With Lee Child finalizing his transfer of the writing of his Reacher series to his younger brother Andrew, the addictively taut “what happens next!? plotting continues strong. The fun part here is that we go back in time to when Reacher serves as a captain and investigator in the military police. But he’s been pulled from his regular duties to join a multi-agency investigation team to look into the suicides/ murders of a group of scientists who worked together decades earlier in India in secrecy on the development of cures for Russian chemical weapons and perhaps on the development of new chemical weapons for the U.S. to deploy proactively in the event of war.
Reacher, usually a lone ranger, joins peers who all view this assignment as some kind of punishment from their superiors as if things go South in not solving the case they will bear the blame. Their team ultimately ladders up to the Secretary of Defense whose CEO wife now heads the pharmaceutical company in which the India had been based.
Tensions ratchet up as more scientists get killed in what clarifies to murders. Two sisters, both martially trained, are out for vengeance for their father who wrongly got blamed for an explosion in the India chemical plant at the time the scientists were in residence. Reacher has to use his brawn as well as his anti-hierarchy smarts to get to the bottom of what’s really going on.
As Andrew Lee fully takes the reins, I’m curious and excited to see his own iteration emerge of Reacher’s determined and rebellious inner self.
Thanks to Random House, Ballentine, Delacorte Press and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy.