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Never Go Back

Cover of Never Go Back

Never Go Back

Jack Reacher Series, Book 18
by Lee Child
Borrow Borrow Borrow
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS
    Never go back—but Jack Reacher does, and the past finally catches up with him. . . . Never Go Back is a novel of action-charged suspense starring "one of the best thriller characters at work today" (Newsweek).


    Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had.

    Reacher is there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.

    But it isn't Turner behind the CO's desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.

    When threatened, you can run or fight.

    Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.

    Combining an intricate puzzle of a plot and an exciting chase for truth and justice, Lee Child puts Reacher through his paces—and makes him question who he is, what he's done, and the very future of his untethered life on the open road.
    Don't miss Lee Child's short story "High Heat" and an excerpt from Lee Child's Personal in the back of the book.
    Praise for Never Go Back

    "A breathless cross-country spree . . . some of the best, wiliest writing [Lee] Child has ever done . . . Child's bodacious action hero, Jack Reacher, has already tramped through 17 novels and three e-book singles. But his latest, Never Go Back, may be the best desert island reading in the series. It's exceptionally well plotted. And full of wild surprises. And wise about Reacher's peculiar nature. And positively Bunyanesque in its admiring contributions to Reacher lore."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

    "Welcome to the relentless world of Jack Reacher and his impressive tendency to be in the wrong place at the right time. . . . Child has created an iconic character that other thriller writers try to emulate but don't come close to matching. He has a talent for taking material that in the hands of other authors would be stale and making it seem fresh. . . . Tight and compelling . . . Never Go Back is one of Child's best novels."—Associated Press

    "An adrenaline-charged, action-packed thriller . . . impossible to put down."—Lansing State Journal

    "The dialogue has never been sharper. . . . The pages turn themselves."—San Antonio Express-News
    "For the pure pleasure of uncomplicated, nonstop action, no one touches Reacher."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "Brilliant . . . Child never, ever slips. He keeps the action cranking better than anyone, but, best of all, he keeps us guessing about Reacher."Booklist (starred review)

    "One of the best in the series."Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS
    Never go back—but Jack Reacher does, and the past finally catches up with him. . . . Never Go Back is a novel of action-charged suspense starring "one of the best thriller characters at work today" (Newsweek).


    Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had.

    Reacher is there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.

    But it isn't Turner behind the CO's desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.

    When threatened, you can run or fight.

    Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.

    Combining an intricate puzzle of a plot and an exciting chase for truth and justice, Lee Child puts Reacher through his paces—and makes him question who he is, what he's done, and the very future of his untethered life on the open road.
    Don't miss Lee Child's short story "High Heat" and an excerpt from Lee Child's Personal in the back of the book.
    Praise for Never Go Back

    "A breathless cross-country spree . . . some of the best, wiliest writing [Lee] Child has ever done . . . Child's bodacious action hero, Jack Reacher, has already tramped through 17 novels and three e-book singles. But his latest, Never Go Back, may be the best desert island reading in the series. It's exceptionally well plotted. And full of wild surprises. And wise about Reacher's peculiar nature. And positively Bunyanesque in its admiring contributions to Reacher lore."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

    "Welcome to the relentless world of Jack Reacher and his impressive tendency to be in the wrong place at the right time. . . . Child has created an iconic character that other thriller writers try to emulate but don't come close to matching. He has a talent for taking material that in the hands of other authors would be stale and making it seem fresh. . . . Tight and compelling . . . Never Go Back is one of Child's best novels."—Associated Press

    "An adrenaline-charged, action-packed thriller . . . impossible to put down."—Lansing State Journal

    "The dialogue has never been sharper. . . . The pages turn themselves."—San Antonio Express-News
    "For the pure pleasure of uncomplicated, nonstop action, no one touches Reacher."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "Brilliant . . . Child never, ever slips. He keeps the action cranking better than anyone, but, best of all, he keeps us guessing about Reacher."Booklist (starred review)

    "One of the best in the series."Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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    Awards-
    Excerpts-
    • From the book

      9780385344340|excerptChild / NEVER GO BACK

      Chapter 1

      Eventually they put Reacher in a car and drove him to a motel a mile away, where the night clerk gave him a room, which had all the features Reacher expected, because he had seen such rooms a thousand times before. There was a raucous through-the-wall heater, which would be too noisy to sleep with, which would save the owner money on electricity. There were low-watt bulbs in all the fixtures, likewise. There was a low-pile carpet that after cleaning would dry in hours, so the room could rent again the same day. Not that the carpet would be cleaned often. It was dark and patterned and ideal for concealing stains. As was the bedspread. No doubt the shower would be weak and strangled, and the towels thin, and the soap small, and the shampoo cheap. The furniture was made of wood, all dark and bruised, and the television set was small and old, and the curtains were gray with grime.

