Past Tense (Jack Reacher, #23)
Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.

Past Tense (Jack Reacher, #23) Details

TitlePast Tense (Jack Reacher, #23)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 5th, 2018
PublisherDelacorte Press
ISBN-139780399593512
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery

Past Tense (Jack Reacher, #23) Review

  • Kaceey - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*Jack Reacher is back and tougher than ever! And as anticipated, big trouble seems to be hot on his trail…Once again, Jack Reacher is traveling along the back roads of America. His way of avoiding unwanted attention. Hitch-hiking is a roll of the dice at best, and now he’s found himself unexpectedly dropped–off in New Hampshire. He finds himself drifting back in time to his childhood, his father fondly telling him all about his hometown of Laconia. It wasn’t in Jacks’ game plan, but at the cr 4.5*Jack Reacher is back and tougher than ever! And as anticipated, big trouble seems to be hot on his trail…Once again, Jack Reacher is traveling along the back roads of America. His way of avoiding unwanted attention. Hitch-hiking is a roll of the dice at best, and now he’s found himself unexpectedly dropped–off in New Hampshire. He finds himself drifting back in time to his childhood, his father fondly telling him all about his hometown of Laconia. It wasn’t in Jacks’ game plan, but at the crossroads he now found himself at, has a choice to make. It looks like all roads lead to Laconia, New Hampshire. Home. And that’s the direction he’s chosen. Who says you can never go home...? Maybe it’s high time to get in touch with his family roots.Shorty and Patty have concocted a fool-proof plan. They’ll drive from Canada straight through to New York to make a quick sale for some easy money. Only they didn’t plan on getting stranded at what appears to be the Bates Motel! There is definitely something strange going on in this odd-ball place. Are the motel owners trying to help them? Or...what exactly do they want from them?As the two seemingly separate stories converge, the tension builds to an explosive crescendo.This is one of the darker Jack Reacher novels I’ve read. The story-line of Patty and Shorty will have your heart pounding and your blood running cold. If you’re a Jack Reacher fan then this is a must read for you! One of my favorites from the series so far!Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and Lee Childs for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review
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  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book by Lee Child that I have read and I definitely enjoyed this one more than the other which was “The Midnight Line”. I liked the dual storyline which converges later on in the story. However I did feel that the one with Reacher in it, looking into his “family tree” to be quite slow moving and a bit dry. The second story line with the two young people stranded finally at a more than creepy motel was the most interesting in the book.I like my characters well drawn and I think This is the second book by Lee Child that I have read and I definitely enjoyed this one more than the other which was “The Midnight Line”. I liked the dual storyline which converges later on in the story. However I did feel that the one with Reacher in it, looking into his “family tree” to be quite slow moving and a bit dry. The second story line with the two young people stranded finally at a more than creepy motel was the most interesting in the book.I like my characters well drawn and I think Mr. Child did a great job in helping me get to know Patty and Shorty and how they are hoping to set up a shop in Florida with the help of whatever is in that extremely heavy suitcase which they are unwilling to part with even when their lives are at stake. They have stopped at a motel during their cross country travels and this ends up to be the most incredibly wrong decision they have ever made. The motel in question is being run by one of the most depraved and money hungry bunch of goons I’ve ever come across, headed by a man with the last name of Reacher, go figure??? We aren’t really sure what they are up to until the ¾ mark in the book but I had a pretty good hunch once the other “guests” started arriving and let’s just say that Patty and Shorty didn’t have much say in the process. Their clever thinking and love for each other help them through their ordeals.Meanwhile we are still following Reacher and his quest for family knowledge as he searches libraries and town halls for records of his father and grandfather. I felt this was more than a bit boring and was anxious to get back to Patty and Shorty. His extreme detail in parts still drives me crazy example “Reacher hit him in the face, with a straight right, maximum force, crashing and twisting. Like a freight train. The kid’s lights went out immediately. He went slack and gravity took over. Reacher kept his left hand rock solid. All the kid’s weight fell on his own locked elbow. Reacher waited . . . .. . . The kid’s elbow broke and his arm turned inside out. Reacher let him fall, etc. etc. etc.” Too much detail already.In what I have come to know as true Reacher style his path converges with those in trouble just when he is most needed. I have to admit that I’m a little surprised at how many people are so enthralled with this character as he doesn’t grow or change in his books, at least in what I’ve read. He is also endowed with super-human strength and smarts but I was willing to suspend belief for entertainment.All in all I still had fun reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading series books with a character that they can count on to “come to the aid of those in need”.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Paula Kalin
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been reading the Jack Reacher series since Lee Child wrote his first. How wonderful it is after finishing #23 in the series to say it’s definitely one of my favorites!Jack Reacher, our 6’5” ex-military hero is on a journey from Maine to California and decides to take a pit stop in Laconia, New Hampshire to check out his father’s birthplace. Scanning through records at town hall and researching census from long ago bring him in contact with a lot of different characters - some nice and some I’ve been reading the Jack Reacher series since Lee Child wrote his first. How wonderful it is after finishing #23 in the series to say it’s definitely one of my favorites!Jack Reacher, our 6’5” ex-military hero is on a journey from Maine to California and decides to take a pit stop in Laconia, New Hampshire to check out his father’s birthplace. Scanning through records at town hall and researching census from long ago bring him in contact with a lot of different characters - some nice and some not-so-nice. I always like to see the not-so-nice come into play as this means some action is to be expected. I’ve got to tell you I love his hand-to-hand fighting skills that emerge and the surprise of his foes. Bring on all the details! My father had us watching every war movie and John Wayne film since I was a kid. I love, love, seeing Reacher beat up the bullies. Bring it on!What I really liked about this book is the duel storyline. Two young Canadians, Shory, and his smarter girlfriend, Patty, break down at an isolated, creepy motel not far off from Laconia. Unbeknownst to them, they are about to enter hell. They are in desperate need of Reacher’s help. The two stories converge with a lot of action and excitement. Meanwhile, there are some other nasty folks around that our hero gives a mighty fine lesson.A definite stand out for me is the female ex-MP, now Laconia cop, Reacher interacts with throughout the book.If you have never met Jack Reacher yet, but would like to meet a man that likes intelligent women, doesn’t take any crap from anyone, and will protect those that are in despair, read this book. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t read the others in the series. Start here!5 out of 5 exciting starsThanks to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and the fabulous Lee Child for the ARC.
