Lee Child goes the distance with Past Tense; all the way back just asking – begging for trouble. Jack Reacher’s usual mode of transportation, hitchhiking, across America from Maine to California, brought him to a fork in the road deep in the New England woods. A place he’d never been before but the town where his father was born. Curious, he takes the detour.
Not far away as the crow flies, a young Canadian couple on their way to New York to sell a treasure has car trouble. They’re stranded and taken by the tow truck driver to a motel for the night until their car could be fixed in the morning. A friendly place at first glance, perhaps a little too friendly thought the couple.
By morning, Reacher is in the city clerk’s office looking for answers about his family’s home. He knew his father had lived there in the past, left and never returned. The city clerk’s office informed him no one by the name Reacher had ever lived there. He wondered if he was wrong about the location or if his father never lived there. Haunted by memories from the past, he had to investigate.
From day one, Reacher gets into some tight places because of his code of honor. Not that he was looking for trouble, but someone needed to take a stand. He was there, so it was left up to him. Detective Amos, a former MP, encourages him to leave town before something worse happened.
Reacher wasn’t finished exploring his father’s life and intended to stay. And, things did get worse as the Detective promised. Hidden out of sight, in a motel where the sign had been removed the young Canadians found themselves pinned into a bizarre experiment unable to leave. They wondered if and how they’d ever escape their tormentors.
Their stories converge as Reacher uncovers secrets about his family. Looking into the past can be deadly, but living in the present in Laconia was pure hell. The Reverend Patrick G would attest to this fact.