      All as expected. Nothing he hadn't seen a thousand times before.

      But still dismal.

      So before even putting the key in his pocket he turned around and went back out to the lot. The air was cold, and a little damp. The middle of the evening, in the middle of winter, in the northeastern corner of Virginia. The lazy Potomac was not far away. Beyond it in the east, D.C.'s glow lit up the clouds. The nation's capital, where all kinds of things were going on.

      The car that had let him out was already driving away. Reacher watched its tail lights grow faint in the mist. After a moment they disappeared completely, and the world went quiet and still. Just for a minute. Then another car showed up, brisk and confident, like it knew where it was going. It turned into the lot. It was a plain sedan, dark in color. Almost certainly a government vehicle. It aimed for the motel office, but its headlight beams swung across Reacher's immobile form, and it changed direction, and came straight at him.

      Visitors. Purpose unknown, but the news would be either good or bad.

      The car stopped parallel with the building, as far in front of Reacher as his room was behind him, leaving him alone in the center of a space the size of a boxing ring. Two men got out of the car. Despite the chill they were dressed in T-shirts, tight and white, above the kind of athletic pants sprinters peel off seconds before a race. Both men looked more than six feet and two hundred pounds. Smaller than Reacher, but not by much. Both were military. That was clear. Reacher could tell by their haircuts. No civilian barber would be as pragmatic or brutal. The market wouldn't allow it.

      The guy from the passenger side tracked around the hood and formed up with the driver. The two of them stood there, side by side. Both wore sneakers on their feet, big and white and shapeless. Neither had been in the Middle East recently. No sunburn, no squint lines, no stress and strain in their eyes. Both were young, somewhere south of thirty. Technically Reacher was old enough to be their father. They were NCOs, he thought. Specialists, probably, not sergeants. They didn't look like sergeants. Not wise enough. The opposite, in fact. They had dull, blank faces.

      The guy from the passenger side said, "Are you Jack Reacher?"

      Reacher said, "Who's asking?"

      "We are."

      "And who are you?"

      "We're your legal advisors."

      Which they weren't, obviously. Reacher knew that. Army lawyers don't travel in pairs and breathe through their mouths. They were something else. Bad news, not good. In which case immediate action was always the best bet. Easy enough to mime sudden comprehension and an eager approach and a hand raised in welcome, and...

    About the Author-
    • Lee Child is the author of eighteen New York Times bestselling Jack Reacher thrillers, with eight having reached the #1 position. All have been optioned for major motion pictures; the first of which, Jack Reacher, was based on One Shot. Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in almost a hundred territories. A native of England and a former television director, Child lives in New York City.
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from July 29, 2013
      Since talking to Maj. Susan Turner on the telephone from South Dakota in 2010’s 61 Hours (bestseller Childs’s 14th Jack Reacher novel), the former military cop has been heading to the Virginia headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP, in hopes of meeting her. In this 18th outing, Reacher finally arrives in Virginia, where his plan to meet Turner is initially thwarted by thugs who want to keep them apart. An arrest for a crime Reacher doesn’t remember committing 16 years earlier and the dangled bait that he might be a father provoke him to run, kicking off a cross-country odyssey. As usual, head-busting physicality and analytical problem solving play key roles in Reacher’s fight to prove his innocence and expose his enemies. Manhunts on both coasts, a link to corruption in Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. military drawdown, and the possibility for romance between Reacher and Turner make this entry one of the best in the series. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary.

    • Publisher's Weekly

      October 28, 2013
      Back in Child’s 14th book about Jack Reacher (61 Hours), the amazingly self-sufficient, peripatetic ex-MP began thumbing his way from South Dakota to Virginia to meet Maj. Susan Turner, the CO of his old unit. It’s taken him three more adventures, but he’s finally made it and—no surprise—finds a mess of trouble instead of the major. Not only has she gone missing, he is immediately dragged back into the Army, facing a court martial for a crime he supposedly committed 16 years earlier. Dick Hill’s voice has a properly hardboiled timbre that fits perfectly with Child’s fast-flowing prose. It carries the insouciant, mildly sardonic attitude of a tough guy so aware of his capabilities that nothing intimidates or surprises him. Also of note are Hill’s well-tuned voices of villainy, from the sarcastic, overconfident bullies who try using physical force on Reacher to the cold, demanding master schemers who call themselves Romeo and Juliet. By piling troubles on his noble hero and handing him a particularly knotty puzzle to solve, Child has delivered a superior series entry and Hill’s rendition adds another level of enjoyment to the mayhem and mystery. A Delacorte hardcover.

