Gone Tomorrow isn’t the latest Jack Reacher book, but it’s the most recent one that I’ve read. Listed as number thirteen in a series that’s now over twenty books, Gone Tomorrow finds dedicated drifter and ex-military police officer Jack Reacher in New York City, riding the subway after visiting a jazz club. He encounters a strange woman on board the subway, a woman who’s wearing a large winter coat in the middle of a hot and humid summer. Reacher is alarmed, because this woman is showing the warning signs of being a suicide bomber. And so he gets up and goes over to her, to try and talk her out of what she‘s about to do–and that’s when she blows her head off with a gun that she had concealed.
Normally Reacher would just give his account to the local cops and then just depart and that would be that. But this woman’s suicide winds up being the beginning of a twisted and tangled tale involving a candidate running for senator, and a group of mysterious federal agents who are hot on Reacher’s trail. Lee Child delivers another fun, fast-paced thriller that sees Reacher dodging and chasing (sometimes at the same time) villains all around the Big Apple. And his feel for the city is very well done. Child’s description of New York really makes you feel like you’re there. There’s a nice romantic subplot that’s not too overplayed, but when Reacher goes after the villain at the end, it turns into a 1980s action film.
That’s both a good and a bad thing; Gone Tomorrow suffers from the usual action film cliché of the hero never being hit with a bullet while engaged in a massive gunfight with the bad guys. But Child takes the edge off of the silliness by explaining in great detail how Reacher gets the drop on each and every one of the bad guys–all while still suffering a nasty plot twist. Gone Tomorrow is an enjoyable lark. –SF