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Gone Tomorrow

by Lee Child
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publishing date: 23/03/2010
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780440243687
  • ISBN: 0440243688

Synopsis

Book Description
New York City. Two in the morning. A subway car heading uptown. Jack Reacher, plus five other passengers. Four are okay. The fifth isn’t.

In the next few tense seconds Reacher will make a choice--and trigger an electrifying chain of events in this gritty, gripping masterwork of suspense by #1 New York Times bestseller Lee Child.

Susan Mark was the fifth passenger. She had a lonely heart, an estranged son, and a big secret. Reacher, working with a woman cop and a host of shadowy feds, wants to know just how big a hole Susan Mark was in, how many lives had already been twisted before hers, and what danger is looming around him now.

Because a race has begun through the streets of Manhattan in a maze crowded with violent, skilled soldiers on all sides of a shadow war. Susan Mark’s plain little life was critical to dozens of others in Washington, California, Afghanistan . . . from a former Delta Force operator now running for the U.S. Senate, to a beautiful young woman with a fantastic story to tell–and to a host of others who have just one thing in common: They’re all lying to Reacher. A little. A lot. Or maybe just enough to get him killed.

In a novel that slams through one hairpin surprise after another, Lee Child unleashes a thriller that spans three decades and gnaws at the heart of America . . . and for Jack Reacher, a man who trusts no one and likes it that way, it’s a mystery with only one answer–the kind that comes when you finally get face-to-face and look your worst enemy in the eye.


Amazon Exclusive Essay: Lee Child on Gone Tomorrow

My career as a writer has been longer than some and shorter than others, but it happens to span the internet era more or less exactly. My first book, Killing Floor, came out in 1997. It probably sold some copies on Amazon, but not many, because the company was in its infancy then, barely two years old. In that book I even referred to “an e-mail,” thinking I was showing two of the characters to be amazingly cutting-edge and modern.

A year or so later I actually got e-mail, and a year or so after that I got a web site, and a couple of years after that I got broadband, and over the following few years I got into the habit of starting the day internet surfing, reading the news and the gossip.

But it is not until now that I can say that one of my books--the thirteenth Reacher thriller, Gone Tomorrow--is truly and exclusively a product of the internet age.

I started the surfing years in a sensible, structured manner, but I eventually learned that the best stuff comes randomly. I started to follow links on a whim, bouncing from place to place, Googling other people’s references, following the maze, looking for rabbit holes.

I found an anonymous police blog from Britain.

It was apparently hosted by a London copper, and because it was secure and anonymous it was uninhibited. The people who posted there said all kinds of things. There were complaints and there was bitching, of course, but also there was a frank and unexpurgated view of police work from behind the lines. I got there in the summer of 2005, just after the suicide bombings on London’s transportation system, and just after a completely innocent Brazilian student had been shot to death by London police, who were under the mistaken impression that the guy had been involved.

Now, as a thriller writer, I’m familiar with the idea that cops can be bent or reckless. But I’m equally aware that’s mostly literary license. I know lots of cops, and they’re great people doing a very tough job. Years ago I met a friend’s eight-year-old daughter--a sweet little girl with no front teeth--and she grew up to be a cop. She won a bravery medal for a difficult solo arrest during which she was stabbed and had her thumb broken. She’s tough, but she’s not bent or reckless. So are the other cops I know.

So I was curious: what happened with the Brazilian kid? How was the mistake made?

So I eavesdropped while the coppers on the anonymous site were asking the same question. And I learned something interesting.

Their first consensus explanation was: because of “the list.” The Brazilian boy was showing “all twelve signs.” I thought, what list? What signs? So I clicked and scrolled and Googled, and it turned out that years earlier Israeli counterintelligence had developed a failsafe checklist of physical and behavioral signifiers, that when all present and correct mean you are looking at a suicide bomber. The list had entered training manuals, and after 9/11 those manuals were studied like crazy all over the world. And the response was mandatory: you see a guy showing the signs, you put him down, right now, before he can blow himself up.

