'Gone Tomorrow' by Lee Child


  I’ve been reading the “Jack Reacher” novels by Lee Child since the first one, "Killing Floor," came out in paperback during the mid-’90s. I’ve enjoyed most of them, some more than others, and I’ve always considered the "Killing Floor" to be the best of the pack.  That has changed with the publication of "Gone Tomorrow." This novel simply blew me away with its plot, characters, action, and multiple twists and turns. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. In fact, the book held me to the end, delivering everything that was promised. This is the kind of novel that every author in the thriller genre dreams of writing.
  As for "Gone Tomorrow," it opens with Jack Reacher in New York City, riding a subway train late at night, going to nowhere in particular. He’s minding his own business until he notices a lone female — Susan Mark — sitting several feet ahead of him. He begins to watch her and soon realizes that she’s displaying all the signals of a would-be terrorist, which makes him think that she might be intending to blow up the subway car. Standing up, he approaches her and questions the bag she’s holding, wondering if there’s a bomb in it. When he tells her to take out what’s inside the bag, she pulls out a revolver and calmly shoots herself in the head.
  From the moment of Susan Mark’s suicide, Reacher’s life begins to change in ways he’d never anticipated, and he soon finds himself on a mission that involves a former major in Delta Force, who’s now running for the Senate, and a large group of Al-Qaida agents who are led by two women who enjoy torturing men and are experts in knife fighting. While Reacher is trying to find the connection between the major and the terrorist group, he’ll have to stay one step ahead of the NYPD, the FBI, and the Department of Defense, all of whom want to see him locked up for a very long time for sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. Reacher, however, can’t be stopped. He’s a like a dog with a bone. Once he learns the real reasons for Susan Mark’s death and why the Al-Qaida group is attempting to sabotage the major’s run for the Senate, Reacher declares war with the intent of killing every terrorist in the group he can find. He’s going to be their worse nightmare, and the ending is going to make the first "Rambo" movie look like a picnic at summer camp.
  There’s no doubt in my mind that Lee Child has created the best novel of his career. The writing has never been sharper and the characters more vivid and the action more intense than in this book. More importantly, I feel as if the character of Reacher is fighting for the American people (not the government, but the actual people of this country) in an effort to get revenge against those who murdered so many innocent civilians in the 9/11attack. Reacher does what we can’t, or what our government has failed to do. He takes on the bad guys with extreme prejudice and has us cheering for him the whole way.
  "Gone Tomorrow" is a definite keeper … one I want permanently up on my bookshelf. This is also a book Child should be damn proud of. He did what I thought was the impossible and finally wrote something that surpasses even his first novel. If you’re a fan of the “Jack Reacher” series, don’t wait for the paperback to come out. Run to the nearest store and buy the hardcover. You won’t be disappointed.