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  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    Jack Reacher has apparently been thrilling readers for twenty years. No one told me. Although this is only my second Reacher novel (and its number 23 with a bullet), count me in as a fan. Reacher is an ex-MP who has taken to wandering the country, heading here and there for the barest of reasons. Well, he likes a puzzle and is curiouser than any ten cats. Along the way, Reacher always seems to stumble into trouble. Here, he returns to his father's hometown and decides to see his dad's old haunts Jack Reacher has apparently been thrilling readers for twenty years. No one told me. Although this is only my second Reacher novel (and its number 23 with a bullet), count me in as a fan. Reacher is an ex-MP who has taken to wandering the country, heading here and there for the barest of reasons. Well, he likes a puzzle and is curiouser than any ten cats. Along the way, Reacher always seems to stumble into trouble. Here, he returns to his father's hometown and decides to see his dad's old haunts. Meanwhile, a couple of Canadians head south on an adventure of their own, one perhaps that could have been better planned and in a car that certainly could have been better maintained. Their adventures could not have put them in a more bizarre and offbeat predicament. Of course, eventually their paths will cross. I found this to be an enjoyable and compelling read, although don't open it up expecting a lightning paced thriller. It's pace is more thoughtful and confident, if not laconic. What makes it work is the even pace, the narrative voice,and natural curiosity.
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  • Monnie
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars, actually.Honestly, I'm not at all sure how much I'd like Jack Reacher if I met him in person because he doesn't pull any punches, but I'm certain I'd want him on my side in a fight for the same reason. And in this, the 23rd book in the series, he gets plenty of opportunity to practice his considerable skill.The story begins as Reacher walks and hitchhikes near a remote and tiny town in New Hampshire on his way to wherever else the wind (or more accurately, any driver who gives him a l 4.5 stars, actually.Honestly, I'm not at all sure how much I'd like Jack Reacher if I met him in person because he doesn't pull any punches, but I'm certain I'd want him on my side in a fight for the same reason. And in this, the 23rd book in the series, he gets plenty of opportunity to practice his considerable skill.The story begins as Reacher walks and hitchhikes near a remote and tiny town in New Hampshire on his way to wherever else the wind (or more accurately, any driver who gives him a lift) takes him. When he recalls his late father Stan saying he grew up in the town, though, Reacher decides to pay a visit to the family homestead - if he can find it, that is.Concurrently, Shorty and Patty, a pair of grifters from Canada - on their way to New York with a get-rich-quick plan in tow - have car trouble. Just as the old jalopy is ready to blow, they spot a sign pointing to a motel in a heavily wooded area of (you guessed it), New Hampshire. Yep, there's a halfway decent room available - but very soon, it becomes obvious that this isn't your average Motel 6. In fact, they may have happened upon their very worst nightmare.Chapters follow the progress as Reacher tries to find what appears to be nonexistent evidence of his father's old home and the couple try to find their way out of the mess they're in. As expected, the two storylines end up converging - but not before plenty of action takes place in both. Early on, Reacher gets on the bad side of a bad seed and his wealthy father; although the local police are for the most part on Reacher's side - after all, he's been both an Army guy and a fellow cop - they don't want Trouble with a capital T that rhymes with P that stands for Problem. Just go on your way, they tell Reacher, hoping he'll heed their advice.He'd love to, but he's got problems of his own (not the least of which is getting on the bad side of the folks he runs into when he finally locates the family town). Besides that, other local and otherwise innocent folks are finding themselves in potential danger simply because they helped Reacher; how can he possibly turn his back on them and hike away?And so it goes, with excitement and action building all the way from town to the woods and back to an explosive end. If I have an issue, it's that I have a hard time believing in coincidences - meaning things that happen at precisely the time they should to make the story work. Life usually doesn't follow that kind of pattern - but then again, it's Reacher's life, not mine. In the end I'm happy, and I'll be looking forward to the next installment as usual. Meantime, I'm thanking the publisher (via NetGalley) for the opportunity to read an advance review copy of this one.
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  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    They are all so good but this one is straight out spectacular. Telling you about the tension I felt reading this one!! I had to stop at some point after about page 100 to relax with some physical work exertions to get "unwound" and to distract myself enough to be able to swallow my own spit. It was creepy, evil terrifying- the premise AND the execution of it.The premise is one that I've read in maybe 10 novels in my life, mostly sci. fic. but in some YA reads too, like Hunger Games.That tells yo They are all so good but this one is straight out spectacular. Telling you about the tension I felt reading this one!! I had to stop at some point after about page 100 to relax with some physical work exertions to get "unwound" and to distract myself enough to be able to swallow my own spit. It was creepy, evil terrifying- the premise AND the execution of it.The premise is one that I've read in maybe 10 novels in my life, mostly sci. fic. but in some YA reads too, like Hunger Games.That tells you enough. And I won the paperback copy here and want to thank you for the gift. Several other people will be reading my copy quite soon too.All of you who know Reacher for so many years of reading and knowing each nuance of his unique and quirky lifestyle- can you tell me if Child ever let us know how he shaves? Somewhere in Book #4 or #6 perhaps? He can't be bearded with the techniques he uses, IMHO. One day I was driving along and that thought popped into my head. He's light haired- but still. Lee Child. I am a fan. Can Child write a thriller! It almost makes you believe that the super hero is not only a true possibility but certain to be "johnny on the spot" with his radar for the horrendous, evil and violent perpetrator, even those as despicable as these. And ultimately solving the problem without undue regret! This one (#23) and the one that was in the plains of Kansas or Nebraska within a similar evil cabal as locale operating- they were the best. And he also gets two different unforgettable couples in there too this time. And Reacher isn't even half of either. 2 MP's and a priest. It sounds like the beginning of a joke. It sure isn't.