And by sheer unlucky coincidence, the Brazilian kid had been showing the signs. A winter coat in July, a recent shave, and so on. (Read Gone Tomorrow if you want to know all twelve, and why.)

All writing is what if? So I tried to imagine that moment of... disbelief, I guess. You see a guy showing the signs, and probably every fiber of your being is saying, “This can’t be.” But you’re required to act.

So for the opening scene of Gone Tomorrow, I had Reacher sitting on a subway train in New York City, staring at a woman who is showing the signs. Reacher is ex-military law enforcement, and he knows the list forward and backward. Half of his brain is saying, “This can’t be,” and the other half is programmed to act. What does he do? What if he’s wrong? What will happen?

That’s where the story starts. It ends hundreds of pages later, in a place you both do and don’t expect. --Lee Child

(Photo © Sigrid Estrada)


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  • Fun and informative escape
    From Amazon

    This is a fast moving story. It is intense and educational in many respects. Child is a good writer. It is a tad gory. Good read!

  • Great action book
    From Amazon

    This is an action packed novel pulsating with energy. A fast paced thriller and mystery with a tightly written complex plot, but very readable. Two facets in particular make the book interesting. Jack Reacher and his superior analytical skills. He's likable, sharp and uses his intelligence to apply logic and reason to problems and obstacles. Of course when logic fails he rolls into action. Also, the core of the book revolves around a terrorist plot which pulls in the NYPD, members of the upper echelon of Washington DC and the FBI. Most of the action takes place in NYC, where I live and work. Lee Child has done some great research. His descriptions of the subway system, areas he visits and his general observations are amazingly detailed and correct. Not a book for the squeamish though, as there are some very vivid and graphic descriptions of violence. In Summary the book is a little too descriptive at times, especially Child's descriptions of guns, but this doesn't detract from the overall read. It's an entertaining books with a puzzle to be solved, many layers of intrigue and lots of surprising twists. The books starts strong and stays strong with an intense, powerful ending

  • A one-man army
    From Amazon

    Who needs an army with Jack Reacher around? This ex-army MP can put down any number of well-trained assassins. And amazingly, I believe it. Because I want to. Reacher is the ultimate tough guy, with a mind that never stops assessing, an eye that misses nothing and fighting skills that never fail. The opening scene is a masterpiece of suspense writing. Reacher is riding the 6 train in Manhattan at two in the morning and thinks he's spotted a suicide bomber. What happens next will eventually embroil him with the New York City police, the FBI, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, a likeable politician with a top secret past and a very scary terrorist unit led by a "babe." Reacher has no cell phone, no address, no luggage, no plans. Since leaving the military, he just wanders around, living cheaply, buying cheap new clothes and trashing his old clothes whenever he needs to change. He has just enough money in the bank to go where he pleases and be gone tomorrow. Big, tall and brawny, Reacher can't hide, so he's honed lots of other survival skills. The subway scenes are my favorite. It seems Reacher once spent eight stops on the 6 train sitting next to a crazy person obsessed with the New York subways. This person had an encyclopedic knowledge of the features of every model, and Reacher, the eternal student, absorbed it all. It comes in handy as Reacher evades his pursuers all around Manhattan. The denouement of Gone Tomorrow was so intense, it gave me the shakes. I had to eat some chocolate to calm down. I've read most of the Jack Reacher novels and loved them, but this may be the best yet.

