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Jack Reacher #18

Never Go Back

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After an epic and interrupted journey all the way from the snows of South Dakota, Jack Reacher has finally made it to Virginia. His destination: a sturdy stone building a short bus ride from Washington D.C., the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. It was the closest thing to a home he ever had.

Why? He wants to meet the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner. He liked her voice on the phone. But the officer sitting behind Reacher’s old desk isn't a woman. Why is Susan Turner not there?

What Reacher doesn’t expect is what comes next. He himself is in big trouble, accused of a sixteen-year-old homicide. And he certainly doesn't expect to hear these words: ‘You’re back in the army, Major. And your ass is mine.’

Will he be sorry he went back? Or – will someone else?

400 pages, Hardcover

First published September 3, 2013

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About the author

Lee Child

459 books28.5k followers
Lee Child was born October 29th, 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment. The first Jack Reacher movie, based on the novel One Shot and starring Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike, was released in December 2012.

Lee has three homes—an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar's Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews55.9k followers
May 1, 2022
Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, #18), Lee Child

James Dover Grant primarily known by his pen name Lee Child, is a British author who writes thriller novels, and is best known for his Jack Reacher novel series. Never Go Back is the eighteenth book in the Jack Reacher series written by Lee Child. It was published on 3 September 2013 in the United States.

After an epic and interrupted journey all the way from the snows of South Dakota, Jack Reacher has finally made it to Virginia. His destination: a sturdy stone building a short bus ride from Washington D.C., the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. It was the closest thing to a home he ever had.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم ماه فوریه سال2018میلادی

عنوان: هرگز بازنگرد؛ نویسنده: لی چایلد؛ مترجم: لادن کاظمی؛ کرج، نشر دُرّ دانش بهمن، سال1394؛ در520ص؛ شابک9789641741800؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده21م

با برداشت از همین کتاب، فیلمی با عنوان: «هرگز برنگرد»؛ به کارگردانی: «ادوارد زوئیک»، و نویسندگی: «ادوارد زوئیک»، «ریچارد ونک»، «لی چایلد»؛ با موسیقی: «هنری جکمن»؛ و بازیگری: «تام کروز»، «کوبی اسمالدرز»؛ «پاتریک هویزینگر»؛ «دنیکا یروش»؛ و «هولت مک کولنی»؛ ساخته شده است

چکیده داستان: «جک ریچر (کروز)» باز هم، به یک فراری بدل شده، و باید هرچه زودتر نام خود را، از فهرست مجرمین فراری پاک کند، و پرده از یک توطئه‌ ی بزرگ بردارد؛ «جک ریچر»، در این راه، با فراری دادن یاری باوفا، به نام «ترنر (اسمالدرز)»، که دچار شرایط مشابهی است، و برملا کردن رازی که از گذشته به همراه داشته، کوشش دارد تا زندگی خود را برای همیشه تغییر دهد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 07/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 10/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Rosemary.
90 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2013
Where is Jack Reacher? Who is this imposter?

I am a huge Lee Child / Jack Reacher fan, and have been reading these books for years, but it has got to the point where I say that this could very well be my last Jack Reacher purchase. It pains me to say this, as these books have been the highlight of my reading calender for a long time.

There were a few times when I seriously considered not finishing the book, but this is Lee Child and Reacher, surely it can only get better? No, the writing was consistent throughout, it was boring and repetitive. The plot was weak, and every solution to every problem on both sides was just too convenient, unbelievably so on many occasions.

Jack Reacher, in my opinion, has become arrogant – he is no longer the Jack Reacher I have enjoyed reading about all these years. This new Jack does things because he can – not because he must in order to survive. The ridiculous fire episode and the aeroplane scene clinched the deal for me.

The ending, and the reason for all the trouble Jack found himself in, was crazy, far-fetched and not what I have come to expect from Lee Child.

I have been holding back on this review for days, but when you take the price of this book into consideration, and what is between the covers, I think it is important that potential readers know that this is not up to Lee Child’s earlier standards.

I am definitely the minority when it comes to reviewing this book – the 5 star reviews are rolling in on both Amazon and Goodreads. Maybe you will still enjoy this book if you are a die-hard Reacher fan, if not, I would give it a skip and rather try Lee Child's earlier Jack Reacher novels – they were brilliant.

Would I recommend this book? No
Will I buy the next book? Not on pre-order, I will wait for the reviews to come in first before buying – if at all.
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 8 books6,913 followers
September 15, 2021
While traveling through South Dakota in 61 Hours, ex-military cop Jack Reacher had occasion to call in to his old office in Washington, D.C, the headquarters of the 110th MP. Reacher once commanded the unit but it now belongs to Major Susan Turner. Reacher decided that Turner had a very nice voice and, on the strength of that impression, he has slowly been making his way in the direction of D.C. in the hope that she will go out to dinner with him.

As this book opens, he finally arrives only to discover that Turner has just been arrested. His old unit is now under the command of an acting head named Morgan. Morgan not only tells Reacher that Turner is in the slammer but that Reacher himself is being charged with two relatively ancient crimes. Reacher claims to be totally innocent and to have little or no memory of either alleged incident. Nonetheless, the acting commander invokes some arcane regulation and informs Reacher that he is now back in the army and under Morgan's command, at least until the charges are cleared up. Morgan orders Reacher to go to a motel and to then report for duty first thing in the morning.

At this point, neither Reacher nor the reader has the slightest idea what in the hell might be going on, but obviously something very unseemly is in the works. Reacher is determined to discover what it might be and so dutifully checks into the motel as ordered.

As soon as he does two musclemen, clearly military men out of uniform, arrive at the motel and tell Reacher to get out of town, promising that no one will come looking for him if he does, and that they will beat the crap out of him if he refuses to do so.

Well, of course, no one threatens to beat the crap out of Jack Reacher, let alone actually do it, and before long the two musclemen are lying comatose next to their car which now has two new dents in the sheet metal from where Reacher has introduced their heads to the side of their ride. The next morning, Reacher gets up and reports to the unit as ordered, which is going to be very bad news for the people who are screwing with him.

