Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher Series #13)

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Overview

New York City. Two in the morning. A subway car heading uptown. Jack Reacher, plus five other passengers. Four are okay. The fifth isn't.

In the next few tense seconds Reacher will make a choice–and trigger an electrifying chain of events in this gritty, gripping masterwork of suspense by #1 New York Times bestseller Lee Child.

Susan Mark was the fifth passenger. She had a lonely heart, an estranged son, and a big secret. Reacher, working with ...

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Overview

New York City. Two in the morning. A subway car heading uptown. Jack Reacher, plus five other passengers. Four are okay. The fifth isn't.

In the next few tense seconds Reacher will make a choice–and trigger an electrifying chain of events in this gritty, gripping masterwork of suspense by #1 New York Times bestseller Lee Child.

Susan Mark was the fifth passenger. She had a lonely heart, an estranged son, and a big secret. Reacher, working with a woman cop and a host of shadowy feds, wants to know just how big a hole Susan Mark was in, how many lives had already been twisted before hers, and what danger is looming around him now.

Because a race has begun through the streets of Manhattan in a maze crowded with violent, skilled soldiers on all sides of a shadow war. Susan Mark's plain little life was critical to dozens of others in Washington, California, Afghanistan . . . from a former Delta Force operator now running for the U.S. Senate, to a beautiful young woman with a fantastic story to tell–and to a host of others who have just one thing in common: They're all lying to Reacher. A little. A lot. Or maybe just enough to get him killed.

In a novel that slams through one hairpin surprise after another, Lee Child unleashes a thriller that spans three decades and gnaws at the heart of America . . . and for Jack Reacher, a man who trusts no one and likes it that way, it's a mystery with only one answer–the kind that comes when you finally get face-to-face and look your worst enemy in the eye.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

Publishers Weekly

All good thriller writers know how to build suspense and keep the pages turning, but only better ones deliver tight plots as well, and only the best allow the reader to match wits with both the hero and the author. Bestseller Child does all of that in spades in his 13th Jack Reacher adventure (after Nothing to Lose). Early one morning on a nearly empty Manhattan subway car, the former army MP notices a woman passenger he suspects is a suicide bomber. The deadly result of his confronting her puts him on a trail leading back to the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s and forward to the war on terrorism. Reacher finds a bit of help among the authorities demanding answers from him, like the NYPD and the FBI, as well as threats and intimidation. And then there are the real bad guys that the old pro must track down and eliminate. Child sets things up subtly and ingeniously, then lets Reacher use both strength and guile to find his way to the exciting climax. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

When a young woman blows her brains out on a New York subway a few feet from Jack Reacher, he becomes understandably perturbed. His quest to find out why takes the large and lethal Clint Eastwood-like loner back to the Cold War and reveals a connection to presidential politics in this 13th Reacher novel (after Nothing to Lose), complete with cover-ups and numerous intriguing twists. The government is hiding something, and al Qaeda wants something-but what? All the while, goons from both sides assault and kidnap Reacher and two cops who are his companions. Reacher concludes that the Pentagon staffer who killed herself had some kind of information critical to national security. As the dead and injured pile up, the ever-resourceful and vengeful Reacher takes on nearly a score of the bad guys in an exciting climax to an enthralling book that is as satisfying as its predecessors. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/09; coming in June is a debut thriller, Even(LJ3/1/09), by Child's younger brother, Andrew Grant.-Ed.]
—Robert Conroy

Kirkus Reviews
Jack Reacher (Nothing to Lose, 2008, etc.), latter-day gunslinger and nomad, finds his latest killing fields in New York City. Reacher is riding the subway, riding it to nowhere, or anywhere, his destinations of choice these days. Having decided that the constraints of military life have slipped past burdensome into painfully boring, he's packed in a long and lustrous career. Now he takes his missions where he finds them, and he's about to find a beauty. It's the wee hours, the passenger population sparse, when Reacher spots a woman seated some 30 feet away who intrigues him-better put, she causes the hairs on the back of his neck to rise. Not because she's particularly menacing. Actually, most would construe her as a 40-year-old paradigm of harmlessness, but Reacher has become aware that she conforms precisely to the 11-point "list of behavioral indicators" passed on to him years back by Israeli counterintelligence. In short, Reacher's convinced he's looking at a suicide bomber. Is he, isn't he, what will happen if he confronts her? Thereby hangs the tale, and before it's fleshed out, Reacher will have had issues with an inimical variety: the NYPD, the FBI, an ambitious would-be U.S. senator with festering secrets, a pair of ferocious Afghan ladies, as programmed to kill as other ladies are to lunch, and an extended line of miscellaneous miscreants dumb enough to engage him. No one kicks butt as entertainingly as Reacher.
From the Publisher
“The ever-resourceful and vengeful Reacher takes on nearly a score of the bad guys in an exciting climax to an enthralling book…complete with cover-ups and numerous intriguing twists.”—Library Journal, starred review

