Popsugar Reading Challenge 2020: Book 7

Prompt: A book from a series with more than twenty books

Years ago I met a lovely woman called Jenny on holiday who introduced me to Jack Reacher, and it’s a series that I have read since. I’ve not read the last couple of installments so Past Tense by Lee Child was a good fit for this prompt.

What’s it about?

Loner Jack Reacher is heading from New England to California. Hitchhiking with just his toothbrush, he sees a sign for Laconia, the town where his father was born. Curiosity gets the better if him and he heads into town to see what he can find out about his ancestors – which leads to some surprising discoveries.

Meanwhile, two Canadians are heading to New York when their beat up car over heats and they are forced to spend the night in a sinister motel on the outskirts of town.

The two stories soon crossover and Reacher finds himself with trouble on his hands.

What I think:

Jack Reacher books have a very simple formula.

Reacher rocks up in a small town, stays in a motel and eats in local restaurants and somehow trouble finds him.

In over 20 books there has been little character development- but it doesn’t matter.

It’s action adventure escapism with stories of varying degrees of plausibility. The geography of America is an essential part of the formula as ther is now way stories like this would work if they were set in Britain.

The build up in this story is quite slow. Of the two stories, I personally enjoyed Reacher’s investigation into his ancestors the more interesting. Piecing together fragments from local historical records and memories the story is really well put together.

Patty and Shorty’s story is a slow build up with a fast paced conclusion. The body count is high and as usual Reacher walks away from it all to hitch his way to the next town.

While I have enjoyed most of the books in the series it feels like it’s run its course for me. Author Lee Child has recently announced that he is no longer going to be writing the series and is going to hand them over to his brother to write. Maybe it’s time for Reacher to settle down. It will be interesting to see how the series reinvents itself in the years to come.

Past Tense is available from:

Waterstones: click here

Amazon.co.uk: click here