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Past Tense

(Jack Reacher #23)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  59,990 ratings  ·  4,612 reviews
Jack Reacher plans to follow the autumn sun on an epic road trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn't get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been - the town where his father was born. He thinks, what's one extra day? He takes the detour.

At the very same moment, close by, a car breaks down. Two young
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published November 5th 2018 by Delacorte Press
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Allan Kilimnik I would start at the beginning, and read them in order. You have about 30 different books you can read now, I'm jealous, even though I've read them al…moreI would start at the beginning, and read them in order. You have about 30 different books you can read now, I'm jealous, even though I've read them all. They read really fast, as Lee Child is an excellent writer. No unnecessary fluff writing, which just takes up useless time. Straight, hard, smooth, writing, to move you effortlessly through the story.(less)
Roberta Besides for advance copies given out thru goodreads, amazon, librarything, netgalley, etc. major publishers give out hundreds of free advance copies a…moreBesides for advance copies given out thru goodreads, amazon, librarything, netgalley, etc. major publishers give out hundreds of free advance copies at places like BookExpo and other conferences and conventions. In exchange, the publisher gets buzz. The book is reviewed and talked about. (less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Jack Reacher is back and tougher than ever! And as anticipated, big trouble seems to be hot on his trail…

Once again, Jack Reacher is traveling along the back roads of America. His way of avoiding unwanted attention. Hitch-hiking is a roll of the dice at best, and now he’s found himself unexpectedly dropped–off in New Hampshire. He finds himself drifting back in time to his childhood, his father fondly telling him all about his hometown of Laconia.
It wasn’t in Jacks’ game plan, but at the cr
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone !
Recommended to Paula by: NetGalley
I’ve been reading the Jack Reacher series since Lee Child wrote his first. How wonderful it is after finishing #23 in the series to say it’s definitely one of my favorites!

Jack Reacher, our 6’5” ex-military hero is on a journey from Maine to California and decides to take a pit stop in Laconia, New Hampshire to check out his father’s birthplace. Scanning through records at town hall and researching census from long ago bring him in contact with a lot of different characters - some nice and some
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This is the second book by Lee Child that I have read and I definitely enjoyed this one more than the other which was “The Midnight Line”. I liked the dual storyline which converges later on in the story. However I did feel that the one with Reacher in it, looking into his “family tree” to be quite slow moving and a bit dry. The second story line with the two young people stranded finally at a more than creepy motel was the most interesting in the book.

I like my characters wel
kartik narayanan
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Past Tense is an okayish Jack Reacher. I never felt drawn into it unlike the earlier ones in the series. This could be due to Jack Reacher outstaying his welcome - there are only so many plots available given the context or it could be that with every story, Jack Reacher becomes more and more like a Superman-Ninja combination.

And that is a nice segue into one of the indications that Lee Child is himself aware of it. There were two separate threads in the story which meet only towards the end. A
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Lee Child returns with another Reacher adventure that takes things down some untraversed pathways, particularly interesting for series fans. When Jack Reacher sets out for California, he has high hopes about this journey. However, early during the trek, he ends up having to get out along the road in New Hampshire, where a road sign rattles in the wind. The town of Laconia triggers a memory for Reacher, which he soon recollects is Stan Reacher’s place of birth, a father who taught him the steely ...more
Only for the already-devoted Reacher fans and then.... The challenge for Child on book #23 is that he's already written several books in which the bad guys do unspeakable things to children, are holding one or more entire towns or communities hostage by threats of violence to anyone who steps out of line. He's also written several books in which Reacher hooks up with the FBI agent investigating either related crimes or the targets of Reacher's interest. In order to avoid duplicating these plot p ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh, how I love this Jack Reacher series!

I’ve always felt the thinking of timing, speed, movement, sequences, and assessments was Reacher’s. From previous books, I know Reacher has that internal clock and he just knows what time it is. And he pictures how things work out before taking action. In this book, I began to think that those types of thoughts were being applied to some of the other characters. I found myself wondering if it was because there were spoilery things (that I won’t mention) go
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to Random House/Ballantine and Netgalley for letting me read this arc for my honest opinion.
It's actually been a few years since I've read Jack Reacher. I'll confess that when I heard that Tom Cruise was playing Reacher in a movie it kind of ruined the image. Of course, I first had to spit the vomit out of my mouth, and spend a few minutes cussing. It's not that I dislike Cruise, its just that I think he's human garbage. Oh, dear me! Well, look at my little rant. How embarrassing. Not
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Jack Reacher's latest foray into the world. So much so that I could not stop reading and knocked off most of it in one afternoon. One of the best in the series to date!