It wouldn't be fair to say any more; needless to say the story proceeds as long-time Reacher fans will expect. The conspiracy at hand is deep and complex and, as always, Reacher will have to kick the crap out of any number of people who continue to underestimate him in spite of his size. (He is, of course, considerably larger and more intimidating than Tom Cruise.)

This is one of the better entries in this long-running series and would make a great summer read--or any other season, for that matter. This particular edition also includes an entertaining Reacher short story called "High Heat," which features a very mature sixteen-year-old Jack Reacher.
Profile Image for Linda Wells.
Author 3 books349 followers
September 30, 2019
This Jack Reacher novel continues the series of deceptively simple, well conceived and crafted, and satisfying novels. Reacher is a bit more mature at times but always ahead of the story curve. The plot is timely, and the story is driven by ethical dilemmas faced by Reacher as a result of his past.

I try to anticipate the ending in as much detail as practical, but Never Go Back was a challenge in this regard. Never Go Back is a worthwhile read, even for a new Reacher fan.
Profile Image for Harry.
319 reviews391 followers
September 16, 2013
Book Review
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Jack Reacher is back, in this, the 18th in the series. Like all the others I read this in one or two sittings in spite of the fact that some parts did not involve as much action as we have come to expect from this series. Lee Child's skill in causing one to turn the page is really quite excellent. Completing the book I took a look around GR and touched base with some fellow fans of this series. Although I was going to give this book a 4 star rating, reading their reviews caused me to halt spitting out my own. It's been a few weeks since completing this book and in that time I've had reasons to downgrade this book. In part, due to my friends' reviews, and in part because I let my subconscious sift through the rubble that was my initial thinking.

I believe Child made a serious mistake in this one. When I eat a certain delicacy over and over, one after the other, there comes a time when I want something different. Or, perhaps another analogy might do: you know those cereal boxes in the store, the ones with the horrendous packaging? How long has it been since humanity has had to deal with those impossible to open wax paper linings inside the cereal box. I mean, really! Isn't it time that we added a zip lock to the damned things? You see, right? When repeatedly going through the same struggle, we want some sort of progress. Same thing with series books.

Without introducing spoilers, Lee Child introduced certain plot elements and characterizations in this novel that are quite different from previous novels, elements that could have moved this series into another realm, into something that would cause us to eat another 18 books like pop corn. He didn't do that. He relied, I'm guessing because of writer's fatigue, on his old formula. I'm thinking if L. Child is tired of writing Reacher novels, he could have ended the series beautifully with this novel. Or, if not tired, by taking a leap forwards, he could have transformed Reacher, given us the core reason why he is alone...why he discards human relationships, and in a way forced him to abandon that and bring us into more novels where he might struggle with his former life while living a new existence.

Yes, yes, I know, easy enough for a reader to say "If I'd written this, I'd have done this and this." And in general I'd agree. But in this case, it might very well be a reason why I might abandon this series in the future.

Series Review

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Lee Child

If you feel a certain affinity for the lone hero, a man of principle, of unwavering knowledge and assent as to his own actions, than Jack Reacher's your kinda guy.

Out of all the consequences that arise out of human motivation I do think that the threat of isolation and the threat of death are among the top two motivations that drive humans to do what they do. The Dark Ages, for example, arising out of a religious view - which is at base made possible by a fear of death - is one such consequence and much has been written about this in fiction: Umberto Eco's, the Name of the Rose for example. And then on the subject of isolation, a continuing theme in this series, we have Lee Child's hero Jack Reacher.

Let me preface this by saying Lee Child is no Umberto Eco. This should not be read if what you're looking for is an in-depth, psychological understanding into the human psyche delivered with beautiful literary prose. This is not literature. It is escapist reading par none. The series relies on a certain formula that the reader has come to expect from L. Child. The books are easy to read, page-turners, so to speak. You sort of gobble up the books like pop corn at the movies. When finally a new book is published in this series, you're the first to buy it and you finish it in one or two sittings out on the back patio with coffee (and in my case, a cigarette or so).

The formula consists of the following: a nomad with military experience travels the country. He is discharged from military services, owns nothing but the clothes on his back which instead of throwing in the laundry, are thrown into the rubbish bin when dirty. The nomad, Reacher, finds someone in trouble and he steps in to help. In this process he meets women and gets involved. Once done solving the problem, like his clothes, he moves on discarding everything and everyone involved in the novel's elements.

What fascinates about this series is the portrayal of Reacher. Forget about the movie that has just been released. Jack Reacher is NOTHING like Tom Cruise (probably one of the worst casting I've ever seen, let alone the disgusting need of Hollywood to sensationalize everything it produces). Jack seems to implicitly understand that he is a unique animal/human running around on this planet and that in spite of social conventions, cultural trappings, and whatever conventions and abstractions we allow into our mind in order to alleviate this core fact of our singularity (and solitude)...the truth of it is not something Mr. Reacher denies. Secretly, we only wish we could face life alone as Reacher does. It would certainly lift the veil off love, cure the blindness with which we often enter into romantic relationships - another often repeated theme in literature.

Jack Reacher embraces it. Understands his philosophy implicitly, revels in his physical being, his conventions and values. He defends those he loves (albeit temporarily), those he does allow into his world, with a loyalty bar none while never letting go of the notion that he is alone and being perfectly comfortable with that.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,033 reviews3,550 followers
November 17, 2016
I tried my hardest to finish this book before the movie came out, but I was a couple weeks too late. Actually it could be closer to a month by now! I kept putting it down as it just didn't hold my interest. Couldn't get into it.

I hope I enjoy the movie more than I did the book. To me it was the same old Jack Reacher, saving the world and finding a little love along the way, only to move onto the next town and do it all over again.

