It’s only Monday, but there’s already huge news to report. Lee Child, one of today’s most famous thriller authors, has signed a new four-book deal to stay with his current publisher, Delacorte Press (an imprint of Penguin Random House), guaranteeing fans plenty more of Jack Reacher for the foreseeable future.
The deal calls for three new future Jack Reacher novels and a short story collection book. Child, who is repped by Darley Anderson of Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency, is set to release Night School, his twenty-first Jack Reacher novel on November 7, 2016.
Back in 2012 Child did an exclusive interview with Playboy, where he said the following when asked how many more books he’ll write.
“Initially I was planning on 21. I wanted to match but, as a matter of respect, not exceed John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels. He did 21. That’s one of the best series we have. I mean, I think Cal Ripken should not have exceeded Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game streak. Gehrig’s streak terminated because he had a mortal illness. John MacDonald stopped writing because he died. For all we know, he could’ve written many more. So I feel I should do 21 Reacher novels and stop.”
He then continued on to say, “in a human sense this will be incredibly difficult to do because you get seduced by the attention. And you’ve got to have nerves of steel to turn down the money. I do four-book contracts. To walk away from the next one would probably cost me $30 million or $40 million globally. So I’m not sure, but I think I’ll be done sooner than later.”
Fans who have been freaking out over this portion of the interview for four years, you can now breathe easy!
Night School, which is available for pre-order here, is a prequel story set in 1996. Scroll down to check out the official plot details:
It’s 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind.
Two other men are in the classroom—an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there.
Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor—a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.”
For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don’t get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism.
From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law.
Oh, and just a reminder, the second Jack Reacher movie, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back hits theaters on October 21st and is based on Child’s eighteenth novel Never Go Back.