Plot or Premise
Jack Reacher is still in the military and gets transferred out of Panama just before New Year’s Eve, 1989. The Berlin Wall is falling, Panama is heating up with Noriega, and Reacher is watching grass grow at his new post, until a General drops dead at a seedy motel.
What I Liked
The story gives more of Reacher’s back story, and it is interesting to see the “man alone” working within a command structure with others. And it is an interesting premise — what do you do in the military when the future looks like you’re about to become obsolete? The supporting characters were good, and it was nice to see Reacher with his brother and mother. At the end, there is a twist about an error Reacher makes early on that comes back to bite him, and it is a great element to keep. The aftermath is kind of abrupt, with who went where and what happened next, but hard to avoid in a “flashback” style story.
What I Didn’t Like
The premise for the story is a little far-fetched, but when they get to the final reveal, the real specific motive is ridiculous as the people involved would never have done what they did, at least not on paper, and not openly. Reacher stumbles around in the dark long past where certain lines of enquiry should have been obvious, particularly for the identity of a specific witness. And the killer.
The Bottom Line
Nice backstory, weak mystery.