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  • Bam
    January 1, 1970
    I admit I haven't read ALL of the Reacher books but I have read quite a few and I do believe this is one of the best.In this outing, ex-MP Reacher decides to travel from Maine to San Diego and starts hitching a ride. When he reaches New Hampshire, he sees a sign for Laconia which triggers a memory and an interest in digging up some family history.As only Reacher can, he makes friends and enemies quickly and is soon embroiled in some nasty business (which makes for some very exciting reading.)In I admit I haven't read ALL of the Reacher books but I have read quite a few and I do believe this is one of the best.In this outing, ex-MP Reacher decides to travel from Maine to San Diego and starts hitching a ride. When he reaches New Hampshire, he sees a sign for Laconia which triggers a memory and an interest in digging up some family history.As only Reacher can, he makes friends and enemies quickly and is soon embroiled in some nasty business (which makes for some very exciting reading.)In a side story, a young couple traveling from Canada have car trouble and end up spending the night in a remote motel. No, it's not the Bates Motel but I swear you can hear the scary music....Both threads come together nicely at the suspenseful and satisfying conclusion. If you enjoy an action-packed thriller, this one is for you. I believe it can be read as a standalone if you haven't been reading the series. But I can also highly recommend the series, not only for the great action but for its strong, intelligent, well-fleshed-out characters. Reacher lives by his own rules, it's true, but he has a strong sense of right and wrong, justice and fairness. You'd definitely want him by your side in any fight! I received an arc from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Many thanks!
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    More edge-of-your seat action from Lee Child. Jack Reacher once again finds himself in the middle of a strange situation. True to form, Reacher once again manages to find trouble when he sets out to help others.A young couple, having car issues, finds themselves stranded at a rather strange motel in the middle of nowhere and there are some suspicious things happening. In the meantime Jack Reacher is walking/hitch-hiking his way across the country from Maine to California when he becomes side-tra More edge-of-your seat action from Lee Child. Jack Reacher once again finds himself in the middle of a strange situation. True to form, Reacher once again manages to find trouble when he sets out to help others.A young couple, having car issues, finds themselves stranded at a rather strange motel in the middle of nowhere and there are some suspicious things happening. In the meantime Jack Reacher is walking/hitch-hiking his way across the country from Maine to California when he becomes side-tracked in Laconia, New Hampshire where his father was born. Reacher decides to spend some time researching his roots. During his stay his antenna perks up and he starts tracking some suspicious occurrences.This is a gripping, fast-paced book and if you like Jack Reacher you will certainly enjoy the story. You can, of course, read it as a stand-alone even if you haven't read any others in the series. It will be quite easy to follow. The writing is direct without a lot of unnecessary embellishment - kind of rugged like the character (and this is not a criticism; it really enhances the story). I look forward to another Jack Reacher adventure soon.Thanks to Lee Child and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine through Netgalley for an advance copy.
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge Jack Reacher fan and this book did not disappoint! This book was different from Lee Child's other books and I liked it! There were two seemingly unrelated storylines going on and I spent most of the book trying to figure out how they connected. Also, the plot was not at all predictable and kept me guessing the entire time! Thank you NetGalley for the ARC! This was a great read and I would definitely recommend it!
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  • Chris C - A Midlife Wife
    January 1, 1970
    Unique and inventive!! Great story! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Being that I’m coming in fresh on a long running series, I had a little bit to learn about Jack Reacher. What I have gathered here is that he is one person you do not want on the wrong side of you.With a history of military and military police, Jack finds himself in a predicament as he begins his journey from Maine to San Diego. I love his theoretical mind and how he’s able to think his way out of problems and issues. Almost like fore Unique and inventive!! Great story! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Being that I’m coming in fresh on a long running series, I had a little bit to learn about Jack Reacher. What I have gathered here is that he is one person you do not want on the wrong side of you.With a history of military and military police, Jack finds himself in a predicament as he begins his journey from Maine to San Diego. I love his theoretical mind and how he’s able to think his way out of problems and issues. Almost like foreseeing the future.I also love that he’s not a young kid trying to figure things out. He’s middle-aged and has a few miles behind him. A big guy; smart, yet soft spoken in many ways. A very likable guy.This thriller starts off in an placid way. We get bits and pieces of multiple story lines stemming from the fact that Jack stumbled upon an area where he knew his family lived 75 years ago. But the research showed that to be untrue. His father and grandfather were not found in the census records.That starts a journey that takes the story in multiple directions and intertwining throughout the other story lines throughout the book. With each page you turn, you can just feel notching up, the key up in the story; knowing that something is going to happen but not sure what.In a few places I got a sense of what could be happening. And then in other areas I was confused. I had no idea what the author was thinking. Then a shocking revelation that brought the story to a new height.I have to say I love the way this author writes his story. Short, concise sentences along with small sections within longer chapters make the story interesting and flow easily. You get the sense of urgency and trepidation; that heightened interest within the thrill of the story.Past Tense is loaded with chills and thrills, action, twists, inventive plots, and a shocking revelation that might make you sick to your stomach. And it is so worth the read! I was captured with Child’s ability to write with huge impact and attention to minute detail.While I was a virgin in the Lee Child collection of the Jack Reacher series, I can let you know right now this is not my last book by this author. Past Tense was everything I hoped for in a fabulous thriller and so much more! Looking forward to my Reacher series journey!* copy received for review considerationFull Review - https://amidlifewife.com/past-tense-b...
