Review: Lee Child, Never Go Back (2013)

Reacher has made his way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the HQ of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. He’s there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.Lee Child Never Go Back

But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to contemplate.

When threatened, you can run or fight. Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.


I had wandered away from Reacher novels, but recently read Echo Burning and now Child’s latest.

I liked this novel and guess it will find more favour among female readers because of the evolution of Reacher’s storyline – there’s a love interest (Susan Turner, who turned up in a previous novel) and the possibility of a love child, a daughter in LA. (Apologies if anyone found that to be a generalisation).

Reacher is very much a black-and-white character – there’s right and wrong and that’s pretty much it. He carries no physical baggage and claims to carry no emotional baggage – and the plausibility of the storyline after 17 previous novels was beginning to wear thin.

I liked this link up with Turner, I liked the atmosphere of the novel, I liked the possibility of Reacher having a daughter, I liked that fact that, unlike earlier Reacher novels, the female character didn’t end up dead!

The Afghanistan storyline was intriguing also, not least because it’s current and was used as a backdrop to reinforce that all the action in the storyline was set in the US, and hence the solution to the plot was also in the US.

Am I waiting for the next Reacher novel? Honestly, if the ending was different and there was some evolution in Reacher’s character, then yes. But, if it’s more of the solitary open road with many broken bones thrown in, I’m not sure what’s in it for me as a reader. Top marks for plot line, fewer marks for character development….

3 thoughts on “Review: Lee Child, Never Go Back (2013)

  1. Mmm, it seems like Never Go Back might be the one to start reading Jack Reacher novels again. I’ve only read Killing Floor so far (although I have Without Fail waiting for me), and found it having a slight overdose of testosterone. From what I read in your review, in Never Go Back it seems like Lee Child was able to create a better balance between male and female…

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