finds perfect strangers and enlists them to put their lives at risk to help in his endeavors, and to escape every dangerous situation he & they find find themselves in. The bad guys definitely took a beating, but I found the story line to be weak and the situations and outcomes unbelievable in the extreme. Unlike Reacher, you can't win them all.
This was my first Jack Reacher story and it didn’t disappoint. I went in knowing what type of read this would be and it was exactly that. There was a lot of suspension of disbelief. Jack Reacher is just a little all too knowing. He predicts all kinds of scenarios and is almost always correct. The story begins with Jack randomly rescuing an older man from a robbery and turns into a struggle against several organized crime syndicates. Along the way random people seem to just drop everything, even abandoning their jobs, residences and cars to help him. It was a little far-fetched. The most unbelievable character was Abby the waitress who turned into Jack Reacher’s action figure partner. There were some instances where the dialogue had me shaking my head but overall, I liked it. It was what it purported to be, an action packed thriller with mostly good fighting evil. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
BOTTOM-LINE: Still classic Reacher, albeit more violent than usual . PLOT OR PREMISE: Reacher wanders into a town and accidentally flames the fires of a turf war between the Albanian and Ukainian mobs. . WHAT I LIKED: The progression from what Reacher sees at the start to the war with the 2 mobs is awesome, and the almost slapstick element the way the mob interprets what's happening reminded me of the Remo Williams series. Good escalation throughout. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The secondary characters were a bit, well, odd. Too ready to jump in and kill bad guys, and the waitress can suddenly figure out battle plans. Plus, Reacher is too violent even for him, regardless of the repeated justification of the shoe being on the other foot. . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media.
I was so disappointed in this book. There was much too much detail regarding everything they did. I skimmed over those parts. They got tedious. The other characters were good and I didn’t mind the violence. After all-that’s what Jack Reacher does. Lee Child-next time please don’t feel like you have to go into enormous detail to make a book longer. Your plots are good enough.
Reacher is my man. In this latest book, Child has gotten more aggressive with Reacher frequently using a gun and driving a car. These are both relatively new for Reacher, but as readers, we need to see our favorite characters evolve just as we do or the characters get stale. Child keeps Reacher fresh and exciting with each new adventure. The story begins with Reacher on a bus watching a fellow rider figure out how to rob an old man that is also on the bus. Reacher gets off the bus to prevent the old man from any danger. The adventure begins and the good guy wins but not without making it clear that he lives another day but will not always live another day. Reacher is clear that his time will run out at some point, from my point of view I certainly hope it is not for a long time.
great read hope he has another in the works.
Jack Reacher is a character that was born to be a hero. The Story lines are always creative and action packef. Lee is a master of this series, that I hope never stops.
for awhile it looked as if lee was running out of ideas, however the last 2 books were great. Jack is back.
Getting to that ridiculas point in his writing
What can I say. Not a disappointment. Just different enough to make it more interesting.
Read every Reacher book. This does not even come close to a good rating. Predictable to the point of reading page one and then the last. Third grade reading, at best, Plot was poor, unbelievable, etc. Save your money.
It's the wonder of his realism. How can he get out each situation? he explains it so logically you have to believe him. I never miss an adventure with him.
Outstanding. I couldn't put it down.