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    Our itinerate hero Jack Reacher is headed from Maine to San Diego and decides to make a visit to Laconia, New Hampshire, where he heard his father grew up. Before he died, he never did share with Jack much about his childhood beyond the fact that he ran away from home and joined the Marines in World War 2. All he remembers is him talking his father Stan having a position with a tin plant of some kind. While Jack explores family history in town, we are treated to the misadventures of a poor, youn Our itinerate hero Jack Reacher is headed from Maine to San Diego and decides to make a visit to Laconia, New Hampshire, where he heard his father grew up. Before he died, he never did share with Jack much about his childhood beyond the fact that he ran away from home and joined the Marines in World War 2. All he remembers is him talking his father Stan having a position with a tin plant of some kind. While Jack explores family history in town, we are treated to the misadventures of a poor, young married couple on the way from Canada to Boston who end up stuck at a strange motel in the woods near Laconia. Their story interleaves with Jack’s until a point of convergence near the end.It takes him a long time and creative work for him to get past the first roadblock of no birth, tax, or property records for the family. We watch Jack do what he does best, chatting up people in different walks of life, for clues to a mystery, in this case his own family. Someone remembers a Reacher kid who was a birdwatcher and actually lived out of town in an area near the tin factory which no longer exists. Exploring the orchard where the settlement was turns up some ornery people, and asking about why reveals resentment and bad blood over possible water pollution by the plant. Around town he intervenes in a situation of personal injustice, his typical Good Samaritan role which blows up into a line of violent interludes. The scenario of him fist-fighting several opponents at once with a technical blow-by-blow account is a guilty pleasure for me and something one expects from past volumes in this series. Despite progress and diversions into violence, the possibly nefarious secrets about his father’s and grandfather’s past remain resistant until the very last pages.All that I can say about the couple from Canada is that they are being held against their will and that their strategies to figure out their situation and try to escape bears a lot of similarity to Jack’s style of problem solving. That includes quiet courage, thinking through the smallest inconsistencies in what they are told, and the willingness to take bold but thoughtful action when the right opportunity presents itself. Their teamwork was often more pleasurable than Jack’s escapades. And eventually, as we know must happen somehow, they find Jack on their side when it really counts. Giving this couple so much air time was a nice new wrinkle this entry in a series that never fails to satisfy me.This book was provided by the published for review through the Netgalley program.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    First and foremost, my thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of PAST TENSE. Mr. Child has written another suspenseful Reacher installment! Per his wrting style, the exposition is methodical. However, in PAST TENSE the build up is slower than usual due to the lengthy, picayune details. The reader can guess where this first storyline is headed early on and the (albeit slow) and steady build up piques the reader’s curiosity and tickles the spidey-sense, which builds up the susp First and foremost, my thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of PAST TENSE. Mr. Child has written another suspenseful Reacher installment! Per his wrting style, the exposition is methodical. However, in PAST TENSE the build up is slower than usual due to the lengthy, picayune details. The reader can guess where this first storyline is headed early on and the (albeit slow) and steady build up piques the reader’s curiosity and tickles the spidey-sense, which builds up the suspense!Reacher comes into play in a secondary story line, which is quite unique and interesting, involving his heritage via his father’s backstory. There are a few surprises as he makes new discoveries about his family’s past generations. (Thus the title PAST TENSE) . Reacher’s familial quest is well developed, intriguing, and cleverly executed. The pace is picking up somewhat as there is a bit more action!The two divergent storylines converge in trademark Reacher style: heart-stopping, electrifying, accentuated with explosive deadly force. However, that Reacher style does not culminate until the 75% mark in the book! Although PAST TENSE does not have much action or thrills & chills until the last quarter of the book, it is ‘worth the wait’ and ended up being more than satisfying! Reacher’s character doesn’t grow and mature in this installment, yet it stays true to form: help the helpless, cut through red tape and bureaucracy, say good-bye and move on. I will be looking forward to his next adventure somewhere in between his present locale of New Hampshire and his San Diego destination! He always seems to find trouble, or vice versa!
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  • Joanne Harris
    January 1, 1970
    I received this as an ARC from the publisher, who is well aware that I've read every Lee Child book as a proof since the first one, twenty years ago. Some are better than others in my view, and I think this is one of the best. It has the pleasing simplicity of the early Reacher books - the uncluttered landscapes, the quirky perspectives - and unlike some of the author's later books, which try to vary the formula by relocating Reacher to Europe, or going back too far in time, this one hits the ma I received this as an ARC from the publisher, who is well aware that I've read every Lee Child book as a proof since the first one, twenty years ago. Some are better than others in my view, and I think this is one of the best. It has the pleasing simplicity of the early Reacher books - the uncluttered landscapes, the quirky perspectives - and unlike some of the author's later books, which try to vary the formula by relocating Reacher to Europe, or going back too far in time, this one hits the mark perfectly. The tension is beautifully-handled throughout; there are no intrusive sub-plots; the writing is clean and characteristically graphic. This is Lee Child back on form - and all the more enjoyable for that.
