#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from “a superb craftsman of suspense” (Entertainment Weekly).
Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.
At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.
The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?
As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.
Don’t miss a sneak peek of Lee Child’s novel Blue Moon in the back of the book.
Praise for Past Tense
“Child is one writer who should never be taken for granted.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Lee Child] shows no signs of slowing down. . . . Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.”—The Atlantic
“Superb . . . Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character’s roots, and Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)
“Another first-class entry in a series that continues to set the gold standard for aspiring thriller authors.”—Booklist (starred review)
“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.”—Library Journal (starred review)
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Jack Reacher’s work has taken him around the world, but in Lee Child’s 23rd book in the series, the gruff, itinerant hero launches an investigation that hits close to home. When Reacher reroutes a cross-country road trip to visit his father’s New Hampshire birthplace, the grizzled vet drives straight into questions about his own past. Reacher devotees and newcomers will feel like they’re fully embedded with Child’s hero, whose intuition is matched only by his fearlessness as he navigates a crazy parade of twists and turns.
Early in bestseller Child's superb 23rd Jack Reacher novel (after 2017's The Midnight Line), the peripatetic Reacher reaches a fork in a road in rural New Hampshire; he chooses the path heading to Laconia, "his late father's place of birth." At the same time, just 30 miles away, a young Canadian couple on their way south have car trouble and stop at a small motel, finding they're apparently its only guests. Reacher uncovers few traces of his father's existence, other than a 75-year-old assault case in which Stan Reacher is named. But he does stir up a world of trouble when he steps in to help a woman under attack and gives her assailant the son of a well-connected underworld figure a humiliating beating. While Reacher is dealing with a revenge posse, the Canadian couple discover just how strange their motel is. Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character's roots, and Child's spare prose continues to set a very high bar.
Good but not great
Typical to lee's work, a real page turner. Very well scripted with a strong storylines! But the ending seemed predictable and less "Reacher". Still enjoyed and recommend.
My first Jack Reacher book and I honestly couldn’t put it down.
Not my cup of tea, I used to say when people suggested this series. Now, I’m hooked. It’s smart, quick and entertaining - nothing wrong with that.
And he’s a good guy. I always like to read about the kindness of strangers. But I have to find out more about him now....
Fast paced but predictable