This is Child's 13th Jack Reacher novel, but the first I've read. Reacher, a retired army MP, is sitting in a subway car when the novel opens. A relic of his past life is vigilance and observation of his surroundings, and he scans the other passengers in the car. The fifth passenger sends warning bells that he attempts to resist, but he continues to run through the mental list of how to identify a suicide bomber. Although logic tells him "no," Reacher eventually decides to act.
The list is interesting in its own right, and Reacher's handling of the situation is also informative. Although there are an awful lot of details about the subway car itself, the suspense is palpable as we follow Reacher's thought processes.
After the subway incident reaches its conclusion, the suspense continues as all manner of government agencies and one private agency question Reacher. Unable to get any answers to his own questions, Reacher begins a personal investigation that leads to several events in the past, the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, and to the possible future of an American politician.
I'll be looking for other Jack Reacher novels, although I do think the character is a bit over the top (he single-handedly outsmarts everyone). The twisty plot kept me interested from beginning to end...and I learned a few things.
Fiction. Suspense/thriller. 2009. 421 pages.