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  • Janet Newport
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing for this arc.I do adore Lee Child's Jack Reacher books. In Past Tense, he strays a bit from his usual formula. His ramblings take him into New Hampshire this time, not far from his father's childhood home and since he's not expected to be somewhere else and doesn't really have any solid plans other than heading south for the winter, he decides to wander down that pig trail and check out his father's hometown. But he runs into trouble finding it and Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing for this arc.I do adore Lee Child's Jack Reacher books. In Past Tense, he strays a bit from his usual formula. His ramblings take him into New Hampshire this time, not far from his father's childhood home and since he's not expected to be somewhere else and doesn't really have any solid plans other than heading south for the winter, he decides to wander down that pig trail and check out his father's hometown. But he runs into trouble finding it and has to do some research into the city records. Seems like a slower start than usual, but right off trouble manages to find him (of course it does....). Reacher's story takes a break and about 20 miles away Patty and Shorty's story picks up.... a nice young couple running away from Canada with a very heavy suitcase. It gets eerier and eerier for Patty and Shorty (what is in that suitcase??) They are obviously scheduled to be the next victims in the book but Reacher isn't even aware of them. Bad guys keep getting in the way. Small town thugs and goons.... Rural thugs and goons..... Some imported thugs and goons.... And some really nasty rascals from all across the country. What fun. Remind me to stay away from New Hampshire.Past Tense was a slower paced compared to most of the previous books. A little eerier, too. Reacher doesn't get a girl. He does finally gain a better picture of his father's family tree. The fists kept flying but they were more like appetizers. It took most of the book before the two stories became one. Patty and Shorty decided to fight back and finally they meet Reacher. Reacher finally connects with his father's remaining family. But he didn't get a girl. I don't think he changed clothes either. Patty and Shorty did save their very heavy suitcase.A great read!
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  • Alisa
    January 1, 1970
    I love Jack Reacher. To be honest I'd kind of like to be Jack. His nomad lifestyle appeals to me and with some bonus vigilante action I'm pretty smitten.I hadn't read a Jack Reacher book in awhile. Not because I've stopped enjoying them, but you know, too many books, not enough time. I was super excited when i got this advanced copy and was back in the middle of an adventure.Jack is in the Boston area and decides he's going to take a vacation and head to San Diego for the winter. Of course he do I love Jack Reacher. To be honest I'd kind of like to be Jack. His nomad lifestyle appeals to me and with some bonus vigilante action I'm pretty smitten.I hadn't read a Jack Reacher book in awhile. Not because I've stopped enjoying them, but you know, too many books, not enough time. I was super excited when i got this advanced copy and was back in the middle of an adventure.Jack is in the Boston area and decides he's going to take a vacation and head to San Diego for the winter. Of course he doesn't get far before he runs into trouble. There are two plotlines in this book. One involves Jack's father and some shady things going on in the town he was from. There is an additional plot of some creepy guys who have set up a fake motel to entice people into stopping at. They have a very bad reason for doing so.The typical Reacher formula takes place. Jack finds out about the bad things and of course he's not having it. He meets some interesting people along the way, beats more than one of them up and shuts down all the bad guy's plans. Despite all of the books having the same general formula I still really enjoy them. I like knowing what to expect from a book sometimes and I can always count on Jack to me laugh at some point. My favorite scene in this book is Jack teaching a guy the meaning of consent. It was a classic Reacher lesson. If you're a fan I think you will enjoy this. If you've never read a book in this series you can read most of these out of order. It would probably be best to read book one first so you understand who Jack is and why he does what he does. **ARC provided by publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
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  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. It’s been a while since I’ve read a Jack Reacher book, but one of the beauties of this series is that each one works well as a standalone. Even if it’s your first Reacher book, you’ll find yourself completely intrigued by the mystery of his past here.Readers should note that the book isn’t particularly action packed. Action does happen, but it takes a while. Instead you have two puzzles that demand to be solved. One the puzzle of Reacher and his past. The other the puzzles of I loved this book. It’s been a while since I’ve read a Jack Reacher book, but one of the beauties of this series is that each one works well as a standalone. Even if it’s your first Reacher book, you’ll find yourself completely intrigued by the mystery of his past here.Readers should note that the book isn’t particularly action packed. Action does happen, but it takes a while. Instead you have two puzzles that demand to be solved. One the puzzle of Reacher and his past. The other the puzzles of two characters stuck in a remote location. I will admit that the puzzle of our two stuck characters was immediately obvious to me, but I read a lot and it’s one of my favorite plot devices. As a result, even though I knew what was going on there, I was just thrilled.Child really is a master of characterization and it stands out here. Every character we meet is nuanced and fascinating. This one kept me reading and I simple didn’t want it to end!*ARC Provided via Net Galley
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    There are few things I look forward to more than a new Jack Reacher book and this 23rd addition to the series was not disappointing. You would think it would be because the books follow the same pattern but yet each is as readable and enjoyable as the last. Child keeps the pace moving and I simply could not put it down as I read until 3 am to finish it. There was simply no place to stop because I had to find out what would happen next. Reacher is a retired M.P. who hitchhikes across the country There are few things I look forward to more than a new Jack Reacher book and this 23rd addition to the series was not disappointing. You would think it would be because the books follow the same pattern but yet each is as readable and enjoyable as the last. Child keeps the pace moving and I simply could not put it down as I read until 3 am to finish it. There was simply no place to stop because I had to find out what would happen next. Reacher is a retired M.P. who hitchhikes across the country with nothing more than a toothbrush. If he needs clothes, he goes to the local Goodwill to buy some. He irons his pants by putting them between the mattress and the box springs. He is alone and goes wherever he feels like but he is always running into some situation that needs his help. There is always somebody who needs rescuing and Reacher always does. He is a big man, 6'4" 240 pounds (no Tom Cruise) with many skills and a strong sense of justice. In this one he tumbles into his father's hometown and thinks he will poke around. He discovers the truth about his father's past, saves a woman from being raped, beats up the local town bully, and stumbles onto a cross bow hunting competition that uses humans as bait. Not bad for several days work. I wonder why I like this series so much and decided it is because Reacher is so American. He is like the men who came West on horseback to explore the country. He is a loner like many of our heroes are. He fights for the underdog. He believes in justice. It is like an updated cowboy book. He is someone we can root for and admire. He takes no personal gain. He is someone we all wish we could be. I like Lee Child's writing. It is sparse and reminds me of Robert Parker who also writes about a character who fights for justice. Is there a theme here? This book kept me on the edge of my seat, unable to put it down and to close it with satisfaction. Thank you Net Galley and Lee Child for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. I almost forgive you for selling film rights to Tom Cruise but am not there yet.
