STARRED REVIEW
September 08, 2015

A tiny town for Reacher’s 20th

By Lee Child

“I'm just a guy passing through. . . . [I’m] a coincidence.” That's how Jack Reacher explains his presence in the tiny Oklahoma town of Mother’s Rest. A laconic ex-military detective with no fixed address, Reacher got off the train with no deeper motivation than a desire to know the source of the town’s strange name. Once there, he finds a reason to stay—Michelle Chang, a private detective on the hunt for her missing partner.

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“I'm just a guy passing through. . . . [I’m] a coincidence.” That's how Jack Reacher explains his presence in the tiny Oklahoma town of Mother’s Rest. A laconic ex-military detective with no fixed address, Reacher got off the train with no deeper motivation than a desire to know the source of the town’s strange name. Once there, he finds a reason to stay—Michelle Chang, a private detective on the hunt for her missing partner. The sleuth disappeared shortly after calling her to Mother’s Rest for help on a case. But what mystery could he have been solving in the middle of nowhere? Was it really dangerous enough to cause his disappearance? And just why are the townspeople in such a hurry for Reacher to leave?

The pair team up to find answers. To do it, they’ll have to track down the mysterious client who hired Chang’s partner just before he went missing. Their search will take them to from Oklahoma City to Chicago to LA, and bring them into contact with strange characters, like a genius computer programmer who’s obsessed with searching the dark web. The closer they get to the truth, the more people want to keep them away from it—from Ukranian crime bosses to angry hog farmers. None of them particularly scare the effortlessly competent Reacher; his opponents may be armed and dangerous, but, as he points out, “only temporarily.”

Though this is the 20th Jack Reacher novel, newcomers will be won over by the pleasures of identifying with a noirish-badass hero who can outthink, out-punch, out-shoot and out-quip a bad guy at lightning speed. Lee Child is brilliant at generating suspense, but amid all the heart-stopping action scenes, Make Me also offers flashes of deadpan wit and captures the spare, dusty rhythms of Oklahoma farm life. The book’s opening coincidence is just the first of many ingenious plot devices, and a series of masterfully timed revelations will lay bare the chilling truth about Mother’s Rest.

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Make Me

Make Me

By Lee Child
Delacorte
ISBN 9780804178778

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