Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel

Hardcover | May 5, 2016

byLee Child

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Never go back—but Jack Reacher does, and the past finally catches up with him. . . . Never Go Back is a novel of action-charged suspense starring “one of the best thriller characters at work today” (Newsweek).

Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had.
Reacher is there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.
But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.
When threatened, you can run or fight.
Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.
Combining an intricate puzzle of a plot and an exciting chase for truth and justice, Lee Child puts Reacher through his paces—and makes him question who he is, what he’s done, and the very future of his untethered life on the open road.

Praise for Never Go Back
“A breathless cross-country spree . . . some of the best, wiliest writing [Lee] Child has ever done . . . Child’s bodacious action hero, Jack Reacher, has already tramped through 17 novels and three e-book singles. But his latest, Never Go Back, may be the best desert island reading in the series. It’s exceptionally well plotted. And full of wild surprises. And wise about Reacher’s peculiar nature. And positively Bunyanesque in its admiring contributions to Reacher lore.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Welcome to the relentless world of Jack Reacher and his impressive tendency to be in the wrong place at the right time. . . . Child has created an iconic character that other thriller writers try to emulate but don’t come close to matching. He has a talent for taking material that in the hands of other authors would be stale and making it seem fresh. . . . Tight and compelling . . . Never Go Back is one of Child’s best novels.”—Associated Press
“An adrenaline-charged, action-packed thriller . . . impossible to put down.”—Lansing State Journal
“The dialogue has never been sharper. . . . The pages turn themselves.”—San Antonio Express-News

“For the pure pleasure of uncomplicated, nonstop action, no one touches Reacher.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Brilliant . . . Child never, ever slips. He keeps the action cranking better than anyone, but, best of all, he keeps us guessing about Reacher.”Booklist (starred review)
“One of the best in the series.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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From the Publisher

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWSNever go back—but Jack Reacher does, and the past finally catches up with him. . . . Never Go Back is a novel of action-charged suspense starring “one of the best thriller characters at work today” (Newsweek).   Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowb...

Lee Child is the author of twenty New York Times bestselling Jack Reacher thrillers, eleven of which have reached the #1 position. All have been optioned for major motion pictures; the first, Jack Reacher, was based on One Shot. Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in almost a hundred territories. A native of England and a former television director, Lee Child lives in New York City.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 1.3 inPublished:May 5, 2016Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385344341

