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Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher) Mass Market Paperback – March 23, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,442 customer reviews
Book 13 of 20 in the Jack Reacher Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
New York City. Two in the morning. A subway car heading uptown. Jack Reacher, plus five other passengers. Four are okay. The fifth isn’t.

In the next few tense seconds Reacher will make a choice--and trigger an electrifying chain of events in this gritty, gripping masterwork of suspense by #1 New York Times bestseller Lee Child.

Susan Mark was the fifth passenger. She had a lonely heart, an estranged son, and a big secret. Reacher, working with a woman cop and a host of shadowy feds, wants to know just how big a hole Susan Mark was in, how many lives had already been twisted before hers, and what danger is looming around him now.

Because a race has begun through the streets of Manhattan in a maze crowded with violent, skilled soldiers on all sides of a shadow war. Susan Mark’s plain little life was critical to dozens of others in Washington, California, Afghanistan . . . from a former Delta Force operator now running for the U.S. Senate, to a beautiful young woman with a fantastic story to tell–and to a host of others who have just one thing in common: They’re all lying to Reacher. A little. A lot. Or maybe just enough to get him killed.

In a novel that slams through one hairpin surprise after another, Lee Child unleashes a thriller that spans three decades and gnaws at the heart of America . . . and for Jack Reacher, a man who trusts no one and likes it that way, it’s a mystery with only one answer–the kind that comes when you finally get face-to-face and look your worst enemy in the eye.

Amazon Exclusive Essay: Lee Child on Gone Tomorrow

My career as a writer has been longer than some and shorter than others, but it happens to span the internet era more or less exactly. My first book, Killing Floor, came out in 1997. It probably sold some copies on Amazon, but not many, because the company was in its infancy then, barely two years old. In that book I even referred to “an e-mail,” thinking I was showing two of the characters to be amazingly cutting-edge and modern.

A year or so later I actually got e-mail, and a year or so after that I got a web site, and a couple of years after that I got broadband, and over the following few years I got into the habit of starting the day internet surfing, reading the news and the gossip.

But it is not until now that I can say that one of my books--the thirteenth Reacher thriller, Gone Tomorrow--is truly and exclusively a product of the internet age.

I started the surfing years in a sensible, structured manner, but I eventually learned that the best stuff comes randomly. I started to follow links on a whim, bouncing from place to place, Googling other people’s references, following the maze, looking for rabbit holes.

I found an anonymous police blog from Britain.

It was apparently hosted by a London copper, and because it was secure and anonymous it was uninhibited. The people who posted there said all kinds of things. There were complaints and there was bitching, of course, but also there was a frank and unexpurgated view of police work from behind the lines. I got there in the summer of 2005, just after the suicide bombings on London’s transportation system, and just after a completely innocent Brazilian student had been shot to death by London police, who were under the mistaken impression that the guy had been involved.

Now, as a thriller writer, I’m familiar with the idea that cops can be bent or reckless. But I’m equally aware that’s mostly literary license. I know lots of cops, and they’re great people doing a very tough job. Years ago I met a friend’s eight-year-old daughter--a sweet little girl with no front teeth--and she grew up to be a cop. She won a bravery medal for a difficult solo arrest during which she was stabbed and had her thumb broken. She’s tough, but she’s not bent or reckless. So are the other cops I know.

So I was curious: what happened with the Brazilian kid? How was the mistake made?

So I eavesdropped while the coppers on the anonymous site were asking the same question. And I learned something interesting.

Their first consensus explanation was: because of “the list.” The Brazilian boy was showing “all twelve signs.” I thought, what list? What signs? So I clicked and scrolled and Googled, and it turned out that years earlier Israeli counterintelligence had developed a failsafe checklist of physical and behavioral signifiers, that when all present and correct mean you are looking at a suicide bomber. The list had entered training manuals, and after 9/11 those manuals were studied like crazy all over the world. And the response was mandatory: you see a guy showing the signs, you put him down, right now, before he can blow himself up.

And by sheer unlucky coincidence, the Brazilian kid had been showing the signs. A winter coat in July, a recent shave, and so on. (Read Gone Tomorrow if you want to know all twelve, and why.)

All writing is what if? So I tried to imagine that moment of... disbelief, I guess. You see a guy showing the signs, and probably every fiber of your being is saying, “This can’t be.” But you’re required to act.

So for the opening scene of Gone Tomorrow, I had Reacher sitting on a subway train in New York City, staring at a woman who is showing the signs. Reacher is ex-military law enforcement, and he knows the list forward and backward. Half of his brain is saying, “This can’t be,” and the other half is programmed to act. What does he do? What if he’s wrong? What will happen?

That’s where the story starts. It ends hundreds of pages later, in a place you both do and don’t expect. --Lee Child

(Photo © Sigrid Estrada)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. All good thriller writers know how to build suspense and keep the pages turning, but only better ones deliver tight plots as well, and only the best allow the reader to match wits with both the hero and the author. Bestseller Child does all of that in spades in his 13th Jack Reacher adventure (after Nothing to Lose). Early one morning on a nearly empty Manhattan subway car, the former army MP notices a woman passenger he suspects is a suicide bomber. The deadly result of his confronting her puts him on a trail leading back to the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s and forward to the war on terrorism. Reacher finds a bit of help among the authorities demanding answers from him, like the NYPD and the FBI, as well as threats and intimidation. And then there are the real bad guys that the old pro must track down and eliminate. Child sets things up subtly and ingeniously, then lets Reacher use both strength and guile to find his way to the exciting climax. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Jack Reacher (Book 13)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440243688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440243687
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,442 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lee Child is the #1 internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel. "Jack Reacher", the film based on the 9th novel, One Shot, stars Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, and David Oyelowo and debuted in December 2012. Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City and the south of France with his wife and daughter. Find out more about Lee Child and the Reacher novels on his official website: LeeChild.com, on Facebook LeeChildOfficial, on Twitter #LeeChildReacher, and YouTube leechildjackreacher.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Some readers were disappointed by Nothing to Lose. They have my personal guarantee that they will not be disappointed by Gone Tomorrow. Jack Reacher is back and he's back with a vengeance. Literally. The story opens with Reacher on a northbound NYC subway car, one built in Japan, to specifications which he discusses in detail. Why? Because Jack is a curious man and so are the readers who overhear him telling his stories. He also details the specifications because they will come back to play a role in the story several hundred pages later. On that car, in the middle of the night, a woman who appears to be a potential suicide bomber does something else instead. Her action haunts Jack and he does not rest until he knows the reasons for her actions and exacts vengeance on those who have caused those actions.

