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.”