I still enjoy the series and will keep reading it. I am too far into it to stop now!!
Profile Image for Michael.
1,094 reviews1,495 followers
October 27, 2013
There is such a purity in Child’s formula, I can’t resist it. All variations on a primal theme of one man against a Goliath of corrupt forces. A haiku of nouns and verbs, of chase and run, the reading of tea leaves like ripples that point to the track of sharks. Brave confrontations with desperados without even a butter knife. In this one our ex-military policeman hero Reacher breaks the mold by teaming with a twin, the new female chief of his former MP unit. Child whets us with small glimpses of their faceless enemy, high in Homeland Security, tracking their moves under code names of Romeo and Juliet. So satisfying to fulfill the dream of a true American setting the world right again. In another year, the hunger for such a hero will likely return, and I will know where to look.
Profile Image for Deb Mj.
450 reviews15 followers
December 4, 2013
More like a 3.5 for me. Much better than the last offering, this is classic Reacher. However, after 17 of these books, I was hoping for a bit of evolvement in Reacher's character or life position. There were glimmers of hope, but in the end we're still left with Reacher on his own, kicking ass and righting all the world's wrongs. I love Reacher, but I have to admit that I'm getting just a little bit bored.

And, not having written a review since "A Wanted Man", which came out after the casting of the Reacher movie, I have to say the movie itself wasn't awful. Casting was horrendous - Tom Cruise is simply not Jack Reacher and I thought Rosamund Pike was just awful - but I thought the movie was fairly well done despite that.
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,034 reviews564 followers
November 15, 2016
Cards on the table. I like Reacher, always have, but I might be getting a bit tired of reading the same story.

I settled in to read the latest offering and at first it was like meeting up with an old friend, it prompted a smile of anticipation as I turned the first page (albeit electronically these days). I like the routine stuff: the coffee drinking, the luggage load of a toothbrush and nothing more, the alarm clock in his head and all the rest. I like the clinically linear way the stories are told. Even when the tale is told in the third person, as this is, the reader is essentially Reacher for the few days it takes to live through the latest adventure. There is no trickery, no clever sub-plot waiting to confuse or over-tax the reader. All this is good... to an extent.

So what didn’t I like about this book? It boils down to a couple of things:

1. I guess (like all Reacher fans) I’ve worked out that the story will essentially be a simple one with one or two elements left to resolve when we reach the denouement – tying up a few loose ends and making sense of all the bad behaviour, essentially. I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with that, but on this occasion I did find the knowledge that this was the way it would play out limiting. It seemed to put a ceiling on the amount I’d be able to get out of this story.

2. Lately, (or maybe it’s always been this way) the stories seem to take place in a very small geographical area. In fact a few buildings and a few roads are mentioned and that’s about all. It’s like a stage play with a limited number of backdrops. This leads to repetition and I found this, frankly, boring. The limitation itself didn’t add anything to the mechanics of the story – there was no hidden significance - but it did detract from the flow when yet again Reacher walked the same two blocks between the same two buildings and saw the same bus rolling by in the same direction. And I realised I’d been here before with Reacher and that I didn’t like it last time either. Another thing with the repetition: he introduced a ‘flip of a coin’ element towards the end of the book that drove me mad! Again, it didn’t add anything it just left me thinking ‘why?’

I’m seldom surprised by Reacher these days. Actually, I’m never surprised. The books are fun but hardly stimulating. It’s starting to feel like Lee Child isn’t trying hard enough, he has a formula that’s worked for him and he’s sticking to it – rigidly. However, when all is said and done, I will be buying the next Reacher book: partly because there is something enjoyable about settling down in the company of old friend but also in the hope that Child can re-create the pure excitement he’s capable of at his very best
Profile Image for Rob.
511 reviews103 followers
October 1, 2020
Book 18 in the Jack Reacher series published 2013.

18 books in and they are still keeping me entertained.
Jack decides to pay a visit his old 110th MP unit. Before arriving at the unit Jack spoke to the current CO (Major Susan Turner) whose voice gave Jack goose bumps. Intrigued, Jack arrives keen to meet Major Turner in the flesh, so to speak.
But what he didn’t expect was to find himself, unwillingly, back in the army and to find that Major Turner is under close arrest. Things get really nasty when Jack also finds himself under arrest for incidents that happened 16 years ago, incidents that he has no recollection of.
There’s nothing else for it, Jack has to escape and take Major Turner with him.
The charges against Jack and Susan seem to be water tight but Jack knows this is a set up and if they are setting him up there’s a good chance that Major Turner is also being set up. But the question in both Jack and Susan’s head is, WHY.

After breaking a few limbs and cracking a few heads a reason WHY starts to emerge.

But getting at the truth is going to take all of Jack’s considerable skill sets. There is a lot of money involved and the people at the top of this particular tree weald a great deal of power and influence.

A vastly entertaining read with less of the overt violence, but not altogether, that is normal associated with Jack’s exploits.

It’s 4 stars from me.

Profile Image for Lo9man88.
130 reviews46 followers
November 4, 2018
It's so frustrating all this moving around and all this wandering, our hero can't settle down , i think deep down he's afraid of building a life for him and thus becoming an ordinary man .
Otherwise i loved this book : ain't no messing around with the MP , Reacher kicked so much ass and i think I'm a little disappointed that Sam didn't turn out to be his daughter after all, it would have changed things drastically for him.
I laughed my ass off when Susan told our boy you're so feral ....
The coolest thing for me was the breakout of the base: it was cold , logical and well timed, it shows the superiority of the Reacher gene ... Of course breaking a few fingers and some elbows in planes was oddly very satisfying. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as i did .
Profile Image for Courtney LaSalle.
415 reviews18 followers
December 18, 2013
Never Go Back (Reacher #18)
Lee Child ☆★☆★

I won an advance copy from goodreads first reads.

WOW! First Reacher novel Ever and certainly will not be my last.
Lee Child did a great job with making it a stand alone novel, but sometimes throughout the book I thought it would have been a little more helpful to read the past books and have a back story. But with that said I was still able to follow on and enjoy this novel.

In this novel Jack Reacher goes to Virginia to Meet Major Susan Turner who had intrigued him only to find out she was not commanding officer anymore.

