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by Lee Child and Andrew Child
Delacorte, October 2022
368 pages
ISBN: 1984818546

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Jack Reacher never looks for trouble. Trouble just seems to happen all around him and he is compelled to get involved. That is again the case in the latest Reacher thriller. In NO PLAN B by Lee Child and Andrew Child, Reacher witnesses a murder in a small Colorado town. He sees a woman pushed under a bus, but other witnesses do not see that push and believe she has killed herself. The police call it suicide and close the case. Of course, Reacher cannot let this injustice stand. He had observed not only the killing, but also the theft of her purse. He must find the killer and learn what was in that purse and why she was killed. He tries to chase the person who did the pushing but ends up with no information.

Looking for the killers of the unfortunate woman leads him to discover that others she was involved with have also been murdered. Following his leads, he travels cross-country to a for-profit prison in Mississippi, where grave injustices are being done. It is a front for horrific trafficking in both drugs and humans, as well as in human organs. Was the murdered woman a whistle-blower? What did she have in that purse that was worth killing for?

Meanwhile, we are also following the cross-country journey of Jed Starmer, a young man who runs away from his Los Angeles foster home to go to the same Mississippi prison that has attracted the attention of Reacher. Why does Jed want to go there? He has a very specific time he needs to be at the prison, and ends up after many mishaps trying to bike up a steep hill near the prison. Reacher finds him on the hill and helps him. This leads to Jed joining Reacher in finding the culprits.

For fans of this series, all of the much loved Reacher details are back: the fold-up toothbrush, the clothes bought to replace his dirty ones, which end up in the trash, the way that he can disable his attackers without breaking a sweat as he mathematically calculates his moves—all the while subsisting on hamburgers and coffee, no vegetables please.

The people perpetrating the crimes become aware of Reacher and they fear he is coming for them. They post numerous lookouts at rest stops and train stations along the way. Of course, to no avail, as come for them he does, almost meeting his match in one of their henchmen. But Reacher is always one step ahead of the bad guys and in the end of this novel of non-stop suspense, those perpetrators of evil truly have NO PLAN B.

§ Anne Corey is a writer, poet, teacher and botanical artist in New York's Hudson Valley.

Reviewed by Anne Corey, October 2022

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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