Jack Reacher books are a joy to read. We finish them, with a certain amount of sadness knowing that there will be another years wait until the author, Lee Child releases the next book in the Jack Reacher series.
I have found a way to deal with this sadness and decided to help you! Instead of waiting a full year until the next Lee Child novel, what about checking out these 4 new Jack Reacher type characters that could actually, potentially steal the Reacher number 1 position in years to come.
If you like Jack Reacher, you will love these books, I can guarantee it.
To start you need a good scoring system to rank the Jack Reacher type characters.
I have ranked the characters on the following:
1) My Books Like Jack Reacher website review. If the books good, then it’s been reviewed on my site. Higher ranking books that have been reviewed, then the higher the Jack Reacher type character. See my book reviews here.
2) Any character like Jack Reacher has to have a certain type of physicality – are they able to handle themselves against any enemy?
3) Weaponry – Can the main Jack Reacher type character use a variety of weapons to do their job and escape danger?
4) Character – Jack Reacher is a loner, calm in danger, someone who operates on their own. Can the new Jack Reacher type of character handle the heat, have they got an ice cool demeanor in any impossible situation.
5) Plot – Jack Reacher books are written to grab your attention from the first page so that you start to read the Jack Reacher books in order. This score is decided by the first few pages, am I gripped from page one or do I want to throw the book in the bin straight away!
6) The Book ending – This is really important for me. Do you care about the Jack Reacher type character and do you want me to read the next novel in the series straight away? As with all Jack Reacher books, you want to start straight away on the next book.
These are the 6 score factors to decide which are the new characters that are like Jack Reacher.
1) Books Like Jack Reacher website review – 9.7/10
2) Physicality – 9.5/10
3) Weaponry – 9.6/10
4) Character – 9.0/10
5) Plot – 9.0/10
6) The Book ending – 9.7/10
TOTAL SCORE 56.5/60
Victor is ranked at number 1 on our site as the last book titled “Kill For ME” was so good. The best character like jack Reacher so far. Two of the classic highlights in the book series amongst many, were the biting off an enemies’ ear, letting a baddie use a shard of glass to slice through the side of his own face so that he could escape.
If you want to start at the beginning of this book series that is like Jack Reacher then see my review HERE.
NUMBER 2 on the list
COURT GENTRY – (AKA THE GRAY MAN) – AUTHOR MARK GREANEY
1) Books Like Jack Reacher website review – 9.2/10
2) Physicality – 9.6/10
3) Weaponry – 9.8/10
4) Character – 9.3/10
5) Plot – 9.3/10
6) The Book ending – 9.2/10
TOTAL SCORE 56.4/60
Court Gentry is ranked at number 2 on our site as this “Gray Man” series just seems to get better and better. I would go as far as saying he is close to the top and one of the closest to being the best character like jack Reacher. Classic highlights in the book series amongst many, Court getting captured and then tortured, for any person reading it – wow its intense. Court taking out a whole army of soldiers and rescuing his best mate who is caught by a bomb explosion.
If you want to start at the beginning of this book series that is like Jack Reacher then see my review HERE.
1) Books Like Jack Reacher website review – 9.4/10
2) Physicality – 8.9/10
3) Weaponry – 9.3/10
4) Character – 9.7/10
5) Plot – 9.5/10
6) The Book ending – 9.5/10
TOTAL SCORE 56.3/60
Evan Smoak is ranked at number 3 on our site as this “Nowhere Man” series is absolutely fantastic. Evan is an average character who is a trained assassin but is using his skills to help people and find out why he was made into a killer.
Classic highlights in the book series amongst many, Evan looking to assassinate the President of America who he thinks is behind the plot to terminate him. The Nowhere Man’s apartment layout, like the bat cave but in a normal housing apartment.
If you want to start at the beginning of this book series that is like Jack Reacher then see my review HERE.
1) Books Like Jack Reacher website review – 9.4/10
2) Physicality – 9.8/10
3) Weaponry – 9.1/10
4) Character – 9.8/10
5) Plot – 9.2/10
6) The Book ending – 8.9/10
TOTAL SCORE 56.2/60
John Puller is a huge bloke, so similar physically to Jack Reacher so he has to enter our top 5 list of characters like Jack Reacher. David Baldacci is an accomplished writer and sets brilliant scenes for his main character, he also develops the main character really well throughout the series.
Classic highlights in the book series amongst many, Puller trying to solve the mystery of who killed his father. Jack Reacher style suspense as Puller is investigating a family murder whilst beating up weird townsfolk.
If you want to start at the beginning of this book series that is like Jack Reacher then see my review HERE. So there it is, my top books like Jack Reacher.
If you are still looking for the latest Jack Reacher book, then look here as you can see the books in order HERE and the lastest Jack Reacher book to order HERE
Jack The Reacher – the best books like Jack Reacher on our website – we review so you don’t have to waste time trying to find a book like Jack The Reacher.
I happened to chance upon buying this first Gregg Hurwitz book titled “Orphan X” in my local book store. Lee Child, the author of the famous Jack Reacher books had left a review on the back page saying the book is outstanding in every way.
If you would like a recap on my initial reviews have a look here ORPHAN X review.
