by Lee Child
To be published on November 7, 2016
Source: eARC from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind. Two other men are in the classroom—an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there. Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor—a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.” For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don’t get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism.My take: I used to read all the Jack Reacher books - not sure when I stopped, but I was pretty surprised that this is the 21st book in the series.
I enjoyed Night School. I think I stopped reading these books because they got a little formulaic, but while reading this I remembered that it's a formula that works. Jack Reacher comes into a new situation -- in this case he's (as the synopsis suggests) told that he's going to "school" when he's actually trying to figure out who's trying to sell a mysterious something to a mysterious someone for 100 million dollars.
The story takes place in the 90s, just before Reacher left the army. I wish that the book had included more cultural references, but then again, Reacher's not really the most culturally aware. He's good at reading people, he's good at being self-sufficient, he's good at beating up low level thugs who try to thwart him, he's good at seducing attractive, powerful women who are willing to be with him, no strings attached. All this sounds very James Bond meets John Wayne, but a 2006 WSJ article revealed that Jack Reacher hold a lot of appeal to women readers.
I get it. I find the Reacher formula strangely soothing. There will be chaos, and Reacher will tame it and all will be well. This book had multiple POVs -- I can't remember if that's a typical Reacher thing or not -- including the mysterious "American" and a pair of German police officers who are trying to horn in on a situation that they sense is going to be career-changing. I thought that Reacher's perceptions of a recently reunified Germany are interesting. I wasn't a fan of the love interest in this story - she was pretty boring. But overall, I'm glad Reacher and I have reunited!
If you haven't tried a Reacher book, start with one of the earlier books.
P.S. Tom Cruise as Reacher? smh...