FICTION

Past Tense

Delacorte. (Jack Reacher, Bk. 23). Nov. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780399593512. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780399593529. THRILLER
COPY ISBN
OrangeReviewStarWhen Jack Reacher hits the road, fans know there will be blood, beatings, clever helpmates, military jargon, calculated risks, and a few good men (and women) met. This 23rd novel involves dual detours. Reacher is on his way from Maine to San Diego when he spots a road sign: Laconia, NH. That's where his father grew up, so he decides to make some genealogical inquiries in town. Not far from Reacher, Canadian travelers Shorty and Patty pull into a remote motel, their car on its last legs. They're the only guests and the proprietors seem a little odd. Of course things get worse for them and for Reacher, who pummels a local, well-connected bully when he's not poring over census records and playing matchmaker for two government workers. Child brings the two narratives together in a satisfying way, doling out inside jokes, imaginative fight scenes (one in a library), family secrets, and some observational humor. And all that happens before Reacher shows up at the motel.
VERDICT With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike. [See Prepub Alert, 5/7/18.]

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