“A superb New York novel…. Child grounds his hero’s hard body and hard-drive brain in believable detail, and he sets the action against a precisely described landscape.” —Booklist, starred review

“All good thriller writers know how to build suspense and keep the pages turning, but only better ones deliver tight plots as well, and only the best allow the reader to match wits with both the hero and the author. Bestseller Child does all of that in spades.... [He] sets things up subtly and ingeniously, then lets Reacher use both strength and guile to find his way to the exciting climax.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440243687
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/23/2010
  • Series: Jack Reacher Series , #13
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 41,072
  • Product dimensions: 7.56 (w) x 4.32 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Child

Lee Child is the author of thirteen Jack Reacher thrillers, including the New York Times bestsellers Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, and #1 bestsellers Bad Luck and Trouble and Nothing to Lose. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and Nero awards for Best Novel. Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in forty territories. All titles have been optioned for major motion pictures.  Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City, where he is at work on his fourteenth Jack Reacher thriller.

Biography

Lee Child was born in 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment.

Lee has three homes —an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar's Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

Good To Know

Lee Child is the author of sixteen Jack Reacher thrillers, including the New York Times bestsellers Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, and #1 bestsellers Bad Luck and Trouble and Nothing to Lose. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and Nero awards for Best Novel. Foreign rights in the Jack Reacher series have sold in forty territories. All titles have been optioned for major motion pictures.

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    1. Hometown:
      Birmingham, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Coventry, England
    1. Education:
      Sheffield University
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt


Gone Tomorrow


By Lee Child
Random House Large Print
Copyright © 2009

Lee Child
All right reserved.



ISBN: 9780739328460


Chapter One


Suicide bombers are easy to spot. They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs. Mostly because they're nervous. By definition they're all first-timers.

Israeli counterintelligence wrote the defensive playbook. They told us what to look for. They used pragmatic observation and psychological insight and came up with a list of behavioral indicators. I learned the list from an Israeli amy captain twenty years ago. He swore by it. Therefore I swore by it too, because at the time I was on three weeks' detached duty mostly about a yard from his shoulder, in Israel itself, in Jerusalem, on the West Bank, in Leb anon, sometimes in Syria, sometimes in Jordan, on buses, in stores, on crowded sidewalks. I kept my eyes moving and my mind running free down the bullet points.

Twenty years later I still know the list. And my eyes still move. Pure habit. From another bunch of guys I learned another mantra: Look, don't see, listen, don't hear. The more you engage, the longer you survive.

The list is twelve points long if you're looking at a male suspect. Eleven, if you're looking at a woman. The difference is a fresh shave. Male bombers take off their beards. It helps them blend in. Makes them less suspicious. The result is paler skin on the lower half of the face. No recent exposure to the sun.

But I wasn't interested in shaves.

Iwas working on the eleven-point list.

I was looking at a woman.

I was riding the subway, in New York City. The 6 train, the Lexington Avenue local, heading uptown, two o'clock in the morning. I had gotten on at Bleecker Street from the south end of the platform into a car that was empty except for five people. Subway cars feel small and intimate when they're full. When they're empty they feel vast and cavernous and lonely. At night their lights feel hotter and brighter, even though they're the same lights they use in the day. They're all the lights there are. I was sprawled on a two-person bench north of the end doors on the track side of the car. The other five passengers were all south of me on the long bench seats, in profile, side on, far from each other, staring blankly across the width of the car, three on the left and two on the right.