There are a number of story lines going on in this one and a lot of characters, some good and some really bad - as usual! Also as usual Jack manages to get caught up in several different issues and has to fight his way out. He also discovers some amazing details about his own genealogy which he takes much more cal
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
A better effort than many of Child's recent stories. 6 of 10 stars ...more
Jack Reacher always let himself get side tracked – the journey across America ended quite quickly when he saw the sign to the town where his father had been born and he’d never been. The quick visit would only take a day – right? Wrong!

Shorty and Patty’s car was on its last legs and they were running behind. They had expected to make New York in the one day – no stops, no costs. But with the day drawing to a close and the car struggling, the sign on a side road which said “Motel” had them turnin
James Thane
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm beginning to feel sorry for Jack Reacher. The poor guy can't even begin to take a trip somewhere without immediately running into a problem that demands his attention and derails his travel plans. The opening of this book finds Jack in Maine. With colder weather coming on, he decides to travel cross country, diagonally, from Maine to San Diego, California.

As is his usual practice, once the spirit moves him, he sticks out his thumb and catches a ride, but it lasts only a few miles before Jac
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jack Reacher has apparently been thrilling readers for twenty years. No one told me. Although this is only my second Reacher novel (and its number 23 with a bullet), count me in as a fan. Reacher is an ex-MP who has taken to wandering the country, heading here and there for the barest of reasons. Well, he likes a puzzle and is curiouser than any ten cats. Along the way, Reacher always seems to stumble into trouble. Here, he returns to his father's hometown and decides to see his dad's old haunts ...more
Terence M
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook - 12:29 hours - Narrator: Jeff Harding, after six chapters, replaced with new copy narrated by Scott Brick.

NB: This review re-written Monday 12 November. See below.

It is almost 1:00 am in Melbourne, 10 November, I have just finished "Past Tense" and my rating initial rating is 3.5 stars rounded to 4.0 Stars out of 5.0. I have some review comments to make about this Jack Reacher novel, but I will need to have some sleep before I commit them to paper. :-)

Addendum - 9:30 am, Melbourne, 1
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 23rd Jack Reacher novel continues the recent trend of strong thrilling entries in the series.
I'd been recently questioning my enjoyment of these, so I'm really glad that I've become hooked on the lone wanders misadventures again.

This has all the hallmarks of a great Reacher story as Jack decides to take a detour to Laconia the hometown of his father Stan.
But he soon discovers that there's no records of any Reacher having ever lived in the area.

In the mean time Shorty and Patty are planning o
Manuel Antão
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Similar Story Archs: "Past Tense" by Lee Child

I have said elsewhere that crime fiction seems to flourish in times of stress, such as our era now. I fully expect more great detective fiction in the near future as it is one of the few genres that can show society from top to bottom: the detective, investigator or whatever, in many of the best novels, talks to both the monied and the moneyless at the same time against a puzzling foregroun
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it

A skillfully descriptive and masterfully intense story with Jack Reacher and a perfect cast of characters.

Jack Reacher is just starting an epic road trip, heading from Maine to San Diego. He only gets as far as New Hampshire, when he comes to a fork in the road. Left or right? He should go left to Portsmith, but the road to the right heads to a town he has never seen, Laconia, New Hampshire. It’s the town where his father grew up. He decides to take the detour to see the place his father
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was about the 10th Reacher book that I’ve read, so I certainly know what to expect from him. The books are quite formulaic and you either buy into the formula or you don’t. He’s the loner who arrives at a new town and happens upon some trouble, resulting in his brutally beating a few people and crushing some bones. There was a pretty high body count in this book, which alternated between the Reacher story, as he researched his father’s background, and a second story about Shorty and Patty, ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I was so happy to receive this as an advance review copy from NetGalley and the publisher as I had never read a Jack Reacher book until now.

Let me just say - it was awful! I was so disappointed. The story line I found very far-fetched on both sides. I honestly kept thinking and hoping it would get better, but so sorry to say it did not. I was not shocked to see many one star reviews when I went to Amazon.

I am not giving up on Lee Child's writing though, and I have a couple of his previous book
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, actually.

Honestly, I'm not at all sure how much I'd like Jack Reacher if I met him in person because he doesn't pull any punches, but I'm certain I'd want him on my side in a fight for the same reason. And in this, the 23rd book in the series, he gets plenty of opportunity to practice his considerable skill.

