After an epic and interrupted journey all the way from the snows of South Dakota, Jack Reacher has finally made it to Virginia. His destination: a sturdy stone building a short bus ride from Washington D.C., the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. It was the closest thing to a home he ever had.
Why? He wants to meet the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner. He liked her voice on the phone. But the officer sitting behind Reacher’s old desk isn’t a woman. Why is Susan Turner not there?
What Reacher doesn’t expect is what comes next. He himself is in big trouble, accused of a sixteen-year-old homicide. And he certainly doesn’t expect to hear these words: ‘You’re back in the army, Major. And your ass is mine.’
Will he be sorry he went back? Or – will someone else?
Jack Reacher is back and don’t worry folks he’s back with his usual swagger, confidence and his remarkable ability to get things done, completely on his own terms and in his own time of course. Never Go Back is another rip roaring adventure with arguably the most iconic action hero of the modern literary world. Who wouldn’t want to be in his shoes? Yet again he takes no prisoners and his no nonsense approach is refreshing, one can never get enough of The Reacher!
Although we come across a little violence, a few deaths and your fair share of bad guys suffering at the hands of our protagonist there was one scene – in a diner – that was the polar opposite and incidentally my favourite part of the book. I’m not going to go in any kind of detail to avoid spoilers but the scene was intelligently written and well crafted,the dialogue was sharp and on point with a great deal of subtlety and personality. I really enjoyed the verbal tennis and the scene proof, if ever it was needed, that Lee Child doesn’t have to rely on Reacher creating havoc wherever he goes just to be entertaining. Brilliant.
The book moves along at a furious pace from beginning to end thanks mainly to an enigmatic leading man but equally to a well crafted and thought out storyline and a sound narrative that keeps the reader keep turning the pages to see just what happens next. I really enjoyed how Child took the story one way and then the next, introducing characters full of depth and flavour allowing them all to play a growing role in the outcome of the book.
For me Jack Reacher books are never about the ending, sure they’re important as one book tends to lead into another, for me however they are about the journey within. I love how he interacts with characters, who he tolerates and who he can’t and won’t abide. He has a wise head on his shoulders does our Jack and he more often than not uses it wisely. Between you and me I do like it when he acts a little rashly, loses control – not that it happens much – and just goes at it, carnage ensues and a few broken bones follow. I’m sure deep down he’s always itching for a fight but he does have an inner strength that reins it in.
Never Go Back delivers, simple as that. From beginning to end it entertains with a crisp narrative, intelligent dialogue and two storylines running concurrently that somehow, magically, gel together at the end to deliver a fitting climax (even though I felt it was a little rushed in the end) to another Jack Reacher novel. There a few authors out there that will make me stop what I’m doing and lose myself in a literary adventure – Lee Child is one of them. Terrifically taut, Never Go Back will not disappoint.
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Bantam Press (29 Aug 2013)