Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2014
"She was everything he thought she would be, and she was everything he had ever wanted." ‒ from NEVER GO BACK

Before he became a wandering civilian road warrior, MAJOR Jack Reacher, U.S.A. had once been commanding officer of the 110th Military Police Special Unit headquartered near Washington, D.C.

Sometime in the past while out West ‒ presumably in another Reacher adventure that doesn't spring to mind ‒ Jack had talked to the current CO of the 110th, Major Susan Turner, by phone and had decided that he needed to travel back to visit his old command and ask Turner out to dinner. I mean, he had nothing else going on.

Presumably entitled as a cautionary tale by author Lee Child, NEVER GO BACK has Reacher arriving at the 110th to find Turner under arrest and he himself levered back into the Army to face a murder charge and a paternity suit from alleged activities years before while on active duty.

Working my way through this thriller, I was inclined to five stars for three reasons: 1) Reacher's awkwardly compromised position with his old unit, 2) his discovery of an apparent soul mate, and 3) a satisfying level of physical mayhem delivered by our hero onto the bad guys.

However, by the book's conclusion, I had to knock off two stars for three reasons: 1) it went unexplained how someone could fasten an airline seatbelt after having both arms broken at the elbow but minutes before, 2) the surveillance actions described at the intersection of the Los Angeles freeways 134 and 101 (and, unmentioned, the 170) must have been concocted by the author while looking at a two-dimensional highway map; he obviously (to this LA resident) hasn't personally driven the interchange, and 3) the ending was notably anticlimactic.

This particular paperback edition (Dell, April 2014) also includes the short story HIGH HEAT, which has the 16-year old Reacher kicking butt in New York City on the night of July 13, 1977 when the city experienced the Blackout. Similarly to the couple of other juvenile-Jack short stories I've read, it seemed unnecessary and silly. Hey Lee, how about one when Reacher is five and he beats the manure out of a nursery school bully?
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