The story begins as Reacher walks and hitchhikes near a remote and tiny town in New Hampshire on his way to wherever else the wind (or more accurately, any driver who gives him a l
I won a copy of Past Tense by Lee Child in a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanks to Goodreads, the publisher and the author for this opportunity to read and post an honest review.

Despite the number of books that I have read, this is my first one by Lee Child. While it is the 23rd book in the Jack Reacher series it worked for as a standalone. There are two story lines that eventually merge together. Jack is hitchhiking from Maine to California when he sees a sign for a town in New Hampshire where his fath
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
They are all so good but this one is straight out spectacular.

Telling you about the tension I felt reading this one!! I had to stop at some point after about page 100 to relax with some physical work exertions to get "unwound" and to distract myself enough to be able to swallow my own spit. It was creepy, evil terrifying- the premise AND the execution of it.

The premise is one that I've read in maybe 10 novels in my life, mostly sci. fic. but in some YA reads too, like Hunger Games.

That tells yo
May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 23 in the Jack Reacher series published 2018.

5 stars for an intense read.

Jack’s plan was to go from the East coast to the West coast, Why? Because he can.

As luck would have it along the route Jack chose was a small town by the name Laconia. The very place that Jack’s father was born. A place Jack had heard lots of but never visited so now was as good a time as any to catch up on his family history.

It will come as no surprise that all didn’t go well in Laconia. There were a few people who ne
Andrew Smith
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perennial traveller Jack Reacher is journeying down to San Diego for some warm weather, his thumb is his ticket. Early on he spots the name of a New England town he recognises as the place his father grew up. Well, he’s got to take a look at this hasn’t he.

In a parallel plot line a young Canadian couple are planning to drive beyond the same town but their old clunker of a car looks like it’s not going to make it much further. They pull to a stop at a motel and decide to get the car fixed and the
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
4 Jack Reacher is at it once again stars
My reviews can be seen here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...

On the road again
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again
On the road again

Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again (Willie Nelson)

Jack Reacher is once again a traveling man. His goal is to walk from Maine to California (yikes) and so when he travels onto a road in New E
I had been getting tired of Lee Child's Jack Reacher character. When the series first started it was an interesting concept. Guy's career in the Army comes to an end and he hitchhikes around the country. No roots. Nothing but the clothes on his back and a traveling toothbrush. He doesn't look for trouble but it somehow seems to find him wherever he winds up. And he always saves the day. Saves the damsel in distress or some little guy. A hero. Which is pretty nice to fantasize about in this day a ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Our itinerate hero Jack Reacher is headed from Maine to San Diego and decides to make a visit to Laconia, New Hampshire, where he heard his father grew up. Before he died, he never did share with Jack much about his childhood beyond the fact that he ran away from home and joined the Marines in World War 2. All he remembers is him talking his father Stan having a position with a tin plant of some kind. While Jack explores family history in town, we are treated to the misadventures of a poor, youn ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
I admit I haven't read ALL of the Reacher books but I have read quite a few and I do believe this is one of the best.

In this outing, ex-MP Reacher decides to travel from Maine to San Diego and starts hitching a ride. When he reaches New Hampshire, he sees a sign for Laconia which triggers a memory and an interest in digging up some family history.

As only Reacher can, he makes friends and enemies quickly and is soon embroiled in some nasty business (which makes for some very exciting reading.)

Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Two mostly unrelated stories, based in Laconia, NH, that converge about three quarters of the way through to me in a seemingly forced manner. One is slightly interesting, the other an overused and completely predictable trope. Jack Reacher is hitchhiking from Maine to San Diego, and decides to go through Laconia, his father’s birthplace to examine his roots. Very little can be found in the public records, except that it seems that Stan's predilection for justice was passed on to son, Jack. Jack' ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
I am a huge Jack Reacher fan and this book did not disappoint! This book was different from Lee Child's other books and I liked it! There were two seemingly unrelated storylines going on and I spent most of the book trying to figure out how they connected. Also, the plot was not at all predictable and kept me guessing the entire time! Thank you NetGalley for the ARC! This was a great read and I would definitely recommend it! ...more
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Simplistic charachters like Reacher 5 67 Jan 31, 2020 07:40PM  
Play Book Tag: Past Tense by Lee Child - 3.5 stars 2 20 Jan 29, 2019 02:28PM  

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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 pr ...more

Other books in the series

Jack Reacher (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
  • Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
  • Tripwire  (Jack Reacher, #3)
  • Running Blind (Jack Reacher, #4)
  • Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, #5)
  • Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)
  • Persuader (Jack Reacher, #7)
  • The Enemy (Jack Reacher, #8)
  • One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)
  • The Hard Way (Jack Reacher, #10)

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