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Never Go Back (Jack Reacher) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2014
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Since talking to Maj. Susan Turner on the telephone from South Dakota in 2010's 61 Hours (bestseller Childs's 14th Jack Reacher novel), the former military cop has been heading to the Virginia headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP, in hopes of meeting her. In this 18th outing, Reacher finally arrives in Virginia, where his plan to meet Turner is initially thwarted by thugs who want to keep them apart. An arrest for a crime Reacher doesn't remember committing 16 years earlier and the dangled bait that he might be a father provoke him to run, kicking off a cross-country odyssey. As usual, head-busting physicality and analytical problem solving play key roles in Reacher's fight to prove his innocence and expose his enemies. Manhunts on both coasts, a link to corruption in Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. military drawdown, and the possibility for romance between Reacher and Turner make this entry one of the best in the series. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary. (Sept.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Jack Reacher, the loner thumbing his way through life, despises entanglements. So what could he possibly be doing going back to his old barracks in Washington, D.C., to take a woman to dinner? Yes, the woman, Major Susan Turner, is now the C.O. of Reacher’s former unit, and, yes, he liked her voice when he talked to her on the phone in 61 Hours (2010), but, really, Reacher, what were you thinking? Naturally, when Reacher arrives on the base to ask Turner out, he discovers a whopping mess—and lands in the middle of it. Turner is in the brig, and the army promptly arrests Reacher on what seems to be a trumped-up charge involving a case from decades ago. And what’s this about Reacher having a daughter, of all things, whose mother is suing for child support? None of it makes sense, except that somehow it must all tie together. Nothing to do but break out of the brig, with Turner in tow, and set things right, which requires a cross-country road trip, more than a little rough stuff, and a whole lot of fretting about entanglements. Child never, ever slips. He keeps the action cranking better than anyone, but, best of all, he keeps us guessing about Reacher. Will he, of all people (“Ninety-nine of us grow up to fear the howling wolf, and one grows up to envy it. I’m that guy.”), really hang up his toothbrush (his only traveling accoutrement) this time? Child has spent 17 novels committing his hero to the call of the wild, and now he dangles a dinner date and a possible daughter in front of the howling wolf? Brilliant. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Published in nearly 40 countries and more than 70 languages with more than 70 million copies in print, the Jack Reacher series is a publishing phenomenon and won’t go away anytime soon. --Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am a huge Lee Child / Jack Reacher fan, and have been reading these books for years, but it has got to the point where I say that this could very well be my last Jack Reacher purchase. It pains me to say this, as these books have been the highlight of my reading calender for so long, but the decline has become more noticeable with this book.
There were a few times when I seriously considered not finishing the book, but this is Lee Child and Reacher, surely it can only get better? No, the writing was consistent throughout, it was boring and repetitive. The plot was weak, and every solution to a problem on both sides was just too convenient, unbelievably so on many occasions.
Jack Reacher, in my opinion, has become arrogant - he is no longer the Jack Reacher I have enjoyed reading about all these years. This new Jack does things because he can - not because he must in order to survive. The ridiculous fire episode and the aeroplane scene clinched the deal for me.
The ending, and the reason for all the trouble Jack found himself in, was crazy, far-fetched and not what we have come to expect from Lee Child either.
I have been holding back on this review for days, but when you take the price of this book and what is between the covers, I think it is important that potential readers know that this is not up to Lee Child's earlier standards.
I am definitely the minority when it comes to reviewing this book - the 5 star reviews are rolling in on both Amazon and Goodreads. Maybe you will still enjoy this book if you are a die-hard Reacher fan, if not, I would give it a skip and rather try Lee Childs earlier Jack Reacher novels - they were brilliant.
Would I recommend this book? No
Will I buy the next book? Not on pre-order, I will wait for the reviews to come in first before buying - if at all.
I really like Turner. She's not as interesting as Neagly (my favorite Reacher supporting player) because she's so similar to Reacher (not enough tension). The action in NGB is good and considerable. I realize Reacher has his toolbox of moves that have served him well, but he never seems to learn any new moves or try any new beat down strategies. This is a distinct Reacher Creature complaint. Real fighters, even bar brawlers are learning new tricks all the time. No one wins every fight with the same moves forever. And Reacher clearly tries new stuff in conversation like "Want to work with me on that?". It's a minor quibble. Lee Child would have to do some serious MMA research or look into how Bruce Lee continually changed his perspective on the subject in other to capture a real fighter's mental state. Reacher is a numbers and math nerd, it would make sense if he applied similar thinking and passion to the always changing angles of a fist fight - which is like a game of billiards where the balls are always moving around.
With my minor quibbles of NGB out of the way, here is my only major (get it?) complaint: There is no real villain in this novel. The bad guys are kind of like Randolph and Mortimer from the Eddie Murphy movie "Trading Places". Seriously. They are lame lame lame. There has not been villainy this weak since Mini Me. Even their names are pansy. And pansy should not be a word ever used to describe any Reacher adversary. Thankfully the pacing and writing are so enjoyable that it makes up for this very serious flaw. Reacher fans should have a good time. I enjoyed it and laughed a lot during my subway commute which made me look like a crazy person with a kindle. Thanks Lee Child.