From there it just gets nutsss
Reacher is the hunted in this book and from what Ive read that was not his usual position. Reacher does everything with such cool calmness (thanka to his military training) I know sometimes he had my heart pounding.

This book was so much fun for me, fast paced, left me on the edge of my seat! And Even a little steamy action added

I would definitely recommend
Profile Image for Stacey.
874 reviews162 followers
December 28, 2018
My first book by Lee Child. I love the character of Jack Reacher! There’s nothing like starting a series at #18. It read like a stand alone, but lucky for me there are so many more :)
Profile Image for Larry.
1,405 reviews76 followers
September 16, 2013
One of the characters in the 18th Jack Reacher book, an army MP major (like Reacher) sums Reacher up economically: "It's like you've been sanded down to nothing but yes and no, and you and them, and black and white, and live or die (176-177)." There's a lot in this book to support that view, but, as usual, there's a few moments that make it clear that Reacher isn't really "feral," as the other major characterizes him. WHat happens to a scared young waitress matters, just as what Reacher admires in a young woman who might be his daughter matters.

Reacher has reached the 110th MPs, the unit he once commanded. It is a trip that started out four books ago. He is there to have dinner with a woman MP whom he talked with on the phone when he was trapped in a South Dakota blizzard in "61 Hours." Meeting her under duress for both of them, seeing her dressed in his shirt when they're both on the run from trumped up charges, he judges that she was worth the trip. That judgment is Reacher in a nutshell: focused, determined, whimsical. How Reacher and the woman major get clear of their situation makes for a good novel in the middle of the pack as Reacher books go. It may end abruptly (it has been claimed by other more critical readers), though the grounds for the ending are prefigured along the way. Lee Child doesn't waste exposition and he doesn't make mistakes about structure.

The first two Reacher books were good and got my attention but the series accelerated with the third book, hit its stride with the fifth through eighth books (the splendid run that started with "Echo Burning" and carried through "The Enemy"—the best four books in a row written by anyone anywhere), and peaked with the eleventh and twelfth books: "Bad Luck and Trouble" and "Nothing to Lose." There has never been a Reacher book that wasn't worth my time, not even "A Wanted Man." All of them mesh together in pleasing ways. I look forward to the next one already.

NOTE: I reread the four-book sequence that I admire so much and am convinced again that "The Enemy" and "Without Fail" are the two best thrillers I've ever read, both as thrillers and as wonderfully crafted novels. I also watched "Reacher, which is a decent enough thriller that isn't really a Reacher movie because Jack Reacher isn't in it.
Profile Image for Edward Wolfe.
Author 21 books46 followers
November 16, 2013
There's not much I can say here. If you're a Jack Reacher fan, get this book.

If you're not yet, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Killing Floor - the first Jack Reacher book. Once you've fallen in love with Reacher, rejoice in the fact that there are 17 more novels to get absorbed and lost in.

This book was a great way to lose more than half of a Saturday. People always ask the same stupid question at work on Monday mornings: How was your weekend? [As if anyone really gives a f* how anyone's weekend was. Why can't people just say Hello when they pass you in the damned hall?] This time, I'll say, "It was great! I read the new book from Lee Child on Saturday."
Profile Image for Lewis Weinstein.
Author 9 books491 followers
October 20, 2015
If you like the Reacher series, this one will suit you fine. Fast paced, engrossing, packed with action ... and even a few tender moments.

A note on Child's technique ... the chapters roll forward, with the next one always picking up where the previous one left off. The story rushes forward and never misses a beat. Maybe that's why so many readers (including me) report reading a 500 page book in two nights.

I would not, however, recommend this as the first Reacher you should read, since there is a history to this man and you will enjoy this book more if you know some of what happened before.
Profile Image for Book Addict Shaun.
937 reviews278 followers
May 15, 2018
Never Go Back was another fantastic instalment in this series and the book where Reacher finally gets to Virginia after whole books worth of delays. What leads him to his old army base is that he liked the voice of the woman that now does his job. If only he wasn’t a typical male thriller character led by his dick then this story may never have existed. This genre does love a cliched character.

That said I did love seeing Reacher having to become a fugitive across America as he was hunted down my multiple agencies for crimes he may or may not have committed. There’s also a major question mark over something from his past and I think Lee Child missed a trick by not exploring this further because it could have spun a whole new series. After all just how long can this one go on... Although I never want it to end.

I am now moving straight on to Personal which is where I wanted to be before my holiday later this week where I’ll be taking the most recent Reacher stories and the short story collection to read while I’m away. Reading these books one after the other has only made me love this series even more and I am dreading reaching the end and having to wait months for the next one.
Profile Image for William.
675 reviews316 followers
June 9, 2018
5-stars, perhaps Child's best Reacher.

I read this straight through with only 2 hours sleep. WOOHOOO! Child, you b'stard! 😊

If you saw the movie first, don't worry. It's a good movie that diverges completely from this great book, pretty early on.

Reacher finally makes it to DC to meet the woman he talked with several books ago ("61 Hours") while he was being abused way out west. As usual, Reacher arrives just in time to drop deep, deep into the brown stuff. And as usual, he is soon in personal jeopardy, and as usual, his sense of justice rides to rescue Turner.

The pace is blistering, confident, controlled. The mystery good and complex with lots of players. There's very good humour and snappy dialogue throughout. Child really is on a roll here! There's none of the over-detailed exposition that mars so many Reacher books. In fact, there are far more memorable quotes in this book than almost any other Reacher.

The plot is very good, and the climax is satisfying and believable.

My notes and some great quotes:

SAW - Squad Automatic Weapon

Full size image

Turner stares at Reacher over a breakfast table:
"You’re like something feral... You’re like a predator. Cold, and hard."
She took her first sip of coffee, slow and contemplative. She said, ‘... And that’s the problem, right there. That’s what’s making me uncomfortable. I’m just like you. Except not yet. And that’s the point. Looking at you is like looking into the future. You’re what I’m going to be one day. When I’m all sanded down too.... You scare me. Or the prospect of becoming you scares me. I’m not sure I’m ready for that. I’m not sure I ever will be.’

