Jack Reacher pokes a head into his old D.C. office, and things promptly go ballistic.
Reacher wants to get a gander at Maj. Susan Turner, his successor as head of the 100th Military Police Special Unit. But she’s been sent to Afghanistan, he’s told, and he’ll have to deal with her temporary replacement, Lt. Col. Morgan. Morgan’s idea of dealing with Reacher is to accuse him of beating Juan Rodriguez to death 16 years ago and shortly afterward fathering Samantha, a 14-year-old whose mother, Candice Dayton, is now looking for child support. To make sure Reacher doesn’t run off, as he’s certainly wont to do (A Wanted Man, 2012, etc.), Morgan recalls him to active Army service and restricts him to a five-mile radius surrounding the building. Naturally, things promptly get worse. A pair of thugs offer to beat Reacher to a pulp if he doesn’t go AWOL. Maj. Turner turns out to be in jail, not Afghanistan. And when her lawyer, Col. Moorcroft, is beaten into a coma a few hours after one of Reacher’s own lawyers—Capt. Helen Sullivan, the one handling the Rodriguez charge—witnesses Reacher’s fraught meeting with Moorcroft, Reacher is escorted to an adjoining cell in the same building. But Reacher, never one to let temporary reversals get him down, escapes from jail, taking Turner with him, and sets out to escape the District, rustle up some cash and some wheels, elude the two thugs (now four) who remain in hot pursuit, and hightail it to LA to satisfy himself as to whether Samantha Dayton really is his daughter. Any questions?
For the pure pleasure of uncomplicated, nonstop action, no one touches Reacher, who accurately observes that “I trained myself...to turn fear into aggression.”