The new Orphan X is available to buy today, see below for other books in the series. There are now lots of books like Jack Reacher and Lee Child novels. More and more characters are entering the crime thriller genre with a one man hero, I’ve read a lot of them, some I must admit haven’t made it to my website as I only review good books. The best characters like Jack Reacher can be found here, it just saves you the hassle of buying a poorly written crime thriller book that is supposed to be like Jack Reacher!
The new Gregg Hurwitz book
The lastest installment in the Orphan X series is titled “Out of the Dark”. Now judging by my latest reviews, you know I’m a fan of this main character. Evan Smoak, a hero who seems like the average guy but underneath the average veneer is a killer trained for action. Evan is a bit like the old Equalizer figure Edward Woodward (remember that tv series) You can buy it here
After Evan saves someone, he tells that person to give his phone number to another one who needs his special services. He’s a ghost, with justice always on his mind. If you like Jack Reacher you will love the writing style of Gregg Hurwitz. A bit like Lee Child in the way that he adds more and more to the main character, explaining why they think the way they do, some slight defects in their character that makes them the way they are.
Is the book any good?
The plot for the latest book goes for the jugular, the President of the United States . The President has a secret to hide and Orphan X is linked to that secret. All the Orphans in the Orphan X programme are being wiped out and now Evan decides its time to sort out the leader of this programme once and for all.
What is exciting about this book is the way that this is possibly the hardest task Evan has had to face. How do you eliminate the most defended person in the planet who has the most power in the world. Evan also has the small matter of the “Nowhere Man” phone which has someone ready to call when they need help.
I love the way we have our hero also trying to keep and portray a normal life outside of this mission. Trying to keep in contact with friends in his apartment block and a romance with a neighbour from previous books. This is where it get slightly different to the Jack Reacher books as Jack never really has much interaction with the same people, he is more of a drifter through society whereas Evan is in a fixed location, in a fortified apartment room with his own intelligence office.
What is good about this book?
Lee Child and Gregg Hurwitz are both great authors, Gregg’s character Evan Smoak really gets you sucked into the book on the first page. The president is also desperate as he has to rely on another trained Orphan to wipe out Evan so that no one finds out his secret. The fight scenes are again special, all the skills and gun fights on display for us all to see. We have great link ups with Evan and a previous enemy Orphan from another book. There is a really sensitivity with Evan and the person in distress who calls the Nowhere man phone number. It really feels like this plot is going to be too much for our hero and without spoiling the plot we know he is going to need some help from elsewhere! I like this idea, Jack Reacher is his own man, a force of nature who deals with things on his own terms, Evan is the same but even though he doesn’t trust anyone, he knows that at some point he is going to need help.
What about Gregg Hurwitz?
For me Lee Child is one of the best writers of crime thrillers along with Micheal Connelly and now Gregg Hurwitz. The detail, the scene setting, the fight descriptions, the weaponary and the plot endings are superb. I can’t recommend this series enough, if you like Jack Reacher books, then you will love the Orphan X series. I would always advise people to start with the first book Orphan X, this book will get you into who Orphan X is and why Evan wants to stay hidden. My warning to everyone who starts is to be prepared for late nights, some “NO WAY” moments and maybe some sadness once the you have finished the series.
Also by Gregg Hurwitz – Orphan X series.
Here are the books both UK and US options, buy direct by clicking the picture and let me know what you think in the comments below.
The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child is the twenty-fifth addition to the bestselling Jack Reacher series. Lee and his younger brother Andrew have joined forces to give the action-packed series an exciting new refresh.
Jack Reacher gets off a bus in Nashville, Tennessee, in a quest for food, lodging and some good country music. But when he encounters a band of musicians who have been cheated by an unscrupulous bar owner, he steps in to help…
Read on for an extract from The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child!