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  • Judy Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the digital galley of this novel.Book twenty three in the series was just okay for me. I have been a Jack Reacher fan ever since a friend recommended the books to me and I went back to the first one and caught up. That was quite a few books ago so I have been sorry to see that I haven't liked some of the latest books nearly as much. This one is so fragmented by the dual point of view presentation that it just moved too s Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the digital galley of this novel.Book twenty three in the series was just okay for me. I have been a Jack Reacher fan ever since a friend recommended the books to me and I went back to the first one and caught up. That was quite a few books ago so I have been sorry to see that I haven't liked some of the latest books nearly as much. This one is so fragmented by the dual point of view presentation that it just moved too slowly to keep me completely interested. I was over 75% into the book before Reacher even arrived at the motel where the second story was taking place. Even then the book was almost finished when he finally met the two people involved in the motel incident. To add to my disquiet, I had figured out what was going on at the motel much, much before the author decided to let readers in on the plot. That really shouldn't happen with an author as experienced as Lee Child.I went back and forth in my thinking of whether to assign this book two or three stars, so finally decided it was a three star experience for me. I have to say I do miss having a full Jack Reacher adventure written in the style of the early books. I'm beginning to get gun shy about picking these books until I can read lots of reviews. That's a shame.
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this book. I have always been a Jack Reacher fan and this book did not disappoint. It was hard to figure out what was going on for most of the book. It kept you guessing and I like that. Great read!
  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    Jack Reacher is back! I was so excited to read this book. This series is one of my favorites. Love how they can all be read as a stand-alone. Past Tense is one of my favorite in the Jack Reacher series.In this book we have 2 stories. Reacher is on how way to San Diego but he sees a sign for a town where his father was born. He's in no rush to get to San Diego so he takes the detour to find out more about his ancestors. Meanwhile, a young couple from Canada are on their way to New York City to se Jack Reacher is back! I was so excited to read this book. This series is one of my favorites. Love how they can all be read as a stand-alone. Past Tense is one of my favorite in the Jack Reacher series.In this book we have 2 stories. Reacher is on how way to San Diego but he sees a sign for a town where his father was born. He's in no rush to get to San Diego so he takes the detour to find out more about his ancestors. Meanwhile, a young couple from Canada are on their way to New York City to sell some items so they can make a fresh start. Their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere but lucky for them, they see a sign for a motel. But strange things happens at the motel.Even though I knew what was going to happen with the young couple, I was still on the edge-of-my seat for when the 2 stories intertwine. This book was one of those that really grabbed me from page one and did not let go until I was done. It was full of suspense right up to the end.I definitely recommend this book to all whether you are a Jack Reacher fan or not. Cannot wait for the next one. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for a copy of Lee Child's "Past Tense" in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lisa Cleveland
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to Random House/Ballantine and Netgalley for letting me read this arc for my honest opinion.It's actually been a few years since I've read Jack Reacher. I'll confess that when I heard that Tom Cruise was playing Reacher in a movie it kind of ruined the image. Of course, I first had to spit the vomit out of my mouth, and spend a few minutes cussing. It's not that I dislike Cruise, its just that I think he's human garbage. Oh, dear me! Well, look at my little rant. How embarrassing. Not My thanks to Random House/Ballantine and Netgalley for letting me read this arc for my honest opinion.It's actually been a few years since I've read Jack Reacher. I'll confess that when I heard that Tom Cruise was playing Reacher in a movie it kind of ruined the image. Of course, I first had to spit the vomit out of my mouth, and spend a few minutes cussing. It's not that I dislike Cruise, its just that I think he's human garbage. Oh, dear me! Well, look at my little rant. How embarrassing. Not enough to delete it....Anyways, thankfully enough time has passed, and Reacher is again a very big man. Cruise's 3 foot 8 inches...oh, damn. Look at me go! O.K., Seriously, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the story, and I actually enjoyed the main characters, and was kind of anxious for them. Reacher doesn't always save all the good guys. Maybe its because its been awhile, but Jack seemed a wee bit more cold blooded than before. I did leave this book wondering about the aftermath. Still, once again I'm engaged with Jack Reacher. I really did enjoy this story. It made me tense. When my muscles say "let loose woman," then I know a book has gotten to me!
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  • Trey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 - Good read over all. I loved climbing Reacher's family tree and the parallel story involving the couple is arousing in a slow, creeping burn kind of way. Looks like Child hit the cruise control though, riding the speed limit, while digging into Reacher's past. And I can see where non-Reacher fans would have a slow, almost distant connection to the story during the first half of it. To that point, Child has written better Reacher novels. ... more to follow eventually, maybe, but for now it's 3.5 - Good read over all. I loved climbing Reacher's family tree and the parallel story involving the couple is arousing in a slow, creeping burn kind of way. Looks like Child hit the cruise control though, riding the speed limit, while digging into Reacher's past. And I can see where non-Reacher fans would have a slow, almost distant connection to the story during the first half of it. To that point, Child has written better Reacher novels. ... more to follow eventually, maybe, but for now it's worth the read.
