If there is a moral to this story, it is that if you are a bad guy – really bad – it would behoove you not to hire Reacher to help you; eventually he will turn his laser-like, penetrating attention on you. Strangely enough, Reacher is in a café one evening on a busy street in NYC and just happens to observe a man cross the street and drive away an illegally parked car. Big deal, but the next day he is in the same café and is approached by an ex-military type wanting to know if he had observed said event. Soon he is meeting Edward Lane, the head of a band of mercenary soldiers, who claims that the car held ransom money, payment to kidnappers of his dazzling wife and young daughter. Well, of course, since Reacher is an investigator extraordinaire, he agrees to help Lane, something that Lane probably wishes never happened.
Reacher knows nothing about Lane, but soon he happens to meet the sister of Lane’s first wife, Anne, now deceased, and an ex-FBI agent Lauren Paulding, who investigated Anne’s disappearance. A troublesome picture of Lane begins to emerge, especially his ruthlessness. Now Reacher is on full alert; he enlists Pauling in his search for the kidnappers but wonders what Lane is hiding. Eventually, after sorting through the disconnects, of all places, the case leads to a farm outside London.
As usual the story is fast-moving and compelling. Of course, Reacher uses his immense physical skills to advantage, but it is his mind that gives him the ultimate advantage over his opponents, which generally means surviving the extremely dangerous situations in which he repeatedly finds himself. As per his custom, Reacher is back on the road with his toothbrush only hours after righting the wrongs that are eventually revealed.