The Sentinel By Lee Child and Andrew Child
Rusty Rutherford emerged from his apartment on a Monday morning, exactly one week after he got fired. He spent the first few days after the axe fell with his blinds drawn, working through his stockpile of frozen pizzas and waiting for the phone to ring. Significant weaknesses, the dismissal letter said. Profound failure of leadership. Basic and fundamental errors. It was unbelievable. It was… a mistake. Plain and simple. Which meant it was certain to be corrected. And soon. The hours crawled past. His personal email silted up with nothing more than spam. And his phone stayed silent. He resisted for another full day, then grabbed his old laptop and powered it up. He didn’t own a gun or a knife. He didn’t know how to rappel from a helicopter or parachute from a plane. But still, someone had to pay. Maybe his real-life enemies were going to get away with it. This time. But not the villains in the video games a developer buddy had sent him. He had shied away from playing them, before. The violence felt too extreme. Too unnecessary. It didn’t feel that way anymore. His days of showing mercy were over. Unless… His phone stayed silent. Twenty-four hours later he had a slew of new high scores and a mild case of dehydration, but not much else had changed. He closed the computer and slumped back on his couch. He stayed there for the best part of another day, picking at random from a stack of Blurays he didn’t remember buying and silently begging the universe to send him back to work. He would be different, he swore. Easier to get along with. More patient. Diplomatic. Empathetic, even. He would buy doughnuts for everyone in the office. Twice a month. Three times, if that would seal the deal… His phone stayed silent. He didn’t often drink, but what else was there to do? The credits began to roll at the end of another disc. He couldn’t stomach another movie so he retreated to the kitchen. Retrieved an unopened bottle of Jim Beam from the back of a cabinet. Returned to the living room and put a scratchy old Elmore James LP on the turntable. He wound up asleep, face down on the floor, after… he wasn’t sure how long. All he knew was that when he woke up his head felt like it was crammed full of rocks, shifting and grinding as if they were trying to burst out of his skull. He thought the pain would never end. But when his hangover did finally pass, he found himself experiencing a new emotion. Defiance. He was an innocent man, after all. None of the bad things that had happened in the town were his fault. That was for damn sure. He was the one who’d foreseen them. Who’d warned his boss about them. Time after time. In public and in private. And who’d been ignored. Time after time. So after seven days holed up alone, Rutherford decided it was time to show his face. To tell his side of the story. To anyone who would listen. He took a shower and dug some clothes out of his closet. Chinos and a polo shirt. Brand new. Sombre colours, with logos, to show he meant business. Then he retrieved his shoes from the opposite corners of the hallway where he’d flung them. Scooped up his keys and sunglasses from the bookcase by the door. Stepped out into the corridor. Rode down in the elevator, alone. Crossed the lobby. Pushed through the heavy revolving door and paused on the sidewalk. The mid-morning sun felt like a blast furnace and its sudden heat drew beads of sweat from his forehead and armpits. He felt a flutter of panic. Guilty people sweat. He’d read that somewhere, and the one thing he was desperate to avoid was looking guilty. He glanced around, convinced that everyone would be staring at him, then forced himself to move. He picked up the pace, feeling more conspicuous than if he’d been walking down the street naked. But the truth was that most of the people he passed didn’t even notice he was there. In fact, only two of them paid him any attention at all.
The same time Rusty Rutherford was coming out of his apartment, Jack Reacher was breaking into a bar. He was in Nashville, Tennessee, seventy-five miles north and east of Rutherford’s sleepy little town, and he was searching for the solution to a problem. It was a practical matter, primarily. A question of physics. And biology. Specifically, how to suspend a guy from a ceiling without causing too much permanent damage. To the ceiling, at least. He was less concerned about the guy. The ceiling belonged to the bar. And the bar belonged to the guy. Reacher had first set foot in the place two days earlier. On Saturday. Almost Sunday, because it was close to midnight by the time he got into town. His journey had not gone well. The first bus he rode caught fire and its replacement got wedged under a low bridge after its driver took a wrong turn twenty miles out. Reacher was stiff from the prolonged sitting when he eventually climbed out at the Greyhound station, so he moved away to the side, near the smokers’ pen, and took a few minutes to stretch the soreness out of his muscles and joints. He stood there, half hidden in the shadows, while the rest of the passengers milled around and talked and did things with their phones and reclaimed their luggage and gradually drifted away. Reacher stayed where he was. He was in no hurry. He’d arrived later than expected, but that was no major problem. He had no appointments to keep. No meetings to attend. No one was waiting for him, getting worried or getting mad. He’d planned to find a place to stay for the night. A diner, for some food. And a bar where he could hear some good music. He should still be able to do all those things. He’d maybe have to switch the order around. Maybe combine a couple of activities. But he’d live. And with some hotels, the kind Reacher preferred, it can work to show up late. Especially if you’re paying cash.
If you like Jack Reacher then have a look through our website as we review all the books that are similar to Jack Reacher. This latest collaboration is exciting to see how the new Jack Reacher character changes. Lee Child is an exceptional writer who along with Andrew Child will no doubt bring a new classic book. Books like Jack Reacher will be keeping an eye on how these new novels pan out.
Gregg Hurwitz is back – the author of the NoWhere Man series, the best assassin Evan Smoak is Orphan X.
Jack Reacher books are reviewed on my site here – if you don’t know anything about Jack Reacher – CLICK HERE. If you want to find out about the books I review – CLICK HERE.
Great Reviews here and I guarantee a brilliant read – see my other orphan X reviews here as they are a great place to start in this series, If you like Jack Reacher, If you like Lee Child, If you like Gray Man then get this book now.
So news has just broken out that the author of the Jack Reacher series is retiring from writing the novels. Jack Reacher books are a hit and they are know for selling out fast across the world. Jack Reacher books started along time ago, the first one can be found here to buy. CLICK THE LINK
Jack Reacher books are written by Lee Child, who is a brilliant author and has inspired so many other authors to write about a character that is similar to Jack Reacher. Take James Bond, Jason Bourne even Jack Ryan, they all tend to contain similarities to Jack Reacher. Jack Reacher books are a exciting read, Jack Reacher books are unique, if you need to read a great book and don’t want to be disappointed, then read a Jack Reacher book.
Now that author Lee Child is retiring, this has come as a huge shock in the writing world but one that can be looked on with fond memories and a great writing legacy that will carry on into the future. CLICK HERE FOR MORE JACK REACHER NEWS
Lee Child is going to pass on the writing of Jack Reacher to his brother author Andrew Grant who has also written great thriller books and has a good following in his own right.
