cover image No Plan B

No Plan B

Lee Child and Andrew Child. Delacorte, $28.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-9848-1854-6

At the start of the relentlessly paced 27th Jack Reacher novel—the third collaboration between the Child brothers (after 2021’s Better Off Dead)—six men meet at Minerva, a Mississippi prison, to decide if someone who witnessed the murder of Minerva employee Angela St. Vrain in Gerrardsville, Colo., poses a threat to their illegal sources of profit. That someone is Reacher, who, when a police officer urges him not to get involved, says: “A woman was murdered. Someone has to do something about it.” The Minerva team’s justifiable fears and Reacher’s quest for justice propel the plot, which charts Reacher’s long journey from Colorado to Mississippi. Most Reacher stories focus on Reacher, the victims, and the bad guys, but this one has two additional narrative threads: a 15-year-old boy runs away from his foster home in L.A. to reunite with his imprisoned father; and a successful arsonist wants vengeance for his son’s mysterious death. The authors sacrifice some narrative momentum with these subplots, but they also provide all the familiar elements Reacher fans expect: the slow reveal of Minerva’s massive secret, plenty of violence, Reacher’s unique approach to dispensing justice, and a thrilling denouement. Who could ask for more? Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary (U.K.). (Oct.)