Night School

Written by Lee Child

THRILLER. It’s 1996. Major Jack Reacher, still in the army, has been awarded his second Legion of Merit in a private ceremony

“It was a transaction. A contractual token. Take the bauble and keep your mouth shut about what we asked you to do for it.”

As Reacher leaves the ceremony he is waylaid and told to report to General Garber’s office. He’s being sent back to school. Soon he finds himself sitting in a bland classroom with equally puzzled Casey Waterman, FBI, and John White, CIA. There they are joined by Alfred Ratcliffe, a National Security Analyst known to be the President’s ‘top boy’ when things go south, and his senior deputy, Dr. Marian Sinclair.

Ratcliffe tells them a CIA asset in Hamburg, Germany, has reported an unknown American with something for sale. None of the US agencies knows what he has but the asking price is 100,000 million dollars and that has to be bad news, especially since a mysterious new terrorist group is willing to pay that price without quibbling. What can be worth 100,000million? And who is selling it? Reacher, Waterman and White have been brought together to figure it out, stop the sale before it goes through and, while they’re at it, catch the man behind the sale. All without talking to anyone about what they are doing.

Reacher is still in the Army as an MP when this book takes place so he is following orders (in his own way), which removes the ‘a lone stranger rides into town,’ beginning familiar to Child’s readers. Still, in most ways he is the same Reacher, long on acute observations, short on material possessions.

“After lunch Griezman drove Reacher and Neagley to the hotel they had used before. They thanked him and waved him away but didn’t check in. Reacher didn’t like to stay in the same place twice. A habit. Unnecessary, some said. He said he was thirty-five years old and still alive. Had to mean something.”

A few familiar faces turn up –always nice to see you Sergeant Frances Neagley – but there isn’t anything here that depends on previous knowledge of the series. Excellent fun. It’s always a good day when a new Reacher book is published.

Lee Child
Night School
Delacorte
November 7, 2016
384 pages

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