Our Jack is such a dawg! 😊
She was everything he thought she would be, and she was everything he had ever wanted.

Another "the guy went down so fast that ..." from Child. Hahahaaaahahaa!
... and the guy went down so fast and so hard it was like someone had bet him a million bucks he couldn’t make a hole in the dirt with his face.

And another:
He stayed on his feet for a long second, and then his knees got the message that the lights were out upstairs, and he went down in a vertical heap, like he had jumped off a wall.

Okay, don't get too excited now. According to Child, Reacher is 6' 5" and about 250 lbs of hard muscle. This is what that might look like.

One of my all-time favourite Reacher quotes:
The car parallel-parked neatly and its headlights shut off, and two guys got out, far off and indistinct, just moving shadows really, one maybe larger than the other. The lizard brain stirred, and a billion years later Reacher leaned forward an inch.

Reacher belittles Epsin with a great mixed metaphor ... Hahahaaaahahaa!
"This is not rocket surgery."

And the old Reacher standard:
‘No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.’

Totally delicious throughout!

Echo Burning #5, 4+ stars
Persuader #7, 4+ stars
The Enemy #8, 5 stars
Gone Tomorrow #13, 4 stars
The Affair #16, 4+ stars
Never Go Back, #18, 5 stars
Personal, #19, 4 stars
Make Me, #20, 4 stars
Night School, #21, 4+ stars
The Midnight Line, #22, 5 stars
Profile Image for Miles.
293 reviews39 followers
August 19, 2013
Jack Reacher is back and don’t worry folks he’s back with his usual swagger, confidence and his remarkable ability to get things done, completely on his own terms and in his own time of course. Never Go Back is another rip roaring adventure with arguably the most iconic action hero of the modern literary world. Who wouldn’t want to be in his shoes? Yet again he takes no prisoners and his no nonsense approach is refreshing, one can never get enough of The Reacher!

Although we come across a little violence, a few deaths and your fair share of bad guys suffering at the hands of our protagonist there was one scene - in a diner - that was the polar opposite and incidentally my favourite part of the book. I’m not going to go in any kind of detail to avoid spoilers but the scene was intelligently written and well crafted,the dialogue was sharp and on point with a great deal of subtlety and personality. I really enjoyed the verbal tennis and the scene proof, if ever it was needed, that Lee Child doesn’t have to rely on Reacher creating havoc wherever he goes just to be entertaining. Brilliant.

The book moves along at a furious pace from beginning to end thanks mainly to an enigmatic leading man but equally to a well crafted and thought out storyline and a sound narrative that keeps the reader keep turning the pages to see just what happens next. I really enjoyed how Child took the story one way and then the next, introducing characters full of depth and flavour allowing them all to play a growing role in the outcome of the book.

For me Jack Reacher books are never about the ending, sure they’re important as one book tends to lead into another, for me however they are about the journey within. I love how he interacts with characters, who he tolerates and who he can’t and won’t abide. He has a wise head on his shoulders does our Jack and he more often than not uses it wisely. Between you and me I do like it when he acts a little rashly, loses control - not that it happens much - and just goes at it, carnage ensues and a few broken bones follow. I’m sure deep down he’s always itching for a fight but he does have an inner strength that reins it in.

Never Go Back delivers, simple as that. From beginning to end it entertains with a crisp narrative, intelligent dialogue and two storylines running concurrently that somehow, magically, gel together at the end to deliver a fitting climax (even though I felt it was a little rushed in the end) to another Jack Reacher novel.

There a few authors out there that will make me stop what I’m doing and lose myself in a literary adventure - Lee Child is one of them. Terrifically taut, Never Go Back will not disappoint.
Profile Image for Fred.
573 reviews73 followers
May 26, 2021
NYT Best Seller #1 - Sep. 22, 2013
IMDb movie review (2016)

The insurmountable & unstoppable Jack Reacher, the “x-military” officer & drifter has a new project in his life.

Never Go Back Movie trailer - 2016
x-Major Reacher of the 110th CO of MP (Commanding Officer/Military Police), wants to meet his replacement Major Susan Turner CO/MP. When arriving Why is he accused of a soldier murder & a paternity suit that he is a father of a daughter, Samantha Dayton(15)?

Reacher finds Turner’s in “pre-trial confinement“ for taking an offshore export bribe, $100,000 deposit. He had no confinement. Did they expect Reacher to bolt so they could do something to him?

They escape & are chased. They must find the military officers responsible on illegal goods transport to Afghanistan & who made the $100,000 deposit to Turner.

They follow Samantha many days to a cafe - Sam asks why first! The paternity suit was a fraudulent “service” to get alimony. “You can’t be dad”, the cafe’s waitress is mom & neither of you recognized each other.

They uncover the murder charge against Richer to cover up, a “trashed” murder crime for a LAPD & “Uncle Sam” mistake?

They were 3 setups & their names cleared. But does it effect the “love” Reacher & Turner experienced?

Great book & movie.

