Jack Reacher (Nothing to Lose, 2008, etc.), latter-day gunslinger and nomad, finds his latest killing fields in New York City.
Reacher is riding the subway, riding it to nowhere, or anywhere, his destinations of choice these days. Having decided that the constraints of military life have slipped past burdensome into painfully boring, he’s packed in a long and lustrous career. Now he takes his missions where he finds them, and he’s about to find a beauty. It’s the wee hours, the passenger population sparse, when Reacher spots a woman seated some 30 feet away who intrigues him—better put, she causes the hairs on the back of his neck to rise. Not because she’s particularly menacing. Actually, most would construe her as a 40-year-old paradigm of harmlessness, but Reacher has become aware that she conforms precisely to the 11-point “list of behavioral indicators” passed on to him years back by Israeli counterintelligence. In short, Reacher’s convinced he’s looking at a suicide bomber. Is he, isn’t he, what will happen if he confronts her? Thereby hangs the tale, and before it’s fleshed out, Reacher will have had issues with an inimical variety: the NYPD, the FBI, an ambitious would-be U.S. senator with festering secrets, a pair of ferocious Afghan ladies, as programmed to kill as other ladies are to lunch, and an extended line of miscellaneous miscreants dumb enough to engage him.
No one kicks butt as entertainingly as Reacher.