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  • Keenan Powell
    January 1, 1970
    Jack Reacher is doing a little research into his family history. The journey takes him to Laconia, New Hampshire, the town where his Marine father grew up. At the same time, Patty Sundstrom and her not very bright boyfriend Shorty Fleck escape their boring lives in Canada in a worn-out Honda Civic heading for New York City with nothing more than a plan and a big heavy suitcase. When the car overheats in New Hampshire, they see a make-shift sign for a motel and follow the road through a tunnel, t Jack Reacher is doing a little research into his family history. The journey takes him to Laconia, New Hampshire, the town where his Marine father grew up. At the same time, Patty Sundstrom and her not very bright boyfriend Shorty Fleck escape their boring lives in Canada in a worn-out Honda Civic heading for New York City with nothing more than a plan and a big heavy suitcase. When the car overheats in New Hampshire, they see a make-shift sign for a motel and follow the road through a tunnel, then into gloomy woods, and eventually pull up to a fixed-up old roadside motel which is unoccupied but for the owners. The next morning, their car mysteriously will not start.In Laconia, Reacher finds trouble as Reacher tends to do. He interrupts an assault and puts the bully in a hospital. Unfortunately, the bully is connected with Boston mobsters so the local police try their best to shoo Reacher out of town before retribution rains down. Jack, always just a guy trying to get along, promises to leave. Several times.Meanwhile back at the motel, the innkeepers are becoming creepier and creepier. Patty and Shorty attempt various plots to escape, but they are thwarted at every juncture. And then, the other guests start showing up.The two stories intersect in a glorious and elegant battle between good and evil. For me, Patty and Shorty’s story was uncomfortably reminiscent of the Bates motel and I found myself wanting to reach through the pages and shake some sense into the characters shouting: “Have you never seen a Hitchcock movie?” The release of tension was welcomed when we return to Reacher’s journey into his father’s past. It almost feels cozy to follow the footsteps of the giant with a hair-trigger temper. In the end, I enjoyed the book very much.
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  • Viccy
    January 1, 1970
    Jack Reacher is heading for warmer climes. Winter is coming and he would much rather spend winter in San Diego than Maine. He hits the road with his thumb out and decides to take a detour to Laconia NH, the supposed home of his family. Both of his parents are dead, but he remembers his father talking about Laconia; apparently his father was the foreman of a tin mill in Ryantown, which fell off the map during the Depression. Reacher, being Reacher, cannot stay away from a rich young man harassing Jack Reacher is heading for warmer climes. Winter is coming and he would much rather spend winter in San Diego than Maine. He hits the road with his thumb out and decides to take a detour to Laconia NH, the supposed home of his family. Both of his parents are dead, but he remembers his father talking about Laconia; apparently his father was the foreman of a tin mill in Ryantown, which fell off the map during the Depression. Reacher, being Reacher, cannot stay away from a rich young man harassing a cocktail waitress outside his hotel at 3:00 AM and beats him to a pulp. Turns out the young man has Boston mob connections and the local PD is not happy about it, warning Reacher to leave town ASAP. Except Reacher wants to finish his trip into genealogy. Meanwhile, a trio of young men have kidnapped a young couple heading to New York from Canada. For a long time, the reader is held in suspense as to what will happen to these young people. But as Reacher explores his roots and the nefarious plans for the couple come to light, both story lines will collide in a deafening impact. The set-up was a little tedious, but once the action started, it was non-stop. An interesting look into Reacher's youth, with some explosive revelations.
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  • Rhonda Lomazow
    January 1, 1970
    Another Jack Reacher novel that drew me in from first pages.The adventures trouble he gets into the people he meets all these characters all the evil with occasional moments of humor. .Jack Reacher one of my all time favorites.Thanks too#randomhouse #netgalley,
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    5 starsJack Reacher decides that he is going from Maine to California – walking, hitching, however. But he doesn’t get too far. He sees a sign for Laconia, New Hampshire and recalls that it is where his father was from. His dad never went back to Laconia, but Reacher would like to see the house where he lived. After an exhaustive search through country records, Reacher finally finds in the police reports a mention of his father Stan. He learns from the clerk that a lot of people lived outside La 5 starsJack Reacher decides that he is going from Maine to California – walking, hitching, however. But he doesn’t get too far. He sees a sign for Laconia, New Hampshire and recalls that it is where his father was from. His dad never went back to Laconia, but Reacher would like to see the house where he lived. After an exhaustive search through country records, Reacher finally finds in the police reports a mention of his father Stan. He learns from the clerk that a lot of people lived outside Laconia and searches the entire county. There he finds his grandparents and Stan. But someone makes a phone call and tells the listener that Reacher is looking up old records. At the same time, Patty and Shorty are making a trip in their beat up old Honda from Canada to New York City to sell a treasure. The reader doesn’t get to learn what the treasure consists of, but it is heavy. The car doesn’t make it; it is overheating and making a clunking noise under the hood. They coast into a motel with no other cars there. How odd. They meet Mark who fiddles under to hood and now it won’t even turn over. They are given a room that was refurbished and bed down for the night – Mark promising all along that he will call the mechanic in the morning as the phones are out just then. Something wakes Patty in the night. She begins to get suspicious when the door to their room won’t open. It opens easily in the morning. At the same time, the reader gets a view behind the scenes. They are being held for some reason by the four male owners of the motel. Reacher sets out walking the eight or so miles to a place called Ryanville. It is the little wide spot in the road where his father grew up. There, he runs into trouble with an apple grower. He is asked by the police to leave town and not come back. Of course he comes back, for he has plans for the next day. Meanwhile, back at the motel, things are escalating. Patty and Shorty’s captors’ stories get weirder. There are too many inconsistencies for Patty is nothing if not pretty smart. When Reacher makes a visit to the motel, he also notices something not quite right. He sneaks back that night. Then the story gets more paced and it literally explodes into action and drama with nail biting tension thrown in. The ending of the book is soft and nostalgic. At least I thought so. The bad guys in this book were really bad: conniving, manipulative and more than a little goal oriented – their own goals of course. Jack Reacher was himself. That is to say always ready. His motto is “hope for the best, plan for the worst.” It works beautifully for him. I absolutely love his character. This book is remarkably well written and plotted as are all of Lee Child’s novels. He has a way with words and describing situations that are way beyond good. It’s excellent. There were a couple of places in the novel that I questioned, “Could that really happen that way?” But they were relatively minor and I have a tendency to question almost everything. I want to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine/Delacorte Press for forwarding to me a copy of this absolutely riveting book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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  • Tonya