The car's number was 7622. I once rode eight stops on the 6 train next to a crazy person who talked about the car we were in with the same kind of enthusiasm that most men reserve for sports or women. Therefore I knew that car number 7622 was an R142A model, the newest on the New York system, built by Kawasaki in Kobe, Japan, shipped over, trucked to the 207th Street yards, craned onto the tracks, towed down to 180th Street and tested. I knew it could run two hundred thousand miles without major attention. I knew its automated announcement system gave instructions in a man's voice and information in a woman's, which was claimed to be a coincidence but was really because the transportation chiefs believed such a division of labor was psychologically compelling. I knew the voices came from Bloomberg TV, but years before Mike became mayor. I knew there were six hundred R142As on the tracks and that each one was a fraction over fifty-one feet long and a little more than eight feet wide. I knew that the no-cab unit like we had been in then and I was in now had been designed to carry a maximum of forty people seated and up to 148 standing. The crazy person had been clear on all that data. I could see for myself that the car's seats were blue plastic, the same shade as a late summer sky or a British Air Force uniform. I could see that its wall panels were molded from graffiti-resistant fiberglass. I could see its twin strips of advertisements running away from me where the wall panels met the roof. I could see small cheerful posters touting television shows and language instruction and easy college degrees and major earning opportunities.

I could see a police notice advising me: If you see something, say something.

The nearest passenger to me was a Hispanic woman. She was across the car from me, on my left, forward of the first set of doors, all alone on a bench built for eight, well off center. She was small, somewhere between thirty and fifty, and she looked very hot and very tired. She had a well-worn supermarket bag looped over her wrist and she was staring across at the empty place opposite with eyes too weary to be seeing much.

Next up was a man on the other side, maybe four feet farther down the car. He was all alone on his own eight-person bench. He could have been from the Balkans, or the Black Sea. Dark hair, lined skin. He was sinewy, worn down by work and weather. He had his feet planted and he was leaning forward with his elbows on his knees. Not asleep, but close to it. Suspended animation, marking time, rocking with the movements of the train. He was about fifty, dressed in clothes far too young for him. Baggy jeans that reached only his calves, and an oversized NBA shirt with a player's name on it that I didn't recognize.

Third up was a woman who might have been West African. She was on the left, south of the center doors. Tired, inert, her black skin made dusty and gray by fatigue and the lights. She was wearing a colorful batik dress with a matching square of cloth tied over her hair. Her eyes were closed. I know New York reasonably well. I call myself a citizen of the world and New York the capital of the world, so I can make sense of the city the same way a Brit knows London or a Frenchman knows Paris. I'm familiar but not intimate with its habits. But it was an easy guess that any three people like these already seated on a late-night northbound 6 train south of Bleecker were office cleaners heading home from evening shifts around City Hall, or restaurant service workers from Chinatown or Little Italy. They were probably set for Hunts Point in the Bronx, or maybe all the way up to Pelham Bay, ready for short fitful sleeps before more long days.

The fourth and the fifth passengers were different.

The fifth was a man. He was maybe my age, wedged at forty-five degrees on the two-person bench diagonally opposite me, all the way across and down the length of the car. He was dressed casually but not cheaply. Chinos, and a golf shirt. He was awake. His eyes were fixed somewhere in front of him. Their focus changed and narrowed constantly, like he was alert and speculating. They reminded me of a ballplayer's eyes. They had a certain canny, calculating shrewdness in them.

But it was passenger number four that I was looking at.

If you see something, say something.

She was seated on the right side of the car, all alone on the farther eight-person bench, across from and about halfway between the exhausted West African woman and the guy with the ball player's eyes. She was white and probably in her forties. She was plain. She had black hair, neatly but unstylishly cut and too uniformly dark to be natural. She was dressed all in black. I could see her fairly well. The guy nearest to me on the right was still sitting forward and the V-shaped void between his bent back and the wall of the car made my line of sight uninterrupted except for a forest of stainless-steel grab bars.

Not a perfect view, but good enough to ring every bell on the eleven-point list. The bullet headings lit up like cherries on a Vegas machine.

According to Israeli counterintelligence I was looking at a suicide bomber.