It will be interesting to see how the Jack Reacher character develops going forward and how his fans react to the new author’s writing style.
This website is dedicated to the Lee Child book character Jack Reacher and we will still be reviewing books that are similar to the benchmark, in the one man against the world thrillers.
LEE CHILD OFFICIAL STATEMENT
New Book Announcement LEE CHILD·SATURDAY, 18 JANUARY 2020 Lee Child: “I love my readers and know they want many, many more Reacher stories in the future. I would love to make that promise, but realistically I’m aging out of being able to keep it. A few more, maybe, but not many, many more. So I have decided to pass the baton to someone who can keep that promise. I chose the best tough-guy writer I have read in years – my brother Andrew Grant. We share the same DNA, the same background, the same upbringing. He’s me, fifteen years ago, full of energy and ideas. He was the first to read Killing Floor all those years ago, and was the world’s first Reacher fan. We’re going to work on the next few together, and then he’ll strike out on his own. I’m excited to read what he comes up with, because I’m betting it will be great. If I’m Reacher, then so is he. Maybe more so. Trust me – this is going to be the real deal.”
Andrew Grant: “When I first read Killing Floor, I was blown away. Not just by the propulsive writing, or the suspense, or the action. But by Jack Reacher himself. Before I’d even learned his name I thought, I know this guy. I get him.The way his mind worked, the things he did, his moral compass, they all made sense to me. And the more time I spent with him in each new adventure, the more I craved the next. So I know what it’s like to wait for the new Reacher novel. I’ve lived with the anticipation. I understand what Reacher fans want – because I am one. And I’ll do my best to deliver for them. I’ll have to. Because my big brother will be watching…”
The Sentinel, the 25th Jack Reacher novel, by Lee Child and Andrew Child will be published 29th October 2020 in Hardback, Ebook and Audiobook.
I’ve read lots and lots of Jack Reacher reviews for this latest Lee Child novel. I must say most were positive, fans seemed to like the new direction that Jack Reacher was moving into. Some people though, were still feeling bored of this once exciting book series. If you like Jack Reacher then start at the first book titled Killing Floor which you can purchase HERE!
What is BLUE MOON like?
So you are interested in the new Jack Reacher or like me an avid Reacher fan, is the latest Lee Child Book any good? Well to start with, I have to say, you have to get this latest Jack Reacher book. Lee Child is a brilliant author whose writing style is unique, his detailed landscapes, brilliant characters and Jack Reacher character will no doubt pull you into the book. I was looking forward to this book as I thought the premise was slightly different to previous books. For a start the main plot is in a fictional town which normally Lee Child writes about a place that exists. Reacher is wandering on buses and noticing, as he always does, noticing things that seem slightly out of the ordinary.
This is where Blue Moon starts, Jack Reacher unsure of a persons motives, so follows them, an old guy who is about to be mugged. This leads Jack into a whole world of trouble with loan sharks, gang rivalry between Ukrainians and Albanians plus trying to save a family and locals in danger. Can Jack Reacher survive the complex town or will he survive to fight another day.
Any good bits?
For those that were slightly disappointed in the last few books in the Lee Child series with the action and fighting down to a bare minimum. You will not be disappointed, from page 5 onwards Jack Reacher is a killing machine. He is more brash and bold in this book, he doesn’t seem to want to analyse situations as much and is much happier to go all out against any opposition. The Body count is high, the fight scenes are brutal and the bad guys are larger than life. I don’t remember a Jack Reacher book as violent and action filled as this one, which if you like vigilante thriller films like Hitman and Commando then you will love this book.
If you like Jack Reacher then get this book, if you are not sure about the Lee Child novels then take my word for it, this book is a great read and you will not be disappointed. The author Lee Child is a special writer and his Jack Reacher novels are all worth reading, some are better then others but that is always going to happen when you are on your 24th book. Action a plenty, good storyline and a clever ending will mean you will be like me, waiting for book number 25.
For those who are new to this Lee Child Book series then have a look at my other books like Jack Reacher here. I only review good books so have a look and see what you may like to get into. MORE BOOKS LIKE JACK REACHER HERE
I decided to read a biography which fits into my love of sport, one of which is Boxing. I was bought the book ” Behind the Mask” by boxer Tyson Fury. For those who don’t know, Tyson Fury was the undisputed boxing champion when he became Heavyweight champion of the world in November 2015.
Due to certain mental health issues straight after this fight in 2015 and whilst growing up, Tyson had to vacate the Heavyweight championship and his life went on a spiral downwards.
What I love about the book is the personal and truthful way the boxing world is shown, how mental health affected this famous person and the way that Tyson pushed through it, to change his world for the better.
I recommend reading this book to anyone who is struggling with their mental health but also to anyone who wants to find out more about this whole area that is kept secret by most people. To see someone go through really bad lows and make it out to the other side gives everyone a sense of hope and purpose for the future.
Approaching the Gray Man book number 6, I had slight reservations. The previous books had been so good, was I about to embark on a slight dip in the same old, same old structure. I’d raved on about the Gray Man for a while so was it time to look elsewhere and see if there are other book genres I should take a look into.