    January 1, 1970
    Ever had one of those days where a simple choice seems to change the course of your day…possibly your life? That is exactly what Jack Reacher faces as he decides to take a quick detour to see Laconia, the town that his father grew up in. One of the things I really like about this novel is the way two separate stories wind up connecting… Author Lee Child is not in a rush to connect the stories… instead he prefers to keep building the reader’s interest and the intensity of each story until they in Ever had one of those days where a simple choice seems to change the course of your day…possibly your life? That is exactly what Jack Reacher faces as he decides to take a quick detour to see Laconia, the town that his father grew up in. One of the things I really like about this novel is the way two separate stories wind up connecting… Author Lee Child is not in a rush to connect the stories… instead he prefers to keep building the reader’s interest and the intensity of each story until they intersect skillfully right where they need to be. I believe this is book #23 in a series, but reads as a standalone as well. It reads a bit different from most of the Jack Reacher novels, but I really enjoyed the chance to get to know Reacher and his family better. There is quite a bit of action in this one, with several side stories that keep the story moving.Hitchhiking across the country, Jack Reacher spontaneously takes a detour on his way to California. He starts out at the courthouse looking for records on his dad or grandparents. Not the kind of person to give up, Reacher tries harder and finds a clue. As he heads out of town to chase down the smallest clue on his family, Reacher winds up stirring up family secrets. Is he in over his head? He really should come with a warning label to all the thugs and dead beats out there.The other major story within Past Tense features Patty and Shorty, two broke characters who wind up getting stuck in an out of the way hotel. Their car is giving them problems so the hotel owners invite them to stay the night and have them over for dinner. What I like is that Patty is really smart. She is observant and a thinker… I am still not sure if I like her boyfriend, Shorty… but the mystery of what was in their really heavy suitcase kept me interested until the very end!!! (I do not think you will guess correctly, as I sure didn’t!) The people at the hotel are not what they seem and soon, Patty and Shorty are definitely in over their heads. Patty starts to wonder if they are guests or captives of the hotel owner. I want to sit down over coffee and tell you all the reasons why the ending surprised me. Since that would involve too many spoilers, I will just say that it kept my attention and I could not put it down. The writing was great! Lee Child is a master at switching from a slow country pace to fast action in a heartbeat! Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group- Ballantine for an advanced reader copy for me to review. As always, my opinions are my own.
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  • Jay Dwight
    January 1, 1970
    By now, Lee Child fans know what they are going to get. Despite being 23 books in, I still get just as much enjoyment out of them as I did with Killing Floor all those years ago.Totally addictive page turner - charged through this one in less than two days! Plenty of action, lots of intrigue. A couple of strands to the story. I guessed where the main strand was heading, but this did not detract from my satisfaction. Reacher also delves a little into his family history in this one. Another fun ri By now, Lee Child fans know what they are going to get. Despite being 23 books in, I still get just as much enjoyment out of them as I did with Killing Floor all those years ago.Totally addictive page turner - charged through this one in less than two days! Plenty of action, lots of intrigue. A couple of strands to the story. I guessed where the main strand was heading, but this did not detract from my satisfaction. Reacher also delves a little into his family history in this one. Another fun ride.
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  • RachelW (BamaGal)
    January 1, 1970
    This one was very different for a Reacher book. It had the kind of plot twists that the reader would find in a Harlan Coben thriller and not the linear plot progression one expects from a Reacher book. Reacher hits his late father’s hometown on a whim to try to learn about his past. This story intertwines with one about a young couple who unintentionally wind up at a remote motel in the woods. The two plots alternate, but don’t come together until late in the book. I would have enjoyed the story This one was very different for a Reacher book. It had the kind of plot twists that the reader would find in a Harlan Coben thriller and not the linear plot progression one expects from a Reacher book. Reacher hits his late father’s hometown on a whim to try to learn about his past. This story intertwines with one about a young couple who unintentionally wind up at a remote motel in the woods. The two plots alternate, but don’t come together until late in the book. I would have enjoyed the storyline about the young couple more if it hadn’t turned out to be such an improbable premise. It was creepy waiting to find out what the purpose was; but once the reader knows for sure the anticipation is gone. At that point the enjoyment takes a pretty big dip, and doesn’t go back up until the climactic scenes of the book. It didn’t help that I had recently read a thriller with a similar plot. It is left for the Reacher part of the book to sustain the load, and it had a rather laconic pace. I will say that Lee Child gave a bit of a surprise twist to the young lovers predicament. They turned out to be quite resourceful. Oh, and Reacher finds out more about his family’s past than he ever bargained for.It was a good read; but I have to say I’ve never read a Reacher book like this. There is little of the expected action and head-banging, and it’s slower paced and more introspective. Honestly, if I found out later that Lee Child had a ghost writer for this book I wouldn’t be the least surprised. It’s that far off the track of the usual Reacher book.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Hitchhiking from Maine to California with Jack Reacher is sure to be the experience of a lifetime in this new epic thriller Past Tense by Lee Child.Along the route we take a detour to his father's hometown of Laconia NH who just so happens to not know his dad.Wait What?!The Present is tough the Past can be darn near deadly!Stan Reacher used the same connection that another marine used. That man was William the cousin.Wow!This was truly an amazing read.Thank you to Lee Child, his publisher, NetGa Hitchhiking from Maine to California with Jack Reacher is sure to be the experience of a lifetime in this new epic thriller Past Tense by Lee Child.Along the route we take a detour to his father's hometown of Laconia NH who just so happens to not know his dad.Wait What?!The Present is tough the Past can be darn near deadly!Stan Reacher used the same connection that another marine used. That man was William the cousin.Wow!This was truly an amazing read.Thank you to Lee Child, his publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this wonderful chance to read this ARC of Past Tense in exchange for this honest review.
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