4.5 out of 5 really. Not sure why I’m holding that .5 out, but let’s say it wasn’t perfect — just so, so close.
On the one hand, this was a typical Jack Reacher novel* — Reacher sees a wrong that needs righting, a question that needs answered, someone who needs a little help, a little vengence that needs meting out, and he takes care of business, period. On the other hand — this was more intense, had more twists and turns, with higher (personal) stakes than your typical Reacher novel.
So, I guess it was a typical Reacher novel — just turned up to 11.
It’s really hard to say much about this Gone Tomorrow without spoiling the whole thing. But I’m going to try a bit: From the outset, it’s hard to tell who Reacher is working for until a little over halfway through the book (I think–didn’t take notes); everyone (everyone) lies to him about all sorts of things — but there’s enough truth mixed into the lies that I didn’t just spoil anything there; the violence (at least on Reacher’s part) is a bit more concentrated than usual, but once it starts…whoa, Nelly.
The biggest difference in this one is the looming specter of various counter-terrorism agencies and entities, functioning in the full protection and powers given by the Patriot Act and so on. Reacher and other characters in this book aren’t reticent to voice their complaints with these powers and the curtailment on citizen rights, honestly, to an extent that surprised me. While Reacher’s not directly in opposition to these agencies (he never would be that), his purposes and theirs do not directly align. Which gives an extra layer of danger for him — if Reacher’s not careful, he can disappear like he’s never existed before.
Basically the only other thing I can say without spoiling the crap out of this is simply: With Gone Tomorrow, Child, once again, shows that he and Reacher are the best around.
* And a typical Jack Reacher novel is a great read, so don’t take this characterization as a complaint.