IMDb - the 2 Jack Reacher movies
Profile Image for Bette.
158 reviews3 followers
September 13, 2013
Bob Dylan said, "You can always go back, but you can't go back all the way".I think even the title, "Never Go Back" is a clue to Reacher 2014.I found out about Jack Reacher late, so I didn't have to wait for annual installments until about 5 books ago.I really liked who and what he was, and thought Lee Child was a good purveyor of this huge ex-Marine (MP) drifter, good-guy, Jack Reacher. The books do not have to be read in order, but I was fortunate to read him as he grew.
And, then, Tom Cruise got a notion in his head that HE was Jack Reacher, and bought up a bunch of movie rights. Many of us repeated the sentiment that Lee Child used when we all went apoplectic over this bad news, and that is:: I know Jack Reacher, and Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher.:: Lee Child defended his bank roll with a retort that NObody in Hollywood is Jack Reacher. I beg his pardon, because I know of some women who are much more Jack Reacher than Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise is not someone that Reacher would even like, and if Tom Cruise really did read the books (and not a movie treatment), he would know that. Lee Child put Reacher out for movie rights in the very beginning, and no one was biting - until 2005, when Cruise bought the rights to all of the Reacher books.
What a betrayal. Lee Child took the very low road. Now, he's just pimping a bunch of meaningless words and instructions to Reacher, as if he is going to change Reacher into a Tom Cruise type. There are some nuances about Reacher, that are part of the package of who he is, that are missing, or misleading in this latest book. This is definitely not the Reacher we've known. It is easy to see how his character was being disassembled and modified.
I gave my first rating - very low - based on these personal politics, and with prejudice, and that was unfair, so I've edited my original ranting and thrashing, and re-scored.
Profile Image for Subroto.
212 reviews25 followers
September 2, 2013
So the 2013 Reacher book is finally out !!!

Disclaimer : I am a Jack Reacher Fan Bitch.

So what are the good things which you can look forward to ?

Reacher fighting men "with both his hands behind his back", Reacher disabling 2 of his trackers inside a passenger cabin of a commercial airline and no one noticing and Reacher telling you how West Virginia is basically one big ATM. - that's all there and much more !

In short this book is as Reacheresque as it can be.

This is Classic Reacher + in my opinion a lot of make-me-into-a-movie-thrown-in.

The part of the description of his physique in Reacher's own words begging to be an introductory shot of Reacher -" "an extreme mesomorph physique, with a six-pack like a cobbled city street, and a chest like a suit of N.F.L. armor, and biceps like basketballs, and subcutaneous fat like a Kleenex tissue."

There is a certain element of romance in the "bad guys" - making space for a good villain on screen. Reacher returns to his promiscuous ways after a gap of 1 - 2 novels( sorry if i lost my count there) - giving you a chance to cast a "hot" partner for our man Reacher and finally the story throws in a lot of emotional content - very very unlike Reacher and very very Box Office Stuff.

Without passing of any of the story / spoilers - there is a part of the story (deep emotional angle mentioned above) and some other scenes which could disappoint a typical Reacher fan not used to it (did to me) - but this is not a major irritant to enjoying this book. I remember slowing down considerably between 40 and 60% of the book - but then it again thankfully reconnects by the 70% mark and makes for a good fast page turning read - the kind you expect from a Reacher book.

Again I might be biased being a Reacher fan - but this was not disappointing at all.

A good book again Mr Child - congratulations !
Profile Image for Mark.
Author 8 books12 followers
September 15, 2013
Never Go Back (A Jack Reacher novel) by Lee Child

I hate to say it … but after 18 books, Reacher is starting to suffer from the Spenser Syndrome: a great character that is becoming redundant.

Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels were phenomenal books until about #14 … then trouble seeps in. And the more Spenser’s main squeeze, Susan Silverman, is involved in the story, the worse it is.

Same with Child. Reacher is one of the most interesting characters but over the last few novels, (particularly with the recent stand-alone short e-books) Child has seemed to be grasping. When you start going back to the character’s childhood, things are starting to jump the shark. It’s the TV sit-com rule … introduce a baby when you’ve run out of ideas.

The storyline of “Never Go Back” pushes incredulity (even for a Reacher book), and the final dissolution of the plot is … well, lame. They even introduce a baby – a sub-plot about Reacher having father a child 14 years before - that is hard to believe, particularly when the 14-year old kid acts like a 35 year old war veteran.

Here’s hoping that in his next book Reacher runs into Susan Silverman, kills her and Spenser and Hawk vow revenge. The three have a showdown in which all of them die.
Profile Image for Rex Fuller.
Author 4 books170 followers
December 4, 2013
This is good Reacher, almost as good as the first few. If you are new to the series read them in order, but if this one is somehow on your list first it does stand on its own. He returns to his old HQ near Arlington Cemetery to see the new CO, because she is a woman whose voice he liked on the phone. He finds she is in confinement awaiting trial on nebulous charges. Then the Army begins prosecuting him for a murder that happened sixteen years ago. He breaks them both out of jail and the bulk of the story happens in LA where they investigate the cases and a paternity allegation against Reacher. Army pursuers have the help of highly placed figures who seem able to get any kind of information on them almost instantly. There is a flaw I'll mention: what ends up being the true motive behind everything is one that would have occurred to Reacher and the good guys but isn't mentioned until the last few pages. This doesn't diminish the overall enjoyment.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,654 reviews702 followers
October 22, 2013
Eighteenth in the Jack Reacher suspense series. This story starts in Washington D.C.

My Take
Reacher is definitely an odd duck, out of step with the majority of society with his preference for his aloneness. I was going to say lonely life, but he’s not. He’s quite happy to be a rolling stone, and I have to admit that I worry about him. I know. He’s fictional. And I do worry what’ll happen to him as he gets older, less able to swing those mighty, meaty arms.

It’s certainly one way to know if your character is hitting the mark, LOL.

Story-wise, it started out ham-handed, heavy with suspicious encounters. Reacher being himself, there’s no way he’ll back down now. And it’s a very confusing start. It takes a page before we find out where he is, but still with no idea why anyone is dumping him in a crappy motel room or why he’s being harassed. On the plus side, I suppose this does help us understand Reacher’s mindset, having us as confused as he must be with the parking lot encounter.

Someone should’a done their homework. I think Child should have done his homework as well. Reacher is finally in Virginia to meet Susan whom he met in 61 Hours , 14, and there have been three books in between 61 Hours and this one. Not a big deal, you think? Well, Child gave me the impression later in Never Go Back that it had been a few days between the call and now. Nuh-uh, it’s a few days between 61 Hours and Worth Dying For , 15. Okay, Affair , 16, is actually a prequel for the series in chronological time. Then A Wanted Man , 17, picks up right after Worth Dying For , 17, and must take a few days. Compared to the timeline as to what happens to Susan in this one...nope, just doesn’t work for me.

