"Never Go Back"
By: Lee Child
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 400 pages
Price: $28
Buy at
of Lee Child books
Lee Child
Sigrid Estrada photo
Author Lee Child.
A bit of surprise
from a Reacher story
Road-warrior hero meets a woman who is his match,
and they kick a lot of butts together
October 21, 2013

I was surprised by Lee Child's "Never Go Back," because it was something of a departure from his usual Jack Reacher stories.

In most of those books — which are fun reads — Reacher arrives in some wide-spot-in-the-road town in the middle of nowhere, is attacked by local thugs, all of whom he sends to the hospital or the morgue. He figures out who the big bad guy is, defeats him, and hits the road again.

In this one, yes, he has to beat up a couple of guys in the first pages, but then the surprise comes when Child backtracks Reacher to his old office, the headquarters of the 110th MP Special Unit.

Never Go Back

Reacher has been traveling for months and a few books from South Dakota, because he wants to meet the current C.O. of his old Army unit, Major Susan Turner. He'd liked her voice over the phone, and has hitch-hiked across the nation to Virginia to meet her.

But, he finds her gone, and a colonel at her desk that used to be his. Turns out somebody he might have beat up 16 years ago is dead, maybe from that beating, and charges have been filed. The colonel informs Reacher that he is now back in the Army, and belongs to the colonel.

And, Major Turner is in the clink, and Reacher doesn't believe for a millisecond she is guilty of the charges against her. So when things get more complicated for him -- the aforementioned possible murder, and somebody getting beaten up badly and the cops thinking Reacher did it -- he breaks Turner and himself out of jail, and off they go.

They like each other.

When the moment comes ...

"She took her shirt off.

"She was everything he thought she would be, and she was everything he had ever wanted."

A good thing about her, from a Reacher fan's standpoint, is that when she is caught alone, unarmed, with a bad guy with a gun, the only help she needs from Reacher, later, is moving the body.

The big difference between Reacher and Turner is that she still loves her job and wants it back, if they can clear both their names. Reacher wants back on the road.

They figure out there is a major scam going on involving sales of American weapons to Afghan warlords, and that very highly placed people must be involved. People with real power.

And, there is the complication of a girl in Los Angeles who might be Reacher's.

There adventure carries them across the nation, and among other things, we learn why Reacher considers meth labs to be banks. And a source of hot cars.

Reacher is one of the best badasses in the hero bidnez, and always a fun read. In this outing, there is a little more emotional exploration than usual, and it is nicely done.

A good read.


Custom Search