After last year’s Night School, which featured a much younger Jack Reacher, bestselling author Lee Child picks up where he left off in 2015’s Make Me with his latest thriller, The Midnight Line.
At a rest stop in Wisconsin, Jack Reacher wanders into a pawn shop where he spots a woman’s West Point ring from the graduating class of 2005. Reacher himself is a West Point grad and knows from first-hand experience that nobody just up and pawns their ring for no reason. After twisting the shop owner’s arm, Reacher–who nearly walked away from the situation before turning back with a renewed interest–learns that the pawn store gets some of their stuff from a guy who practices some rather shady business tactics.
Reacher makes the decision to track down the ring’s owner and see if she’s okay. He tells himself that if things check out and she’s fine, he’ll hop on the next bus and get the heck out of whatever town she’s currently living in. But if she’s not okay, well, Reacher plans to do what he does best–anything within his power to make things right.
As Reacher crosses the country in search of the mystery woman, he encounters all kinds of trouble–which is a typical occurrence for the hulk-sized drifter. There are the expected four-on-one fights early on (you’d think by now that Reacher’s face would be plastered all over social media by thugs with a warning: don’t mess with this guy! message), followed by bad attitudes and unwelcoming individuals wherever Reacher travels to.
Armed with a passport and a toothbrush, Reacher travels to South Dakota and Wyoming, where he gathers critical pieces to the puzzle. But as the picture starts to come into focus, Child slowly reveals a bigger plot at work behind the scenes involving the opioid epidemic inside the United States.
While readers are used to seeing Reacher beat up bullies and thump thugs back into their dingy holes, Reacher Creatures are in for a surprise or two with Child’s latest work.
For starters, one of Jack’s former love interests makes a brief cameo, and the way the two characters separate will have fans wondering if Reacher might finally be growing tired of his nomadic lifestyle. At the same time, Lee Child doesn’t stray too far from his well-working formula, which has made him an annual staple on the New York Times best-sellers list. Now twenty-two books in, though, it’s fair to wonder what the future holds for one of the genre’s most well-known protagonists.
While Night School received mixed reviews from fans, The Midnight Line is more of a classic Child thriller. The large-scope plot that moves from the shadows to the forefront is well-written and engaging, but at the end of the day, Reacher kicking bad guys’ butts all over the country is still the most entertaining part of Lee Child’s book.
Bad guys beware, Jack Reacher is riding back into town in Lee Child’s The Midnight Line, the hard-hitting new novel from one of today’s top thriller authors.
Author: Lee Child
Series: Jack Reacher #22
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8/10