Chapter Two



I dismissed the thought immediately. Not because of racial profiling. White women are as capable of craziness as anyone else. I dismissed the thought because of tactical implausibility. The timing was wrong. The New York subway would make a fine target for a suicide bombing. The 6 train would be as good as any other and better than most. It stops under Grand Central Terminal. Eight in the morning, six at night, a crowded car, forty seated, 148 standing, wait until the doors open on packed platforms, push the button. A hundred dead, a couple of hundred grievously injured, panic, infrastructure damage, possibly fire, a major transportation hub shut down for days or weeks and maybe never really trusted again. A significant score, for people whose heads work in ways we can't quite understand.

But not at two o'clock in the morning.

Not in a car holding just six people. Not when Grand Central's subway platforms would hold only drifting trash and empty cups and a couple of old homeless guys on benches.

The train stopped at Astor Place. The doors hissed open. No one got on. No one got off. The doors thumped shut again and the motors whined and the train moved on.

The bullet points stayed lit up.

The first was the obvious no-brainer: inappropriate clothing. By now explosive belts are as evolved as baseball gloves. Take a three-foot by two-foot sheet of heavy canvas, fold once longitudinally, and you have a continuous pocket a foot deep. Wrap the pocket around the bomber, and sew it together in back. Zippers or snaps can lead to second thoughts. Insert a stockade of dynamite sticks into the pocket all the way around, wire them up, pack nails or ball bearings into the voids, sew the top seam shut, add crude shoulder straps to take the weight. Altogether effective, but altogether bulky. The only practical concealment, an oversized garment like a padded winter parka. Never appropriate in the Middle East, and plausible in New York maybe three months in twelve.

But this was September, and it was as hot as summer, and ten degrees hotter underground. I was wearing a T-shirt. Passenger number four was wearing a North Face down jacket, black, puffy, shiny, a little too large and zipped to her chin.

If you see something, say something.

I took a pass on the second of the eleven points. Not immediately applicable. The second point is: a robotic walk. Significant at a checkpoint or in a crowded marketplace or outside a church or a mosque, but not relevant with a seated suspect on public transportation. Bombers walk robotically not because they're overcome with ecstasy at the thought of imminent martyrdom, but because they're carrying forty extra pounds of unaccustomed weight, which is biting into their shoulders through crude suspender straps, and because they're drugged. Martyrdom's appeal goes only so far. Most bombers are browbeaten simpletons with a slug of raw opium paste held between gum and cheek. We know this because dynamite belts explode with a characteristic doughnut-shaped pressure wave that rolls up the torso in a fraction of a nanosecond and lifts the head clean off the shoulders. The human head isn't bolted on. It just rests there by gravity, somewhat tied down by skin and muscles and tendons and ligaments, but those insubstantial biological anchors don't do much against the force of a violent chemical explosion. My Israeli mentor told me the easiest way to determine that an open-air attack was caused by a suicide bomber rather than by a car bomb or a package bomb is to search on an eighty-or-ninety-foot radius and look for a severed human head, which is likely to be strangely intact and undamaged, even down to the opium plug in the cheek.
 
The train stopped at Union Square. No one got on. No one got off. Hot air billowed in from the platform and fought the interior air conditioning. Then the doors closed again and the train moved on.

Points three through six are variations on a subjective theme: irritability, sweating, tics, and nervous behavior. Although in my opinion sweating is as likely to be caused by physical overheating as by nerves. The inappropriate clothing, and the dynamite. Dynamite is wood pulp soaked with nitroglycerine and molded into baton-sized sticks. Wood pulp is a good thermal insulator. So sweating comes with the territory. But the irritability and the tics and the nervous behavior are valuable indicators. These people are in the last weird moments of their lives, anxious, scared of pain, woozy with narcotics. They are irrational by definition. Believing or half-believing or not really believing at all in paradise and rivers of milk and honey and lush pastures and virgins, driven by ideological pressures or by the expectations of their peers and their families, suddenly in too deep and unable to back out. Brave talk in clandestine meetings is one thing. Action is another. Hence suppressed panic, with all its visible signs.

Passenger number four was showing them all. She looked exactly like a woman heading for the end of her life, as surely and certainly as the train was heading for the end of the line.
Therefore point seven: breathing.