    • Kirkus

      Starred review from July 1, 2013
      Jack Reacher pokes a head into his old D.C. office, and things promptly go ballistic. Reacher wants to get a gander at Maj. Susan Turner, his successor as head of the 100th Military Police Special Unit. But she's been sent to Afghanistan, he's told, and he'll have to deal with her temporary replacement, Lt. Col. Morgan. Morgan's idea of dealing with Reacher is to accuse him of beating Juan Rodriguez to death 16 years ago and shortly afterward fathering Samantha, a 14-year-old whose mother, Candice Dayton, is now looking for child support. To make sure Reacher doesn't run off, as he's certainly wont to do (A Wanted Man, 2012, etc.), Morgan recalls him to active Army service and restricts him to a five-mile radius surrounding the building. Naturally, things promptly get worse. A pair of thugs offer to beat Reacher to a pulp if he doesn't go AWOL. Maj. Turner turns out to be in jail, not Afghanistan. And when her lawyer, Col. Moorcroft, is beaten into a coma a few hours after one of Reacher's own lawyers--Capt. Helen Sullivan, the one handling the Rodriguez charge--witnesses Reacher's fraught meeting with Moorcroft, Reacher is escorted to an adjoining cell in the same building. But Reacher, never one to let temporary reversals get him down, escapes from jail, taking Turner with him, and sets out to escape the District, rustle up some cash and some wheels, elude the two thugs (now four) who remain in hot pursuit, and hightail it to L.A. to satisfy himself as to whether Samantha Dayton really is his daughter. Any questions? For the pure pleasure of uncomplicated, nonstop action, no one touches Reacher, who accurately observes that "I trained myself...to turn fear into aggression."

      COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      September 15, 2013

      After trekking back from the savage snowstorms of South Dakota, Jack Reacher finally returns to his old military police unit, eager to meet Maj. Susan Turner, the new commanding officer who helped him save the trapped victims in 61 Hours. However, Reacher finds out that Turner is under investigation for corruption and is awaiting trial for conspiracy. And that's not all. The army drafts him back into service to face two trumped-up legal cases--homicide charges for assaulting an L.A. gangbanger for selling black-market weapons and a paternity suit from a former girlfriend alleging that Reacher fathered her 14-year-old daughter. Both parties are simply after his money. Harnessing his anger and brute strength, Reacher cunningly defends himself, promising to "never go back." VERDICT As they snatch up Reacher's 18th adventure, avid fans in more than 95 countries will again marvel at Child's terse, hard-boiled style. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/13.]--Jerry P. Miller. Cambridge, MA

      Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    • Associated Press

      "A breathless cross-country spree . . . some of the best, wiliest writing [Lee] Child has ever done . . . Child's bodacious action hero, Jack Reacher, has already tramped through 17 novels and three e-book singles. But his latest, Never Go Back, may be the best desert island reading in the series. It's exceptionally well plotted. And full of wild surprises. And wise about Reacher's peculiar nature. And positively Bunyanesque in its admiring contributions to Reacher lore."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times "Welcome to the relentless world of Jack Reacher and his impressive tendency to be in the wrong place at the right time. . . . Child has created an iconic character that other thriller writers try to emulate but don't come close to matching. He has a talent for taking material that in the hands of other authors would be stale and making it seem fresh. . . . Tight and compelling . . . Never Go Back is one of Child's best novels."

    • San Antonio Express-News "An adrenaline-charged, action-packed thriller . . . impossible to put down."--Lansing State Journal "The dialogue has never been sharper. . . . The pages turn themselves."
    • Booklist (starred review) "For the pure pleasure of uncomplicated, nonstop action, no one touches Reacher."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Brilliant . . . Child never, ever slips. He keeps the action cranking better than anyone, but, best of all, he keeps us guessing about Reacher."
    • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "One of the best in the series."
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    Jack Reacher Series, Book 18
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