ISBN - 13:9780385344340

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Never Go Back Good book. Wish I had become familiar with the series before I saw the movie. Will definitely read more but I just cant get Tom Cruise out of my head.
Date published: 2015-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fair This did not read like the previous Reached books.
Date published: 2014-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reacher back in the army Classic Reacher action when he calls on his old regiment and gets conscripted back to face trumped up charges.
Date published: 2014-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never Go Back One of the best Lee Child's novels to date, Jack Reacher is alive and well in this page turner!!
Date published: 2014-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never Go Back Only Reacher can turn a potential date into an escapee from military holding cell. Thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Jack Reacher's days as CO of 110th MP division before his retirement. To come back and find himself reenlisted to face trial for a crime he doesn't remember, demands for child support for a 15 yr old girl in California are all part of a great reading experience. One of my favorite Reacher novels to date.
Date published: 2014-07-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Never go Back Haven't met a Reacher novel that has let me down...
Date published: 2014-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never go Back I really in joyed reading the book, quite spellbinding page turn, I can't wait to see what the future hold for Jack reacher!
Date published: 2014-05-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Never go Back The Jack Reacher books keep you on your toes, always guessing whats going to happen next. great read. well written. i very much enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2014-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never Go Back Another riveting roller coaster ride with Jack Reacher , Following a trail only his logic could make.p
Date published: 2014-04-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Never Go Back Good story line and characters....
Date published: 2014-04-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Never Go Back Good story line and characters....
Date published: 2014-04-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not his best Kind of boring
Date published: 2014-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It is what it is Look, I watch Cosmos. I browse Nature. I'm also a Jack Reacher fan. This book doesn't bring in any of his old friends from the 110th, but it's a satisfying couple hours of a man's man beating justice into bad guys. How do you not appreciate that?
Date published: 2014-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great book A great book to read during this long cold winter
Date published: 2014-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Jack Reacher Fabulous as usual. Could not put it down, so thanks for making me take a sick day to finish it. Please keep them coming!
Date published: 2014-04-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good read. Call ME pedantic, but the constant representation of A-or-B outcome as being 50-50 drove me nuts
Date published: 2014-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Never go back This is one of his best
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Never go back Good read, over too fast though. Kind of wish Sam WAS his daughter, I liked her! When's the next book out?
Date published: 2014-02-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Never go back I had read every single book by Lee Child and this is not one of his best. As usual, Lee peeled away the layers of the story and the story climaxed when the conspiracy was revealed. However, this time, I feel that the storyline was not as good as Lee's previous works. The sense of urgency was not as intense.
Date published: 2014-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never go back Another fine Reacher book.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Always great escapist reading Never Go Back is the 18th book featuring Lee Child's iconic recurring character Jack Reacher. Reacher Creatures everywhere have been waiting to see if Jack will at last get to meet Susan, the voice on the other end of the phone line. Jack is former Military Police. Now, he criss crosses the country, with no home, no luggage and nowhere to be. What Jack does seem to find is trouble - or I should say it finds him. For the last few books, Jack has been making his way to Virginia to meet Susan, who now leads his old unit. In Never Go Back he finally makes it there. But Susan isn't behind the desk as Jack had imagined. Instead, she's been arrested and locked up for a serious crime. And the guy behind the desk now? Well, he hits Jack with a one/two punch. Jack's to be held as well, facing military charges from an event far in his past. He's been reinstated in the army at his former rank while awaiting his military trial. But rather than wait for that to play out, Jack instead decides to take matters into his own hands.......'Cause all he really wanted to do was ask Susan out to dinner...... Child has again come up with a plot that holds the reader's attention and lets Jack do his thing - government shenanigans, bad guys and lots of action. Memorable scenes are Jack fighting with his hands behind his back and quietly taking care of business - on an airplane. Lee Child has created a character that appeals to all readers, men and women. He's the quintessential hard boiled hero. No backing down and tough as nails. He has a firm moral compass, carefully delineated lines on what's right and wrong, but has no problem using questionable methods to get to the bottom of things. He's big, strong, smart and....well.... kinda sexy too. I liked the insight that Jack himself provides into his character in this book - being the lone wolf as it were.... "I think ninety-nine of us grow up to love the campfire, and one grows up to hate it. Ninety-nine of us grow up to fear the howling wolf and one grows up to envy it. And I'm that guy." I've heard some other readers complain that they wish Jack's life would move on. I don't - I'm quite happy to pick up the latest Reacher book and know that Jack is gonna kick some butt - again. And then head on down the road. Child writes pure escapist novels - and this reader is happy to go along for the ride. Reacher is a white knight in rumpled clothes with his toothbrush in his back pocket and his thumb stuck out for a ride. Do yourself a favour - pick up Jack and settle in for a great read.
Date published: 2013-09-30