She was panting, low and controlled. In, out, in, out. Like a technique to conquer the pain of childbirth, or like the result of a ghastly shock, or like a last desperate barrier against screaming with dread and fear and terror.

In, out, in, out.
Point eight: suicide bombers about to go into action stare rigidly ahead. No one knows why, but video evidence and surviving eyewitnesses have been entirely consistent in their reports. Bombers stare straight ahead. Perhaps they have screwed their commitment up to the sticking point and fear intervention. Perhaps like dogs and children they feel that if they're not seeing anyone, then no one is seeing them. Perhaps a last shred of conscience means they can't look at the people they're about to destroy. No one knows why, but they all do it.

Passenger number four was doing it. That was for sure. She was staring across at the blank window opposite so hard she was almost burning a hole in the glass.

Points one through eight, check. I shifted my weight forward in my seat.

Then I stopped. The idea was tactically absurd. The time was wrong.

Then I looked again. And moved again. Because points nine, ten, and eleven were all present and correct too, and they were the most important points of all.


From the Hardcover edition.

Continues...


Excerpted from Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child Copyright © 2009 by Lee Child. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Interviews & Essays

The Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 430 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Lee Child does it again

    Lee Child does it again. Jack Reacher finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, or is it the rights place at the right time. Either way, he is there to resolve what could a disastrous problem for a presidential wannabe. "Gone Tomorrow" does not disappoint. There are twists and turns and things that make you wonder. There is also a lot of action and unfortunately, graphic death. You would think that with each new Jack Reacher novel that Mr. Child would run out of ideas to excite the true fan, but not yet. I think Jack Reacher will be collecting social security before these stories run out. Great job, Lee Child.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    Lee Child is a master and Gone Tomorrow is no Exception!

    I'm a huge Lee Child fan and so had high expectations for Gone Tomrrow. It lived up to my expectations. Not the best of his books, but definitely a great read. Child's iconic hero, Jack Reacher, is in rare form and once again has to punch, kick, think, and shoot his way out of bad luck and trouble. This book is fast paced and addictive. The story is plausible and the mystery keeps you guessing until the end. Like all good thrillers, there's few plot twists that you never see coming. All in all, I recommend this book as a great way to spend a lazy weekend.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    These Reacher books are fantastic

    Lee Child does it again with this latest Reacher story. Some of these Reacher stories are better than others but they are all consistently very entertaining. Fast read with great dialogue. I can't wait for the next in the series. I started the series in the middle, now I am going back to read from the beginning. Keep em' coming Lee! I like the ones better in the third person.
    "Reacher said nothing."

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2009

    Just OK, definitely not his best.

    I've read and loved all of the Reacher novels. Any story about a big, tough but smart guy who likes to fight is a fun read. This story was just ok for me. Started off strong, really slow middle, and I really can't believe how he ended it. The focal point changed about 2/3 through the book and we got a whole new perspective, and NEVER got to see it resolved. Not sure if I'll read another Reacher novel, as this really reminded me of Nothing to Lose, with a really slow middle and a very sudden ending. It's like the story is still going 2 pages from the end and then it's just over all of a sudden. Very weird.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Lee Child Does It Again

    Title: Gone Tomorrow
    Author: Lee Child
    Publisher: Bantam Dell
    Publication Date: 19 May, 2009
    Reviewer: Lee Carper

    Lee Child's latest novel, GONE TOMORROW, starts off with a bang
    -literally- and doesn't let go. Boarding subway car 7622 at two o'clock in the morning, Reacher, an ex-military cop who forever remains vigilant to his surroundings, memorized the Israeli counterintelligence spot-list twenty years ago and to this day cannot forget the behavioral indicators. A woman sitting on the train catches his attention. Reacher's mind whirrs, taking him through that check-list. One by one she meets the criteria. Eleven points out of eleven.

    Suicide bomber.

    Reacher quickly makes a decision that sets off a string of events with deadly consequences. As usual, he finds himself wrapped in a quagmire with many players, not the least of which involves various departments of the government.

    I admit I don't normally tend to enjoy thrillers with too many details, but I make the exception for Lee Child's novels. For me, the details make Reacher come alive. In GONE TOMORROW, the author takes us for another wild ride, and this book is highly recommended.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2010

    Good book, but about 200 pages too long.

