Lee Child has steadily accrued one of the keenest groups of admirers for any contemporary thriller writer – and the reason is easy to discern. In such gritty and authoritative novels as Tripwire
, Killing Floor
and Die Trying
, Child established his tough itinerant protagonist Jack Reacher as a key modern hero, with a taciturn, hard-boiled appeal that has not palled over many books (though some have queried Jack’s transformation from a man who triumphed -- with difficulty – over insuperable odds – into a nigh-invulnerable super-hero). But the narrative grasp of the author remains absolutely iron-clad, and there are the stunningly drawn American locales that are so notably impressive from an English author.
In the latest outing for Jack Reacher, Gone Tomorrow, Child’s resourceful hero is travelling in New York City, observing his fellow passengers on the subway. He’s aware that suicide bombers are easy to spot – they’re usually nervous, and (as he wryly notes) by definition they're first-timers. As an ex-law enforcer, Jack notices that of his five fellow travellers, one is distinctly giving out the signals that spell danger. Grand Central Station is approaching – will Jack act and save lives – including his own? But… what if he's wrong?
This high voltage situation is the arresting curtain opener here, and the tension is screwed tighter, as Jack Reacher is pitched against the one of the most challenging threats he has come up against. Gone Tomorrow
has all the dynamism of Child’s earlier work; spruced-up, super-charged and showing no sign of age.