Extra Content

Read from the Book

9780385344340|excerptChild / NEVER GO BACKChapter 1Eventually they put Reacher in a car and drove him to a motel a mile away, where the night clerk gave him a room, which had all the features Reacher expected, because he had seen such rooms a thousand times before. There was a raucous through-the-wall heater, which would be too noisy to sleep with, which would save the owner money on electricity. There were low-watt bulbs in all the fixtures, likewise. There was a low-pile carpet that after cleaning would dry in hours, so the room could rent again the same day. Not that the carpet would be cleaned often. It was dark and patterned and ideal for concealing stains. As was the bedspread. No doubt the shower would be weak and strangled, and the towels thin, and the soap small, and the shampoo cheap. The furniture was made of wood, all dark and bruised, and the television set was small and old, and the curtains were gray with grime.All as expected. Nothing he hadn’t seen a thousand times before.But still dismal.So before even putting the key in his pocket he turned around and went back out to the lot. The air was cold, and a little damp. The middle of the evening, in the middle of winter, in the northeastern corner of Virginia. The lazy Potomac was not far away. Beyond it in the east, D.C.’s glow lit up the clouds. The nation’s capital, where all kinds of things were going on.The car that had let him out was already driving away. Reacher watched its tail lights grow faint in the mist. After a moment they disappeared completely, and the world went quiet and still. Just for a minute. Then another car showed up, brisk and confident, like it knew where it was going. It turned into the lot. It was a plain sedan, dark in color. Almost certainly a government vehicle. It aimed for the motel office, but its headlight beams swung across Reacher’s immobile form, and it changed direction, and came straight at him.Visitors. Purpose unknown, but the news would be either good or bad.The car stopped parallel with the building, as far in front of Reacher as his room was behind him, leaving him alone in the center of a space the size of a boxing ring. Two men got out of the car. Despite the chill they were dressed in T-shirts, tight and white, above the kind of athletic pants sprinters peel off seconds before a race. Both men looked more than six feet and two hundred pounds. Smaller than Reacher, but not by much. Both were military. That was clear. Reacher could tell by their haircuts. No civilian barber would be as pragmatic or brutal. The market wouldn’t allow it.The guy from the passenger side tracked around the hood and formed up with the driver. The two of them stood there, side by side. Both wore sneakers on their feet, big and white and shapeless. Neither had been in the Middle East recently. No sunburn, no squint lines, no stress and strain in their eyes. Both were young, somewhere south of thirty. Technically Reacher was old enough to be their father. They were NCOs, he thought. Specialists, probably, not sergeants. They didn’t look like sergeants. Not wise enough. The opposite, in fact. They had dull, blank faces.The guy from the passenger side said, “Are you Jack Reacher?”Reacher said, “Who’s asking?”“We are.”“And who are you?”“We’re your legal advisors.”Which they weren’t, obviously. Reacher knew that. Army lawyers don’t travel in pairs and breathe through their mouths. They were something else. Bad news, not good. In which case immediate action was always the best bet. Easy enough to mime sudden comprehension and an eager approach and a hand raised in welcome, and easy enough to let the eager approach become unstoppable momentum, and to turn the raised hand into a scything blow, elbow into the left-hand guy’s face, hard and downward, followed by a stamp of the right foot, as if killing an imaginary cockroach had been the whole point of the manic exercise, whereupon the bounce off the stamp would set up the same elbow backhand into the right-hand guy’s throat, one, two, three, smack, stamp, smack, game over.Easy enough. And always the safest approach. Reacher’s mantra was: Get your retaliation in first. Especially when outnumbered two-to-one against guys with youth and energy on their side.But. He wasn’t sure. Not completely. Not yet. And he couldn’t afford a mistake of that nature. Not then. Not under the circumstances. He was inhibited. He let the moment pass.He said, “So what’s your legal advice?”“Conduct unbecoming,” the guy said. “You brought the unit into disrepute. A court martial would hurt us all. So you should get the hell out of town, right now. And you should never come back again.”“No one mentioned a court martial.”“Not yet. But they will. So don’t stick around for it.”“I’m under orders.”