PAST TENSE by Lee Child

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A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 23

I can start every review Lee Child review like this: Jack is back and all is right in my world. I just feel safe knowing he’s out there, fictional though he may be. I do find it necessary to block out the image of Tom Cruise as Reacher, it really doesn’t work in the books, not with descriptors like Bigfoot and the Incredible Hulk, with “fists like Thanksgiving turkeys.”

And then we move on to this latest adventure.

Reacher is in Maine and planning on hitchhiking across America to San Diego. But his first ride takes him to New Hampshire, where he sees a sign for the tiny town where his father was born. He doesn’t know much about his father, so he decides to check it out.

There is a rather deserted motel on the outskirts of the town where a young couple’s car has broken down. They reluctantly check into the motel but things are creepy here.

You know that these two plot lines are going to intersect at some point, but it takes a really long time for that to happen. Meanwhile, Reacher is learning things about his family that he never knew. And of course, he also gets into some trouble.

First he saves a woman from a drunken encounter with a menacing man by beating him senseless. It turns out he is connected to the local mob. He gets in some more fights, making the police unhappy with him as well. But being Reacher, he sticks around until he can figure out his family situation. And of course, the motel.

I loved learning more about Reacher’s family, but I didn’t enjoy the motel plot line as much. It just seemed like a retread for some reason. Twenty-three books into this series, not every one is going to be perfection. I understand that, and while I didn’t love this one, I liked it a lot and read it in one night. So no real complaints here other than having to wait another year for Reacher’s next adventure. Hopefully, it will be better.

11/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

PAST TENSE by Lee Child. Delacorte Press (November 5, 2018).  ISBN 978-0399593512. 400p.

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