Susan Mark, the fifth passenger, had a big secret, and her plain little life was being watched in Washington, and California, and Afghanistan—by dozens of people with one thing in common: They’re all lying to Reacher. A little. A lot. Or just enough to get him killed. A race has begun through the streets of Manhattan, a maze crowded with violent, skilled soldiers on all sides of a shadow war. For Jack Reacher, a man who trusts no one and likes it that way, the finish line comes when you finally get face-to-face and look your worst enemy in the eye.
Lee Child’s Gone Tomorrow is the thirteenth installment in the Jack Reacher series. Aside from several titles that have an overlapping story arc, the books can be read as standalones. The strength of the series is two-fold: the titular character and Child’s writing style.
There are people in the world who commit atrocities and brutalities, and more often than not never face any kind of justice—certainly not in the current judicial system. Here lies the strength of Jack Reacher: He is a simple man living on his own terms. He is dry and taciturn, and he abhors seeing injustices committed. And with a particular skill set that is neither superhuman nor unbelievable, simply years of training honed to a fine edge, he’s more than willing to mete out necessary punishment to the evil in the world. He’s a rational vigilante who appeals to all who are sane and have a sense of justice.
The narrative is in first person past tense, and that viewpoint suits the story well. Reacher’s stream of consciousness is an active, engaging one with the reader drawn right into Reacher’s mindset and action as he unravels the mystery, makes calculated decisions, severs arteries, stabs kidneys, and slices throats (and he's the good guy!).
Child’s writing style is superb. His dialogue is succinct and pithy, laced with surprising wit and humor given the subject matter he tackles and the gritty underbelly of human nature he explores. The plot in Gone Tomorrow was evenly paced with no lags: simply taut, edgy action from the first page to the last. Child’s research into weaponry, hand to hand combat, and the innerworkings of the military has been thorough, and the authentic details are vividly portrayed on the page.
The token female character was present in the story whose sole purpose was to provide a sex scene, and the last page of the novel was unnecessary and detracted from a potentially powerful, resonating conclusion. That said, neither aspects influenced the well-deserved five star rating for this read.
Gripping and rapidly paced with a stellar protagonist, Lee Child’s Gone Tomorrow is a riveting race through Manhattan with one of the most well-written characters in the genre.
Highly recommended for fans of mysteries, adventure thrillers, engaging protagonists, and authentic action