Well I did try and put this book off, I looked at maybe reading the Mitch Rapp book series and seeing if I could get into that. I then looked at the Jack Carr books as lots of people on twitter were raving about these.
It was a big decision but I decided to keep to this series at least for one more book, just before the new Jack Reacher book “Blue Moon” is on its way on the 29th October. I have to say, I was not disappointed, Mark Greaney brings a different twist to the previous Gray Man books as we start to see a slightly more human side to the assassin.
Whats the Book about?
The Gray Man is now working for the CIA again after agreeing a deal. His new handler is Suzanne Brewer, someone he doesn’t trust but also someone he saved from death. The mission is to find Fan Jiang, a former member of an ultra-secret computer warfare unit responsible for testing China’s own security systems. To The Gray Man (Court Gentry) this is an easy mission, the only thing is the mission is so, so dirty with added things behind the scenes that the CIA hadn’t informed him.
Why should I read this book?
The first thing is that Court Gentry is a great Character, happy to complete the mission but not at all costs. When he doesn’t understand the full mission including the outcome he can go rogue which is what makes this book stand out. Mark Greaney also introduces other characters in this book, plus a romance that I think gives The Gray Man a sense of vulnerability that hasn’t been seen in his previous books.
Is there any Jack Reacher action?
There is so much action that from the first few pages we have to see if Fan Ling can escape his captures. Then we find Court arriving in Honk Kong with a tail already waiting for him, tracking him to the hotel. Obviously Court has to do something but doesn’t want to arouse suspicion from the authorities. There are a few subplots, gun fights, Russian agents, hand to hand combat. Some really good fights out on boats and Court working with other Chinese agents to escape capture. If you like Jack Reacher fight scenes you will not be disappointed.
Thats all Folks!
If you are looking for a great character and like the Jack Reacher series, then this is the book for you. The first few pages are fast paced action, it slows slightly in the middle to bring the plot into play, then increase to a great finale that you are sure the Gray Man may have lost. Again I would say start with the first book in the series and then follow it through.
I’m now onto the next J B Turner book titled “Rogue” which looks like it could be a hit. Then we have the new Jack Reacher book which I am waiting for in anticipation, click the image below to order from my site.
Mother: Josephine Moutier Reacher was 30 when Jack was born. Widowed in 1988. Died in 1990 when she was 60. When she was 13, she joined the French resistance and under the alias Beatrice worked with Le Chemin de Fer Humain (the Human Railroad), saving 80 men. She garroted a schoolmate, a boy who threatened to give her up to the Nazis. Josephine Moutier was awarded La Medaille de la Resistance (the Resistance Medal) for her heroism.
“The name Joe was hard for her. It was very short and abrupt, and she struggled with the initial J because of her accent. It came out like ZH. Like the boy was called Zhoe. Jack was much better. Her accent made it sound like Jacques, which was a very traditional old French name. Translated, it meant James. Privately, she always thought of her second boy as James. But she, like everyone else, called him Reacher.
Father: Born in Laconia, NH. Marine, served in Korea and Vietnam.
“A plain New Hampshire Yankee with an implacable horror of anything fancy…[he] had no use for wealth and excess.
Very compartmentalized guy. Gentle, shy, sweet, loving man, but a stone-cold killer, too. Harder than a nail. Next to him I look like Liberace.”
“Didn’t you like him?”
“He was OK. But he was a freak. No room for people like him anymore.”
Brother: Joe, 6’6″, 220-250 lbs. Born on an Army base in the Far East. Star-shaped scar on his neck from “messing with a broken bottle” when he and his brother were kids. Has a scar on his forehead too, gift of his brother. Two years older than Jack. Joe was taller than his brother, making him appear slight by comparison; Jack used to beat up the kids who gave Joe trouble in school. West Point graduate. He spent 5 years in Army Military Intelligence before joining the Treasury Dept. Never won any of the “good medals” only the junk awards. Kept a closet full of designer label suits (24 at last count). Died at the age of 38.
“[He was] built like a brick outhouse. Hands like shovels, face like a catcher’s mitt. We were clones, physically, the two of us. But we had different brains. Deep down, he was a cerebral guy. Kind of pure. Naive, even. He never thought dirty. Everything was a game of chess with him.”
You may have heard the rumours, the chat, felt the excitement and even seen the films but who is Jack Reacher. This fictional character created by author Lee Child that seems to have sparked a new craze of people actually reading hard back books again. With any Jack Reacher book you will find a great amount of action, some tough baddies out to do harm and people who need to be rescued. Sounds like a simple book and in some ways it is. Jack Reacher books are simple to read but I can guarantee once you have read one of the Jack Reacher books, you will be back for more!
Reacher left home at 18, graduated from West Point. Performed 13 years of Army service, demoted from Major to Captain in 1990, mustered out with the rank of Major in 1997.
“I was born in Berlin. Never even saw the States until I was nine years old. Five minutes later we were in the Philippines. Round and round the world we went. Longest I was ever anywhere was four years at West Point. Then I joined up and it started all over again. Round and round the world.”