    I have read all of Lee Child's books and find him to be a great writer. The problem is he gets to long winded for me. A simple act like someone answering a phone can last two or three pages. It starts to get boring when he has to describe everything until the reader gets crazy from boredom.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Reacher + NYC = Plenty of thrills

    Anyone familiar with Lee Child's Jack reacher thrillers will have no problem getting right into 'Gone Tomorrow'. Right from the opening subway ride, readers will be ripping through its pages, trying to keep up with the action, sorting through its cast of fairly well delineated characters, and hoping against hope that Jack will actually have to do a little cardio or something to keep in such fine fighting trim. The author makes very good use of New York as his primary setting, with various points of interest almost jumping off the page . All in all, a fine addition to this series.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fans of the series will believe GONE TOMORROW is one of the best entries

    On a nearly vacant Manhattan subway train, former MP Jack Reacher notices the female passenger acting odd. She shows all the nervous signs of a suicide bomber as proscribed by the Israeli military, an occupation by definition always means first timer. The Israreli list of signs contains eleven points in common between the genders; this woman has all of them as the local train heads from Bleeker St. with stops in between towards Grand Central. Absurd as he thinks it is, Reacher follows his gut and calmly confronts her. In her bag is not wires, but a gun she pulls out and points at him before turning it on herself blowing away her head.

    NYPD Detective Theresa Lee questions Reacher especially about the Israeli list that led to the "false positive" suicide. Detective Docherty offers a different scenario accusing Reacher of homicide, but the vet calls the cop dumb insisting they are stalling until the Feds arrive. When the FBI does they question Reacher before walking away. Leaving the precinct, he is accosted by four men wanting information and after that by the victim's brother, who insists his sister would not kill herself. Before long Jack finds himself pulled in two directions; one back to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the other into the heart of the global war on terrorism; neither make sense, but Jack knows his mission is to kill the bad guys before they cause harm.

    The opening sequence as poorly described above is brilliant as Reacher is pulled into an international mess one step at a time. The story line gets even better as the tension mounts as Reacher finds himself caught in the middle. Fans of the series will believe GONE TOMORROW is one of the best entries (that says a lot with the consistency of this series) while newcomers could not ask for a better introduction to the world of the nomadic former MP.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    Not much of a reader

    I am not a big reader so for me to like a book it has to grab me. This book did just that. Great story that will keep interested.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2010

    Parts are unnecessarily graffic, otherwise up to Mr. Child's standard

    Plot etc. are great, another good Reacher novel. The others I'd give 5 stars. This one falls short due to some unwarrented graffic descriptions.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    Great book

    This was a great read. I started reading on a Friday night and couldn't put the book down until I finished on Sunday night.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    ANOTHER EXCITING LEE CHILD BOOK

    Jack again gets himself in to a little problem but comes up smelling roses and good again prevails

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2009

    Jack Reacher is a larger than life individual and his adventures are frightening, but he is always up to the challenge.

    I was introduced to the character of Jack Reacher by a woman I met in a bookstore. I can't thank her enough. This character is the kind of man that you want on your side if you are in trouble. Love the character, love the books. Thanks Mr. Child.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    Another Great book by Lee Child

    I have read every one of the Jack Reacher series and they continue to be totally addicting. I can't wait for another one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    Boring and Disappointing

    I love Lee Child but I'm 3/4 way through this book and finding it hard to finish. The first couple of chapters kept you interested, but somehow it went astray and it became boring. The only parts I enjoyed was the action with Jack Reacher. Don't know if I'll be able to finish it. I give it 3 stars.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    Easy to read.

    Good story.

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Another great book in a great series.

    I am reading this series in numerical order. I am as you can see on number 13. I have not been disappointed in any of these stories. The action is good, the storyline flows well and you always have a little twist you didn't see coming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Not so good

    Not the usual Lee Child work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Layout is Horrible

    Page after page of solid print, wall to wall -- the layout in this book is the worst I've seen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Deimos

    If you got the answer to that riddle good job. Now, go back and figure out the other. Remembre, result three, result five, result two. Good luck. I know you can solve it. ~&Delta&epsilon&iota<_>m&theta<_>s

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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