“They couldn’t find you before. They won’t find you now. The army doesn’t use skip tracers. And no skip tracer could find you anyway. Not the way you seem to live.”Reacher said nothing.The guy said, “So that’s our legal advice.”Reacher said, “Noted.”“You need to do more than note it.”“Do I?”“Because we’re offering an incentive.”“What kind?”“Every night we find you still here, we’re going to kick your ass.”“Are you?”“Starting tonight. So you’ll get the right general idea about what to do.”Reacher said, “You ever bought an electrical appliance?”“What’s that got to do with anything?”“I saw one once, in a store. It had a yellow label on the back. It said if you messed with it you ran the risk of death or serious injury.”“So?”“Pretend I’ve got the same kind of label.”“We’re not worried about you, old man.”Old man. For no good reason Reacher saw an image of his father in his mind. Somewhere sunny. Okinawa, possibly. Stan Reacher, born in Laconia, New Hampshire, a Marine captain serving in Japan, with a wife and two teenage sons. Reacher and his brother had called him the old man, and he had seemed old, even though at that point he must have been ten years younger than Reacher was that night.“Turn around,” Reacher said. “Go back wherever you came from. You’re in over your heads.”“Not how we see it.”“I used to do this for a living,” Reacher said. “But you know that, right?”No response.“I know all the moves,” Reacher said. “I invented some of them.”No reply.Reacher still had his key in his hand. Rule of thumb: don’t attack a guy who just came through a door that locks. A bunch is better, but even a single key makes a pretty good weapon. Socket the head against the palm, poke the shaft out between the index and middle fingers, and you’ve got a fairly decent knuckleduster.But. They were just dumb kids. No need to get all bent out of shape. No need for torn flesh and broken bones.Reacher put his key in his pocket.Their sneakers meant they had no plans to kick him. No one kicks things with soft white athletic shoes. No point. Unless they were aiming to deliver blows with their feet merely for the points value alone. Like one of those martial arts fetishes with a name like something off a Chinese food menu. Tae Kwon Do, and so on. All very well at the Olympic Games, but hopeless on the street. Lifting your leg like a dog at a hydrant was just begging to get beat. Begging to get tipped over and kicked into unconsciousness.Did these guys even know that? Were they looking at his own feet? Reacher was wearing a pair of heavy boots. Comfortable, and durable. He had bought them in South Dakota. He planned to keep on wearing them all winter long.He said, “I’m going inside now.”No response.He said, “Goodnight.”No response.Reacher half turned and half stepped back, toward his door, a fluid quarter circle, shoulders and all, and like he knew they would the two guys moved toward him, faster than he was moving, off-script and involuntary, ready to grab him.Reacher kept it going long enough to let their momentum establish, and then he whipped back through the reverse quarter circle toward them, by which time he was moving just as fast as they were, two hundred and fifty pounds about to collide head-on with four hundred, and he kept on twisting and threw a long left hook at the left-hand guy. It caught him as designed, hard on the ear, and the guy’s head snapped sideways and bounced off his partner’s shoulder, by which time Reacher was already throwing a right-hand uppercut under the partner’s chin. It hit like a how-to diagram and the guy’s head went up and back the same way his buddy’s had bounced around, and almost in the same second. Like they were puppets, and the puppeteer had sneezed.Both of them stayed on their feet. The left-hand guy was wobbling around like a man on a ship, and the right-hand guy was stumbling backward. The left-hand guy was all unstable and up on his heels and his center mass was open and unprotected. Reacher popped a clubbing right into his solar plexus, hard enough to drive the breath out of him, soft enough not to cause lasting neurological damage. The guy folded up and crouched and hugged his knees. Reacher stepped past him and went after the right-hand guy, who saw him coming and swung a feeble right of his own. Reacher clouted it aside with his left forearm and repeated the clubbing right to the solar plexus.The guy folded in half, just the same.After that it was easy enough to nudge them around until they were facing in the right direction, and then to use the flat of his boot sole to shove them toward their car, first one, and then the other. They hit head-on, pretty hard, and they went down flat. They left shallow dents in the door panels. They lay there, gasping, still conscious.A dented car to explain, and headaches in the morning. That was all. Merciful, under the circumstances. Benevolent. Considerate. Soft, even.Old man.Old enough to be their father.By that point Reacher had been in Virginia less than three hours.