Past Tense by Lee Child

Here is what the QBD crew thought…

Fans of Lee Child rejoice – the ever-roaming Jack Reacher is back in another action-packed blockbuster sure to please old fans and newcomers alike.

Jack is back doing what he does best; wandering the backroads of North America, this time on an epic road trip from Maine to California. On a country road deep in the woods of New England, a road sign rattles in the wind, and sparks a memory for Jack – the town where his father was born. A snap decision has Jack taking the detour to gain some insight into his father’s youth.

At the same moment, not very far away, two young Canadians on their way to New York City are stranded when their car breaks down. The only option is a lonely hotel in the middle of nowhere, where the owners aren’t quite what they seem…

After a whopping 22 previous novels, you’d think that Lee Child would be running short on ideas for the kind of trouble Jack Reacher could get into… but instalment 23, Past Tense, feels just as exciting and fresh as ever. All Jack knows about Laconia, the town where his father was born, is that Stan Reacher left it just as soon as he could and never went back – so his visit makes for some very interesting discoveries about his family history. Some of the town’s residents are willing to help, while others seem particularly keen for him to repeat his father’s actions from decades ago and just disappear. And while Jack is unravelling his father’s past in Laconia, Shorty and Patty are having troubles of their own across town… and then things really kick off. The heart-pounding action and big, big trouble we’ve come to expect from a Jack Reacher novel is certainly present, and the added bonus of Jack’s family mystery gives Past Tense an extra edge.

Child masterfully converges two seemingly-unrelated storylines, ratcheting up the tension towards an inevitable, explosive finale. Thriller writing at its very best!

– Sarah, QBD Fiction Buyer

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