Except for some brief moments in Washington, Gone Tomorrow is set in Manhattan, a city that both Jack Reacher and his creator know very well. The wide cast of characters includes members of the NYPD, the FBI, miscellaneous defense/homeland security types, some private security forces and some uber-baddies from Turkmenistan. The plot involves actions from the early 1980's and actions from today's headlines. The plot is as tight (to adapt one of the novel's similes) as the endpoint of the alimentary canal of a piscine creature. There is a bit of sex and a great deal of violence (strong but not pornographic).

The novel is replete with information, as Child taps into the wellsprings of the techno-thriller. There is also a great deal of ratiocinative mystery: how can you find someone in NYC in the middle of the night? How can you deduce the likely behavior of an individual from the scant remaining facts at your disposal?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gone Tomorrow is the 13th novel in the Jack Reacher series. Reacher is a retired Army MP and a drifter who seems to find big trouble wherever he goes. Reacher is a great character and all the novels in this series are entertaining, but they are very uneven in terms of plot credibility and overall enjoyment.

Gone Tomorrow is one of the absolute best of the series. As the novel begins Reacher finds himself on the subway late at night in New York City and happens to see a passenger, Susan Mark, acting strangely. This sets off all kinds of alarm bells for Reacher who is trained to spot terrorists and other nefarious characters looking to do others harm. As the events unfold Reacher finds himself chasing, and being chased, by the FBI, the Department of Defense, the New York City Police Department, and a shadowy group of possible terrorists, all looking for a piece of explosive information, and willing to kill to get it.

This novel is a fast paced thriller and mystery and works extremely well as both. The plot becomes intricate and mysterious as Reacher tries to find out who is behind the events unfolding, and then tries to discover why the information being sought is so important. There are plenty of twists and turns as Reacher continues to unravel the mystery to a rather explosive and violent conclusion.

Other than a few quibbles over political details that are over generalized, this novel was a real page turner and very entertaining. One of Lee Child's best.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lee Child's "Gone Tomorrow" is the 13th Jack Reacher installment. It is a much needed return to the stylings to which we loyal fans became addicted; certainly, it is far superior to the politically slanted "Nothing To Lose." My sole quibble with "Gone Tomorrow" is that Child again, although with much more subtlety, infuses his British perspective of American policy into Reacher's actions and consciousness. As a loyal reader of a great character, I am not interested in Lee Child's view of American foreign policy, past or present.

That being said, this novel begins with a random incident on a late night subway in New York where Reacher suspects a passenger of being a suicide bomber and due to his intervention, a death occurs which motivates him to trace the victim's backstory in hopes of understanding who and what caused the unnecessary tragedy. A continuous series of government and private agents begin confronting Reacher assuming he has valuable knowledge(and property)gained from the victim. Before one settles in, Reacher is fending off the NYPD, FBI, Homeland Security, paid investigators, and a slew of foreign bad guys that will please anyone's appetite for evil villains.

Reacher is as perceptive, logical,and analytical as ever in "Gone Tomorrow." He actually instructs the reader about a number of arcane minutiae such as how to knife fight, defend against brass knuckles, and disappear in NYC. Reacher is less taciturn and more focused than he has been recently and even pals up with NYPD detective and a grieving father for a time.

There is more than ample violence and gore to please the loyal Reacher fan, the plotting is tight, and Reacher continues to be fun to decipher as he analyzes people and events.
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Format: Hardcover
The Jack Reacher of the earlier novels is gone; all that remains is a shell of a man who, for much of the story, acts as little more than a bystander to what is happening around him, until nearly halfway through Gone Tomorrow. The story opens with an interesting scene involving a suicide, including a tedious recitation of ways to identify a suicide terrorist, then virtually nothing happens until almost page 180.

The early Reacher was immediately involved in the storyline, often with strong action, maintaining an intense pace until the end. In Gone Tomorrow, Reacher does little except stand by and speculate, rather than act as the action hero.

One reviewer gave a personal guarantee that I would not be disappointed with Gone Tomorrow. Well, I am here to collect on that guarantee. I found the book tedious, slow-paced, and boring. I miss the old Reacher. Perhaps, it is time for him to settle down with his buddies and tell their war stories; he is no longer an action hero.

I alse had a problem with many of the carboard characters: the men in black suits from an intelligence agency, lawless private security, inept police, a required woman for an irrelveant sex scene, psychopathic killers, a superficial and obviously devious Senator, and the use of traveling back and forth from New York to Washington.

The main premise, of a secret operation in the Middle East which resulted in awards for the participants, but which is also buried deep inside a miitary depository of secrets, is, of course, a huge blinking sign that says, "Here is the answer." Since it involved a Senator running for President, the reader is not-so-subtly reminded that this "secret" could bring down the candidate.
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