This is probably one of the best Jack Reacher books in the entire series, even though it's number 23. These books never really get boring, no matter how far you dig into the series, but this one is a step above quite a few other very excellent books in this long-running series, and not a bad book for newbies to begin their Jack Reacher journey as this book is based on Reacher's history, and the history of his family - most particularly his father. In it we get a first hand look into Reacher's incredibly logical mind. couple of lines from Chapter 31 perfectly illustrates Reacher's intelligence and his logistical prowess. - "A yard behond the giant rear tires of the tow truck was a wire, laid side to side across the road. It was fat and rubbery. ...Reacher stepped over the wire and he made sure Burke stepped over it too. He didn't like wires on roads. Nothing good every came of them. Best case, surveillance, worst case, explosions." - Past Tense - Lee Child.
The book begins with Reacher on his way to California from Maine in order to escape the cold weather which is quickly approaching. On a New England road when a hitched ride is abruptly ended, he sees a sign to the place where his father was born and lived for a time. The town's name was Ryantown. He decides to take the detour and go and check it out. At the same a young Canadian couple set out from Nova Scotia and are on their way to New York City to sell a treasure, and they take a detour to keep off the main roads. Both detours do not end the way they were planned, and two separate story lines begin at this fork in the road. As usual, trouble finds Reacher when he makes his way to Laconia, and it dogs him throughout. Trouble finds the young Canadian couple because of a car breakdown in the back of beyond in New Hampshire. The book is non-stop action from beginning to end, and through it all we have the laconic, clever, matter-of-fact Jack Reacher leading us on the journey. Making his readers see everything through Reacher's eyes is what Lee Child does so well in his books. That, and the spare prose, the realistic characters and the incomparable Jack Reacher make any journey with Reacher a nail-biter. Love this series, and I particularly love this book.