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Past Tense: A Jack Reacher Novel Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2019
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“[Lee Child] shows no signs of slowing down. . . . Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.”—The Atlantic
“Superb . . . Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character’s roots, and Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)
“Another first-class entry in a series that continues to set the gold standard for aspiring thriller authors.”—Booklist (starred review)
“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Cerebral . . . One doesn’t want Mr. Child’s storytelling to end. . . . Get your copy soon before Past Tense sells out. Then enjoy the ride.”—New York Journal of Books
“The way everything winds up for all the participants shows a satisfying generosity of storytelling spirit.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels
“There’s a reason Child is considered the best of the best in the thriller genre.”—Associated Press
“This series [is] utterly addictive.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Jack Reacher is today’s James Bond, a thriller hero we can’t get enough of.”—Ken Follett
About the Author
- Publisher : Dell; Reissue edition (April 30, 2019)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 512 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399593535
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399593536
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.16 x 1.15 x 7.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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When "Past Tense" popped up in my Vine queue, I decided to see if this latest effort was worth reading...and I'm very glad that I did!
"Past Tense" is most definitely a return to the writing style that most of us early Reacher fans embraced. This book features a plausible plot, with interesting twists and turns, but most of all, it lets Reacher be Reacher! There's some interesting character development, local history, coupled with a bunch of epic action scenes we Reacher fans live for!
Kudos to Lee Child for re-connecting with his "Inner Reacher", and delivering the best novel in many years!
This book had hints of the Reacher we know and love but this had all kinds of holes in it, the characters were all over the place and not a one was memorable. The plot was a trainwreck.. Nothing ever really stuck. I kept waiting for it to pull itself together because I know he must be in there somewhere, but it never got there. I want to forget I read it.
If you compare this to the Midnight Line you would swear this was not written by Lee Child.
In the novel, Jack starts to hitchhike from the East Coast to San Diego, but takes a side trip to Laconia. NH, his father’s birthplace. He visits various public records offices, and gets a lot of help from the locals when dad Stan Reacher doesn't show up right away in the town’s 80-year-old census records.
At the same time, a young Canadian couple has car trouble, and ends up at a remote motel near Laconia. They can’t leave, because the weird motel owners keep making excuses for not calling a mechanic or driving them to town to get a tow truck. Eventually the couple finds themselves imprisoned, because the motel owners have secret plans for them.
SPOILER ALERT: Naturally the two plotlines--Jack’s search for his roots, and the couple’s predicament--merge, but only in a superficial way. The couple’s plotline is basically “Psycho" meets “The Most Dangerous Game", and it isn’t even close to the quality of either one. The motel owners’ intentions are easily guessed, long before the reveal.
This novel is the latest in the long, popular Jack Reacher series, and it works fine as a standalone. It’s well-written, but, as previously mentioned, darned boring.
Second; he sets in motion what APPEARS will be the starting off point of the next several books by having Jack the lad start to hitchhike across America,starting from Maine and, eventually, ending in San Diego California
One guesses the hitch-hike premise will be used for a while based on the fact that, in this "first" episode he gets not much further than Laconia, NEW HAMPSHIRE!
But, since he also gets into one of the best Reachers EVER, one can forgive his lack of forward momentum.
Some of Child's best characters and a real sense of emotional truth and some truly hilarious (albeit, possibly for specialized knowledge and tastes) fun, make this a book that has REACHES new heights
Indeed, if you can accept the premise that, in this day and age ANYONE would stop for ANY hitch hiker (let alone one who looks nothing like a certain former Jerry McGuire) this is a very promising opening to later adventures
Gene Barry would be proud!
Top reviews from other countries
To any die-hard Reacher/Lee Child fans who want to own this book I'd suggest waiting a while until the price comes down; it really isn't worth a tenner.
I pre-order every Jack Reacher and read straight away hoping for a true return to form.. and always come away disappointed.
Lee Childs is cashing in all the brownie points he amassed early in the series, but for me, he has now spent up, I will no longer pre-order and feel the need to start leaving HONEST reviews to counteract the blinded fans.
The book starts superbly, Jack Reacher takes one of his little side trips that becomes an adventure, and at the same time another story 20 miles away is woven into the narrative, except in this case the side story is probably the main one. To be honest the Jack Reacher 'side' story is pretty much wasted text, as the only exciting part of it (Jack making trouble with the wrong people), I literally think Lee Childs forgot it existed and forgot to finish it.
When the main story wraps up however, it is a damp squib, and all the build of of tension becomes a.. 'is that it?'
I won't lie, the build up is like a perfect starter and main course, but the dessert turns out to be a dry digestive biscuit.. slightly stale and I now realise the truth, finally accepting it with sadness.. Lee Childs has lost his spark and is the not the genius author we thought he was, and Jack Reacher has run its course and needs to end