“Where’s your family now?” she asked.
“Dead,” he said. “The old man died, what? Ten years ago, I guess. My mother died two years later. I buried the Silver Star with her. She won it for me, really. Do what you’re supposed to do, she used to tell me. About a million times a day, in a thick French accent.”
“Brothers and sisters?” she said.
“I had a brother,” he said. “He died last year. I’m the last Reacher on earth, far as I know.”
“When did you muster out?” she said.
“April last year,” he said. “Fourteen months ago.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Just lost interest, I guess,” he said. “The defense cuts were happening. Made the Army seem unnecessary, somehow. Like if they didn’t need the biggest and the best, they didn’t need me. Didn’t want to be part of something small and second-rate. So I left. Arrogant, or what?”
In TRIPWIRE, Jodie (Jodie Garber, KNOWN ASSOCIATES tab above) noted “His lazy lopsided grin. His tousled hair. His arms, so long they gave him a greyhound’s grace even though he was built like the side of a house. His eyes, cold icy blue like the Arctic. His hands, giant battered mitts that bunched into fists the size of footballs.” Reacher has a scar on his arm where his brother struck him with a retaliatory chisel (see FAMILY tab above, Brother: Joe).
Born on an Army base in Germany. His father chose his name; it read “Jack-none-Reacher” on the birth certificate faxed to the Berlin Embassy. They called his brother Joe, but nobody ever called Jack by his first name. How it came about, no one knows but Jack was always called Reacher.
As kids, Jack and his brother moved so much that spending a full school year in any one place felt weird. “Our friends just kept disappearing. Some unit would be shipped out somewhere and a bunch of kids would be gone. Sometimes we saw them again in a different place. Plenty of them we never saw again. Nobody ever said hello or goodbye. You were just either there or not there.”
Service Awards (circa 1990):
Top row: Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit
Second row: Soldier’s Medal, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart
Bottom row: “Junk awards”
“Medals?” she asked.
“Dozens of the damn things,” he said. “You know how it is. Theater medals, of course, plus a Silver Star, two Bronzes, Purple Heart from Beirut, campaign things from Panama and Grenada and Desert Shield and Desert Storm.”
“A Silver Star?” she asked. “What for?”
“Beirut,” he said. “Pulled some guys out of the bunker.”
“And you got wounded doing that?” she said. “That’s how you got the scar and the Purple Heart?”
“I was already wounded,” he said. “Got wounded before I went in. I think that was what impressed them.”
What he doesn’t have: A driver’s license, Federal benefits (doesn’t want them), tax returns (doesn’t do them; he hasn’t filed taxes since he left the Army).
Books like Jack Reacher present the latest extract from Lee Child’s new novel titled “Blue Moon”. The newest Jack Reacher book, for all the other Jack Reacher books, then have a look here – click the link
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The city looked small on a map of America. It was just a tiny polite dot, near a red threadlike road that ran across an otherwise empty half inch of paper. But up close and on the ground it had half a million people. It covered more than a hundred square miles. It had nearly a hundred and fifty thousand households. It had more than two thousand acres of parkland. It spent half a billion dollars a year, and raised almost as much through taxes and fees and charges. It was big enough that the police department was twelve hundred strong.
And it was big enough that organized crime was split two separate ways. The west of the city was run by Ukrainians. The east was run by Albanians. The demarcation line between them was gerrymandered as tight as a congressional district. Nominally it followed Center Street, which ran north to south and divided the city in half, but it zigged and zagged and ducked in and out to include or exclude specific blocks and parts of specific neighbourhoods, wherever it was felt historic precedents justified special circumstances. Negotiations had been tense. There had been minor turf wars. There had been some unpleasantness. But eventually an agreement had been reached. The arrangement seemed to work. Each side kept out of the other’s way. For a long time there had been no significant contact between them.
Until one morning in May. The Ukrainian boss parked in a garage on Center Street, and walked east into Albanian territory. Alone. He was fifty years old and built like a bronze statue of an old hero, tall, hard, and solid. He called himself Gregory, which was as close as Americans could get to pronouncing his given name. He was unarmed, and he was wearing tight pants and a tight T-shirt to prove it. Nothing in his pockets. Nothing concealed. He turned left and right, burrowing deep, heading for a backstreet block, where he knew the Albanians ran their businesses out of a suite of offices in back of a lumber yard.
He was followed all the way, from his first step across the line. Calls were made ahead, so that when he arrived he was faced by six silent figures, all standing still in the space between the sidewalk and the lumber yard’s gate, like chess pieces in a defensive formation. He stopped and held his arms out from his sides. He turned around slowly, a full 360, his arms still held wide. Tight pants, tight T-shirt. No lumps. No bulges. No knife. No gun. Unarmed, in front of six guys who undoubtedly weren’t. But he wasn’t worried. To attack him unprovoked was a step the Albanians wouldn’t take. He knew that. Courtesies had to be observed. Manners were manners.
One of the six silent figures stepped up. Partly a blocking manoeuvre, partly ready to listen.
Gregory said, ‘I need to speak with Dino.’
Dino was the Albanian boss.
The guy said, ‘Why?’
‘I have information.’
