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First look: Jack Reacher – the prequel

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Mark 8 November in your diary, Jack Reacher fans, because that’s the day Lee Child’s 21st Reacher novel, Night School, comes out as a hardback.

It’s happy 21st, Jack, because this novel has plenty to bring to the party. To begin with, Child will take us back to Reacher’s days as a military policeman. It’s a prequel to the series that began with The Killing Floor. The year is 1996 – pre-9/11 – and Reacher is not yet the 21st century rogue male that millions of readers know and love.

He’s just received his second Legion of Merit medal and no sooner has the pin pierced his blazer than Reacher is ordered to join a CIA man and an FBI man on a secret mission to Germany. The Army is dressing things up to make it look like he’s going on a training course – hence the title Night School – but it seems he’ll actually be hunting down suspected terrorists.

US intelligence has been watching a house in Hamburg that might just contain a sleeper cell that is part of a newly forming Jihadist movement. Could the three Saudis who are sharing the house with an Iranian, who came to Germany via Afghanistan and Yemen, be part of the nascent Al-Quaida organisation? The Iranian in the house is a double agent, and he’s reported in that a courier recently visited the cell with a message: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.”

Don’t we all? But it’s no wonder the US Army, CIA and FBI are in a spin because if an American is about to contribute to a terrorist plot things are going to get mighty grim and underhanded. What could this American be selling? Tanks? Guns? Explosives? Intelligence? We can’t wait to find out.

You can read the first three chapters of Night School here, or pre-order your copy on Amazon using the button below. We’ve recently reviewed book 20, Make Me.


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