Lord, I do love the analyses we get when Reacher is planning his moves. Do all fighters think this way? I’m curious.

I do love it. Reacher follows the letter of the law, in his own way, and until he decides to “re-write” that law.

What is with those lawyers?? Aren’t they supposed to at least pretend to believe their clients? If this is how the military “helps” their own, god help ‘em. No due process. No investigations. Makes ya wonder how closely or fantastical this is to real life...scary…

Oh, oh, I love it. Morgan’s recalling Reacher is gonna bite him bad, and I love that Reacher takes full advantage. Lord knows someone has to take the reins!

Child racks up the tension and my anger and frustration. Arghhh. The biggest problem with it is that you can see the opposition’s point, how they can think what they do. After all, isn’t that what all criminals say: not me?

It’s pure Reacher after they throw him in jail. It’s not where he wants to be, and not where he wants Susan. So, just like that...they’re gone.

I love how Reacher pulls it together. Tiny details that don’t escape his notice. Details that add up to some mighty big questions.

I do not love the ending. Yeah, it was justice, but why would they do this? They’ve pulled so much else together, why do they just give up?

The Story
It’s bullshit. Absolute bullshit. Reacher’s been recalled, and they’ve given him two lawyers to defend him. Lawyers who refuse to defend him, and he’s stuck with them. Now it looks like he’ll need a third for that assault rap the D.C. cops want to throw at him. As for Major Turner...she’s incommunicado. In jail and refusing to speak to Reacher.

Well, there’s only one thing to do, and it’s Reacher at his finest, LOL.

The Characters
Jack Reacher has been roaming the U.S. for years now. Righting wrongs, fighting the good fight, and some bad. He’s a superman with a strong sense of justice, and right now he’s aching to meet the woman behind the voice whom he “met” over the phone in 61 Hours , 14. Major Helen Sullivan is the lawyer assigned to “defend” Reacher for the Rodriguez charge. Captain Tracy Edmonds works with HRC, and she’ll “defend” Reacher on the Dayton charge. Captain Don Granger was with the 135th MP. General Leon Garber went to bat for Reacher.

Major Susan Turner is that voice as well as the commanding officer for the 110th MP Special Unit, the group that Reacher originally put together. And she’s been disappeared. Sergeant Leach is the sympathetic one. Colonel Moorcroft is Turner’s lawyer; Colonel Temple is the replacement lawyer. Natty Weeks and Duncan Edwards are the men in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Colonel Morgan is temporarily in command at the 110th. He’s a troubleshooter sent in to clear up messes. Uh-huh… Captain Weiss is on duty at Fort Dyer. Warrant Officer Pete Espin is with the 75th MP.

Detective Podolski of the Metro PD is investigating the beating. Crew Scully is Deputy Chief of Staff with the Department of Defense. His best friend is the army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Gabriel Montague.

Juan Rodriguez, a.k.a., Big Dog, has died and the army claims it’s Reacher’s fault. Martin Ballantyne is a disbarred lawyer, the Dog’s lawyer back in the day. Candice Dayton is another “victim” of Reacher’s along with her daughter, Sam. I do like Sam; she’s quick, fearless, very precise, and very observant. Arthur runs the diner where Sam eats a lot of her meals.

Romeo and Juliet are working together to bring Reacher and Turner down. And they’re totally baffled by this one-man wrecking crew, LOL. A.M. 3435 is the code name of an informant in Afghanistan, which, naturally, Reacher just has to play with mathematically, *grin*. Active duty soldiers in a logistics battalion in Fort Bragg: Paul Lozano ends up with finger issues, Ronald David Baldacci has elbow problems, Jason Rickard’s problems are more permanent, and Staff Sergeant Ezra Shrago has hexadecimal ears.

Billy Bob Claughton won’t be needing his ‘Vette anymore, but his cousins disagree.

Emal Golam Zadran is a family failure who managed to get caught at just the right time. For himself. Emily is a talented hook...er, actress, who helps them out.

The U.S. Army’s Fort Dyer has been merged with the Marines and houses high-status prisoners. Dove Cottage is a private club. Rock Creek is where the 110th is stationed in D.C.

The Cover
The cover is pretty with its turquoise waters and yellow highlights as a drop of water disturbs the reflection of the Senate building in the waters of the Potomac.

The title is odd as it seems to echo that old saying about how you can’t go home again. But while Reacher is going back to his old stomping grounds, I didn’t get the impression that he saw the place as home. It was instead an opportunity to meet a woman to whom he was attracted. So, I’m clueless. I’m not sure what Never Go Back is supposed to be about.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,800 followers
August 31, 2018
You know, over time I've read quite a few of the Reacher books now. I read them in groups of 2 or 3 at a time. I've commented before on why that is.

This one is a good read and I decided to go all 5 stars. The books run a gamut from excellent to...oh well better luck next time". This one? As I said, I liked it.

Here Jack is post military (some books take place while he's still an MP Major [or captain whatever] some after he's...well not military). He has had occasion to talk to the new commander of his old outfit (the 110th Military Police) and he liked her voice. So, being Jack (I mean Reacher...everyone calls him Reacher) he decides to travel across the entire country and ask her out (at least he did wear semi-clean clothes when he went to meet her this time).

The thing is that when he gets there...to the old office he remembers so well, the new commander (Major Susan Turner) has been relieved of command, locked away in a cell and there are charges pending against Jack (Reacher). These are charges from 15 years ago. Jack points out that the military has no jurisdiction over a civilian, and he's promptly reinstate into the Army at his old rank (Major Reacher) and placed under arrest.

At least Reacher is confined to a grade triple D motel room instead of a cell...at first.

From there we launch off into another farfetched but enjoyable Jack Reacher adventure as he (and Major Turner of course) unravel a major (no pun intended there) conspiracy.

Look this is a good story. There are still the logical inconsistencies that plague this series for me but I suppose that I've read so many now that I've beefed up my suspension of disbelief muscles. If you like good fast moving action thrillers this will probably not disappoint.