‘Something he needs to know.’
‘Don’t you have his phone number?’
‘This is a thing that needs to be said face to face.’
‘Does it need to be said right now?’
‘Yes, it does.’
The guy said nothing for a spell, and then he turned and ducked through a personnel door set low in a metal roll-up gate. The other five guys formed up tighter, to replace his missing presence. Gregory waited. The five guys watched him, part wary, part fascinated. It was a unique occasion. Once in a lifetime. Like seeing a unicorn. The other side’s boss. Right there. Previous negotiations had been held on neutral ground, on a golf course way out of town, on the other side of the highway.
Gregory waited. Five long minutes later the guy came back out through the personnel door. He left it open. He gestured. Gregory walked forward and ducked and stepped inside. He smelled fresh pine and heard the whine of a saw.
The guy said, ‘We need to search you for a wire.’
Gregory nodded and stripped off his T-shirt. His torso was thick and hard and matted with hair. No wire. The guy checked the seams in his T-shirt and handed it back. Gregory put it on and ran his fingers through his hair.
The guy said, ‘This way.’
He led Gregory deep into the corrugated shed. The other five guys followed. They came to a plain metal door. Beyond it was a windowless space set up like a boardroom. Four laminate tables had been pushed together end to end, like a barrier. In a chair in the centre on the far side was Dino. He was younger than Gregory by a year or two, and shorter by an inch or two, but wider. He had dark hair, and a knife scar on the left side of his face, shorter above the eyebrow and longer from cheekbone to chin, like an upside down exclamation point.
The guy who had done the talking pulled out a chair for Gregory opposite Dino, and then tracked around and sat down at Dino’s right hand, like a faithful lieutenant. The other five split three and two and sat alongside them. Gregory was left alone on his side of the table, facing seven blank faces. At first no one spoke. Then eventually Dino asked, ‘To what do I owe this great pleasure?’
Manners were manners.
Gregory said, ‘The city is about to get a new police commissioner.’
‘We know this,’ Dino said.
‘Promoted from within.’
‘We know this,’ Dino said again.
‘He has promised a crackdown, against both of us.’
‘We know this,’ Dino said, for the third time.
‘We have a spy in his office.’
Dino said nothing. He hadn’t known that.
Gregory said, ‘Our spy found a secret file on a standalone hard drive hidden in a drawer.’
‘His operational plan for cracking down on us.’
‘Which is what?’
‘It’s short on detail,’ Gregory said. ‘In parts it’s extremely sketchy. But not to worry. Because day by day and week by week he’s filling in more and more parts of the puzzle. Because he’s getting a constant stream of inside information.’
‘In the back of the file was a list.’
‘A list of what?’
‘His confidential informants,’ Gregory said.
‘There were four names on the list.’
‘Two of them were my own men,’ Gregory said.
No one spoke.
Eventually Dino asked, ‘What have you done with them?’
‘I’m sure you can imagine.’
Again no one spoke.
Then Dino asked, ‘Why are you telling me this? What has this got to do with me?’
‘The other two names on the list are your men.’
Gregory said, ‘We share a predicament.’
Dino asked, ‘Who are they?’
Gregory said the names.
Dino said, ‘Why are you telling me about them?’
‘Because we have an agreement,’ Gregory said. ‘I’m a man of my word.’
‘You stand to benefit enormously if I go down. You would run the whole city.’
‘I stand to benefit only on paper,’ Gregory said. ‘Suddenly I realize I should be happy with the status quo. Where would I find enough honest men to run your operations? Apparently I can’t even find enough to run my own.’
‘And apparently neither can I.’
‘So we’ll fight each other tomorrow. Today we’ll respect the agreement. I’m sorry to have brought you embarrassing news. But I embarrassed myself also. In front of you. I hope that counts for something. We share this predicament.’
Dino nodded. Said nothing. Gregory said, ‘I have a question.’
‘Then ask it,’ Dino said.
‘Would you have told me, like I told you, if the spy had been yours, and not mine?’
Dino was quiet a very long time.
Then he said, ‘Yes, and for the same reasons. We have an agreement. And if we both have names on their list, then neither one of us should be in a hurry to get foolish.’
Gregory nodded and stood up.
Dino’s right-hand man stood up to show him out.
Dino asked, ‘Are we safe now?’
‘We are from my side,’ Gregory said. ‘I can guarantee that. As of six o’clock this morning. We have a guy at the city crematorium. He owes us money. He was willing to light the fire a little early today.’
Dino nodded and said nothing.
Gregory asked, ‘Are we safe from your side?’
‘We will be,’ Dino said. ‘By tonight. We have a guy at the car crushing plant. He owes us money too.’
The right-hand man showed Gregory out, across the deep shed to the low door in the roll-up gate, and out to the bright May morning sunshine.
At that same moment Jack Reacher was seventy miles away, in a Greyhound bus, on the interstate highway. He was on the left side of the vehicle, towards the rear, in the window seat over the axle. There was no one next to him. Altogether there were twenty-nine other passengers. The usual mixture. Nothing special. Except for one particular situation, which was mildly interesting. Across the aisle and one row in front was a guy asleep with his head hanging down. He had grey hair overdue for a trim, and loose grey skin, as if he had lost a lot of weight. He could have been seventy years old. He was wearing a short blue zip jacket. Some kind of heavy cotton. Maybe waterproof. The butt end of a fat envelope was sticking out of the pocket.
