March 1997. A woman has her throat cut behind a bar in Mississippi. Just down the road is a big army base. Is the murderer a local guy - or is he a soldier?
Jack Reacher, still a major in the military police, is sent undercover. The county sheriff is a former US marine - and a stunningly beautiful woman. Her investigation is going nowhere. Is the Pentagon stonewalling her, or doesn't she really want to find the killer?
Reviewed on 27th August 2012
Lee Child's 16th Jack Reacher novel is set back in 1997, shortly before the events depicted in 'Killing Floor', the first book in the series, and covers Reacher's final days as a military policeman in the US army. It's a really good adventure for the character and reveals a lot about his past that's been secret before now.
Reacher is not quite the character we've come to know from the earlier stories - he's not yet honed his skills, and we see him picking up some of his trademark attributes in this adventure. It's a really interesting look at the character and I found Child's ability to adapt his writing to a different version of his character very fulfilling.
The plot as usual is full of action and the usual levels of violence, but I am slightly ambivalent about the ending. Child makes really good use of the setting he has created and despite the distance between the place I live and the small-town USA that he describes it comes across very realistically.
I've really enjoyed this book and having finally caught up with the series I am looking forward to plenty more to come.