  • A crackling violent page-turner, but also entertaining
    From Amazon

    Jack Reacher witnesses a suicide by a young lady on a subway train. Curious as to the cause, he unveils a complicated plot of world terrorists seeking to retrieve a photograph of Bin Laden. Included in the photograph is an older shot of a current politician running for public office. Using a combination of intellect and raw power, Reacher investigates, punches out several people, runs from the NYPD, the FBI, the DoD, and the terrorists. The end of the book has him shooting, knifing, kicking, and ending the evil. It is a fun but violent roller-coaster ride guaranteed to keep the pages turning. The political overtones with regard to Bin Laden and Al Queda give the book a global feel in spite of the localized action--most of it takes place in New York City. The story zips along as Reacher tries to avoid but at times confronts his many adversaries including the terrorists and local law enforcement. Probably the most fascinating dialogs occur with the politician Sansom who obviously has strong character traits and is committed to high morals while attempting to get elected. It makes for a healthy personal tension. Often books of this nature point to the imperialist politician as being the impetus for the negative events, yet in Gone Tomorrow, the politician is trying to set the record straight and help Reacher achieve his goals. As stated in earlier views, I have often wished for more solutions to the problems than just punching and shooting, but in this story the violence was choreographed from the beginning and found myself cheering for Reacher's success. Accurate descriptions, characterizations, and clear distinctions make for a fun ride as Reacher saves the day. The super-hero stuff in the hands of a lesser writer would be rather elementary, but for experienced writer Lee Child, it works.

  • One of the better Reachers
    From Amazon

    Reacher is a phenomenal mystery hero, and every book in Child's series is so intelligently and grippingly written that I have to choose between 4 and 5 stars. I rate the Reacher series a little higher than the Harry Bosch series [which has more drawn-out weltschmerz], the Davenport series [more vapid], and maybe on a par with the Rain series--all four absolutely great! Child is especially good at having Reacher reflect, finding tiny, camouflaged facts and drawing well-reasoned [if sometimes far-fetched and sometimes mistaken] conclusions from them, sometimes in an instant and sometimes after long puzzling and realizing his own errors. The recounting of Reacher's progressive inferences in Child's novels is what distinguishes them as superb, in my opinion. There's usually a genuine mystery with an initially deceiving nature that requires one or two major perspective shifts before solution, and there's always action and instantaneous reaction, with most of the inevitable torture carried out off-stage. Of course, in any series there's the repetitive stuff about Reacher, about his objects of interest [always guns, but here New York City, too]. There's also a cumulative level of far-fetched situations, characters, coincidences, mistakes by the otherwise competent characters, etc. This novel places Reacher in a different context, of organized international terrorism. It poses an unusual type of mystery, with no clues until stooges from the various sides start giving him the information he needs to start inferring, and he has to change perspective several times. Several of the supporting characters are almost as smart as Reacher, so the battles of wits are a little more balanced than usual. This novel is pretty high on the far-fetchedness meter, but the resultant action usually justifies the suspension of disbelief. So I recommend Gone Tomorrow. It may be a better read for people who haven't read a lot of other Reacher novels, since it depends on outside characters less than average, and repeats some plot patterns from other novels. Child also has some writing quirks that becom annoying after a while: "...if I stood I would be looking about three feet over their heads. Less threatenhing to stay seated. More conducive to conversation. And more practical, in terms of energy expenditure. I was tired." Too tired to think a full sentence. Too tired to avoid predictable rephrasings. And the tighter the book, the fewer the pages. Too hard to justify the $9.99 price. I don't mean that too negatively--I can't think of any series or author that doesn't get into repetition fairly fast. I do think _Nothing to Lose_ was pretty weak--deep down too far-fetched and thus poorly plotted. But the other novels have all been very high-quality. After reading ten, you can get tired of any series pattern, but I find that the Reacher series keeps me reading compulsively and admiringly. Some other reviewers have happily noted the presence of less political commentary in this novel than usual--by which they mean less leftish political sentiment, of course, and admittedly there is some. But Reacher mostly believes in the military, distrusts and denigrates community and the essential contributions of government, encounters vast conspiracies, worships guns, and epitomizes the lone virtuous individual who is the only hope for solving problems. But, of course, that's not political commentary, that's just the way things are, as proved by any John Wayne movie.

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