cover image The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel

The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel

Lee Child, read by Dick Hill. Random House Audio, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-1-5247-7427-1

In Child’s above-average 22nd Jack Reacher novel, the peripatetic soldier of fortune spies a woman’s West Point ring in a pawn shop in Wisconsin and decides to return it to its original owner. His mission is interrupted by confrontations with a smug drug-peddling mob boss, tough-talking but glass-jawed homicidal bikers, and a couple of steely-eyed hit men. Assisting Reacher are the ring owner’s worried sister, a tough private eye, and an ambitious policewoman. Keeping the same mildly cynical tone and unflagging pace he has used in previous series entries, reader Hill smoothly covers the moods of his heroes, from hard-boiled protagonist to sharp-witted investigator to empathic observer. He’s equally effective in providing the mobster an arrogant tone; slimy, rural, bullying accents for the bikers; the policewoman’s edgy air of anger and frustration; and a fearful, anxious flutter to the sister’s voice. He also assists Child with a sincerity that adds gravitas to the novel’s discussions of the opioid crisis. Child’s audiobook fans will not want to miss this one. [em]A Delacorte hardcover. (Nov.) [/em]