While Jack Reacher is sitting in a New York cafe sipping coffee close to midnight, he finds himself staring at the back of an average build man wearing fairly average clothes, walking towards an expensive car parked across the street near a fire hydrant, getting into it and driving away. The next morning he is approached by someone looking for information on what Reacher saw the night before. Thereafter, he meets the man’s employer Edward Lane, who heads a team of former Special Forces soldiers. Lane hires Reacher because of his background as a former military cop, and discloses that his wife and daughter have been kidnapped.
Jack attempts to use his deductions to try to trace the two abductees. But he keeps tripping up, and his employer keeps paying lumpsums of ransom money to keep his family alive. Then we learn that that there are some more parties interested in this case; people who want to help Reacher solve it. Simple theories won’t cut it anymore. Reacher has to take the aid of these people in a big way. He also has to travel around New York to confirm his guesses and use all kinds of tricks and skills to get the truth out.
A useful way to segment the mystery is to divide it in terms of mistakes made by Reach. One might say that the discovery of each mistake is what propels the story forward. As usual, there is a lot of usage of the ‘Reacher said nothing‘ phrase. This is, possibly, meant to depict Reacher as a thinking man. Probably it’s meant to show that he is accepting and rejecting suggestions in his mind but is not in a hurry to comment. There is a lot of bravado in his talk too, but in this novel it seems as if tough guy Reacher is using bluster to deter others from attacking him at a difficult time. Unless Lee Child has sneaked it in to make Reacher less-than-perfect.
The ending, as always, serves to showcase what a great action star Reacher is. I tend to skim over these pages, mostly. But the mystery is interesting and thankfully doesn’t end too soon.
Recommended for suspense fans who like their novels to end with some superhero action.