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Jack Reacher rejoins the army and faces a murder charge in 'Never Go Back'

Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher series of novels
Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher series of novels

Never Go Back by Lee Child


"Never Go Back" The 18th Jack Reacher mystery / thriller the redoubtable character is an okay read, but strictly formulaic, and the bad guys are over matched, yet again, by the more muscular and brainy Reacher.

Reacher has returned to his old stamping grounds, the MP base in Washington, D.C. where he was the commanding officer, to meet a woman, Major Turner, the current head. However, when he gets to the base, he is greeted by Colonel Morgan, a man, who says that Turner has been arrested, and that Reacher has been recalled to active duty, been accused of murdering a suspect from years ago and that he has a daughter from a previous fling in Korea and the mother has also filed charges against him. Reacher is also being shadowed by a contingent of soldiers, who Reacher is easily able to dispatch.

Reacher is appointed two lawyers to handle his cases, both of who immediately feel he is guilty as charged, while we, knowing Reacher's background, may doubt one charge, but the other is a mystery. But the real mystery is why anyone would be bothering to go after Reacher at all on what appears to be trumped up charges.

Reacher soon suspects it has to do with Major Turner.

When a lawyer is beaten up and the police and FBI also come after Reacher, he will, with the aid of Major Turner, have to figure out who is involved in the conspiracy and why and also clear his name from the trumped up charges.

Scant clues, a mysterious conspiracy, hand to hand combat and discussions of clothing. This latest mystery has all of the hallmarks of a Reacher mystery.

But shouldn't we expect a little more, maybe a villain with more wits and bad guys. I guess if you are Lee Child, why change the formula.

Its a good beach read. You will like it, but not love it.