It was a type of envelope Reacher recognized. He had seen similar items before. Sometimes, if their ATM was busted, he would step inside a bank branch and get cash with his card from the teller, directly across the counter. The teller would ask how much he wanted, and he would think, well, if ATM reliability was on the decline, then maybe he should get a decent wad, to be on the safe side, and he would ask for two or three times what he normally took. A large sum. Whereupon the teller would ask if he wanted an envelope with that. Sometimes Reacher said yes, just for the sake of it, and he would get his wad in an envelope exactly like the one sticking out of the sleeping guy’s pocket. Same thick paper, same size, same proportions, same bulge, same heft. A few hundred dollars, or a few thousand, depending on the mix of bills.
Reacher wasn’t the only one who had seen it. The guy dead ahead had seen it too. That was clear. He was taking a big interest. He was glancing across and down, across and down, over and over. He was a lean guy with greasy hair and a goatee beard. Thirty-something, in a jeans jacket. Glancing, thinking, planning. Licking his lips.
The bus rolled on. Reacher took turns watching out the window, and watching the envelope, and watching the guy watching the envelope.
Gregory came out of the Center Street garage and drove back into safe Ukrainian territory. His offices were in the back of a taxi company, across from a pawn shop, next to a bail bond operation, all of which he owned. He parked and went inside. His top guys were waiting there. Four of them, all similar to each other, and to him. Not related in the traditional family sense, but they were from the same towns and villages and prisons back in the old country, which was probably even better.
They all looked at him. Four faces, eight wide eyes, but only one question.
Which he answered.
‘Total success,’ he said. ‘Dino bought the whole story. That’s one dumb donkey, let me tell you. I could have sold him the Brooklyn Bridge. The two guys I named are history. He’ll take a day to reshuffle. Opportunity knocks, my friends. We have about twenty-four hours. Their flank is wide open.’
‘That’s Albanians for you,’ his own right-hand man said.
‘Where did you send our two?’
‘The Bahamas. There’s a casino guy who owes us money. He has a nice hotel.’
The green federal signs on the highway shoulder showed a city coming up. The first stop of the day. Reacher watched the guy with the goatee map out his play. There were two unknowns. Was the guy with the money planning to get out there? And if not, would he wake up anyway, with the slowing and the turning and the jolting? Reacher watched. The bus took the exit. A state four-lane then carried it south, through flat land moist with recent rain. The ride was smooth. The guy with the money stayed asleep. The guy with the goatee beard kept on watching him. Reacher guessed his plan was made. He wondered how good of a plan it was. The smart play would be to pickpocket the envelope pretty soon, conceal it well, and then aim to get out of the bus as soon as it stopped. Even if the guy woke up short of the depot, he would be confused at first. Maybe he wouldn’t even notice the envelope was gone. Not right away. And even when he did, why would he jump straight to conclusions? He would figure it had fallen out. He would spend a minute looking on the seat, and under it, and under the seat in front, because he might have kicked it in his sleep. Only after all of that would he start to look around, questioningly. By which time the bus would be stopped and people would be getting up and getting out and getting in. The aisle would be jammed. A guy could slip away, no problem. That was the smart play. Did the guy know it? Reacher never found out. The guy with the money woke up too soon. The bus slowed, and then stopped for a light with a hiss of brakes, and the guy’s head jerked up, and he blinked, and patted his pocket, and shoved the envelope down deeper, where no one could see it. Reacher sat back. The guy with the beard sat back. The bus rolled on. There were fields either side, dusted pale green with spring. Then came the first commercial lots, for farm equipment, and domestic automobiles, all spread over huge acreages, with hundreds of shiny machines lined up under flags and bunting. Then came office parks, and a giant out-of-town supermarket. Then came the city itself. The four-lane narrowed to two. Up ahead were taller buildings. But the bus turned off left and tracked around, keeping a polite distance behind the high-rent districts, until half a mile later it arrived at the depot. The first stop of the day. Reacher stayed in his seat. His ticket was good for the end of the line. The guy with the money stood up. He kind of nodded to himself, and hitched up his pants, and tugged down his jacket. All the things an old guy does, when he’s about to get out of a bus. He stepped into the aisle, and shuffled forward. No bag. Just him. Grey hair, blue jacket, one pocket fat, one pocket empty. The guy with the goatee beard got a new plan. It came on him all of a sudden. Reacher could practically see the gears spinning in the back of his head. Coming up cherries. A sequence of conclusions built on a chain of assumptions. Bus depots were never in the nice part of town. The exit doors would give out on to cheap streets, the backs of other buildings, maybe vacant lots, maybe self-pay parking. There would be blind corners and empty sidewalks. It would be a thirty-something against a seventy-something. A blow from behind. A simple mugging. Happened all the time. How hard could it be? The guy with the goatee beard jumped up and hustled down the aisle, following the guy with the money six feet behind. Reacher got up and followed them both.