Book 22 on my “March to 100 for 2019″—Lee Child: Past Tense—Jack Reacher travels to his father’s hometown and finds trouble.
Three things are always true about the Jack Reacher series. One, you either like the books or not. Two, if you like the books, you wonder why Tom Cruise could ever be considered Jack Reacher. And, three, you know Jack Reacher will meet a group of heinous people who will regret their misfortune to cross his path.
In my case, I love the books, I have never understood the movie casting, and I look forward to bad guys getting their due. Past Tense doesn’t disappoint.
By total coincidence, Reacher finds himself near his father’s hometown. He decides to see where dad grew up and to learn about his past, so saunters in expecting a few quiet days. He spots a young man treating a woman poorly, intervenes in the physical way of Reacher, and quickly earns the wrath of the young man’s employer who send a group of people for revenge. Guess how that ends?
He also wanders to an abandoned factory to see the house his father lived in, crosses a young man who treats him disrespectfully, and earns the wrath of that young man’s employer who also send a group of people for revenge. Seeing a pattern yet?
Best of all, a separate story is unfolding where an innocent couple is being harmed by a group of people. Reacher stumbles upon that. I probably wouldn’t give anything away if I told you how that ends.
I kid. Of course the Reacher books are formulaic, but they are also immensely entertaining even if you do know the ending before you open the book. The writing style—short, clipped, action-oriented descriptions and dialogue—supports the fast pace of the books.
And this particular book in the series adds a little more color to Reacher’s background via his father’s childhood story (the real mystery of the book that you may not solve before the final pages).
So, if you like Reacher books, you will love Past Tense. And if you don’t like Reacher books—oh, well.
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