By the way this is the book the last Reacher movie with Tom Cruise was loosely based on. The movie isn't bad either so enjoy both. Good brain candy.
Profile Image for Salamon.
80 reviews33 followers
October 25, 2022
"هرگز برنگرد" هجدهمین کتاب از مجموعه‌ی جک ریچره که میخونم ولی این اولین باره که چند خطی درباره‌ی یکیشون می‌نویسم. اول بگم که این کتاب‌ها برای من حکم یک فیلم اکشن رو دارن که صرفاً برای سرگرمی و به سرعت بلعیده میشن. ولی خب قهرمان این مجموعه به غیر از قلچماق بودن اهل تفکر و حل معما هم هست و خلاصه یک ارتش تک نفرست که علاوه بر اینکه باید نقش استراتژیست رو بازی کنه، باید تا حد زیادی بازوی اجرایی ماجراجویی‌هاش هم باشه و نمیشه اون را کاملاً به ژانر اکشن تقلیل داد.

بر اساس این مجموعه تا جایی که من خبر دارم تا حالا دو فیلم سینمایی مربوط به دو جلد از کتاب ساخته شده و یک فصل از یک سریال که کتاب اول مجموعه رو به تصویر می‌کشه. در هر دو فیلم سینمایی تام کروز در نقش ریچر ظاهر میشه که گرچه با قد و قوارش اصلاً همخوانی نداره ولی به خاطر کیفیت بازی کروز برای من قابل‌قبول بودن به ویژه فیلم اول. دومین فیلم بر اساس همین جلد هجدهم ساخته شده که بعد از خوندن کتاب متوجه شدم فرق‌های اساسی بین این دو وجود دارن. باز هم طبق معمول من کتاب رو ترجیح میدم هرچند در اون ابعاد اتفاقات کوچک‌تر از فیلم باشن و صحنه‌های مبارزه کم‌فروغ‌تر.

خلاصه‌ی داستان اینه که جک ریچر سرگرد بازنشسته‌ی ارتش و مسافر دائمی جاده‌ها که یکجانشینی رو در تضاد با آزادی می‌بینه به دلایلی که بیشتر به کنجکاوی و هوس تنه میزنن تصمیم می‌گیره سری به محل یگان صد و دهم پلیس ارتش که سابقاً کنترلش رو بر عهده داشته بزنه و با افسر زنی که در حال حاضر فرمانده‌ی یگانه آشنا بشه. در بدو ورود متوجه میشه که براش فرش قرمز پهن نکردن و وارد چند ماجرای پردردسر حقوقی میشه که ظاهرا به گذشتش مربوط میشن. در این مسیر مثل همیشه باید همراه با حل معما، برای دفاع از خودش بدن‌هایی رو در هم بشکنه.

کتاب مثل همیشه در اکثر مسیر حس تعلیق و هیجان قابل‌قبولی رو حفظ میکنه و اگه خوندن هر چیز جدی‌تری تو این روزای توفانی اذیتتون میکنه، این میتونه برای اندک‌زمانی شما رو به دنیای دیگه‌ای ببره.
Profile Image for Steve.
916 reviews134 followers
November 16, 2018
Sporadically ... not terribly quickly or methodically ... working my way through the series ... with, albeit, decreasing enthusiasm....

I was far more taken with some of the earlier books in the series (particularly the first one) - they fell right into my travel reading sweet spot (didn't require too much concentration, the pages kept turning, etc.) - and the travelogue (drifter) and military aspects appealed to me..., yet now I find that the gaps between when I reach for the next installment - in terms of months and number of books in between - continues to expand... But I will probably stick with it, since I've invested this much up to this point.... I continue to find the series surprisingly uneven (OK, there were a couple of legitimate stinkers in there), but my reaction to this one was rather neutral - not one of the best, not one of the worst - but it definitely felt like a book written by an author than knows that his loyal audience will consume whatever he dishes out....

Also, this was one of the two books already made into a movie ... and I admit that I saw both movies ... like the books, it passes time on long plane rides.... (Not sure either would merit paying to see in a theater, but that's another story.) Tom Cruise is mind-blowingly poorly cast as the protagonist, but the movies are fun action flicks nonetheless... I can't say that knowing some of the story made the book any more or less enjoyable, but I was intrigued by the liberties the movie-makers took and the changes they made (although I can't say I understood why they did so).
Profile Image for Matt.
813 reviews
October 18, 2022
Reacher leaves South Dakota and goes back to Virginia and the 101st for a visit- because he liked the way their new Commanding Officer sounds on the phone and wants to meet her. But when he arrives she's been arrested because "she took a bribe". At the same time he finds out he's under investigation for things that took place while he was in the Army 16 years prior. Coincidence? For that reason Lt. Colonel Morgan (the temporary 101st CO) recalls him to active duty- then arrests him. Thus another great Reacher adventure begins.

The book cover had Tom Cruise's picture on it so this one has been made into a movie. As an aside- Tom Cruise is the ultimate miscast as Jack Reacher. Reacher at 6'5" and Cruise at 5'7".... that may go down as one of the worst choices in the history of the movies. The new Reacher series by Amazon does a much better casting job.

I could not put this one down and read it deep into the night to finish it- way past my bedtime. My lack of sleep this morning is due to the fine writing and storytelling by Lee Child.
Profile Image for Mike.
1,107 reviews150 followers
December 31, 2013
Never Go Back gets 3 Stars. A better book than his last one but I have to agree with another reviewer-Reacher is starting to get a little boring. He really doesn't change with the passage of time. This story revolves around his return to his 110th MP command, now led by another Major...definitely better looking than him but just as tough-minded. The plot is not as good as some of his other work, involving a conspiracy of individuals at the highest levels of the Pentagon and in Afghanistan. Reacher is just as tough as ever. I still fail to understand how Tom Cruise can play this character in the movies. Totally wrong. But Lee Child is simply amazing in his ability to capture American culture, both civilian and military.
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