The Midnight Line

The Midnight Line

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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"[Jack] Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not? So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness. The deeper Reacher digs, and the more he learns, the more dangerous the terrain becomes. Turns out the ring was just a small link in a far darker chain. Powerful forces are guarding a vast criminal enterprise. Some lines should never be crossed. But then, neither should Reacher."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: ©2017.
New York :, Delacorte Press,, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017.
ISBN: 9780399593505
9780399593482
0399593489
Characteristics: 368 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Summary: "[Jack] Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not? So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness. The deeper Reacher digs, and the more he learns, the more dangerous the terrain becomes. Turns out the ring was just a small link in a far darker chain. Powerful forces are guarding a vast criminal enterprise. Some lines should never be crossed. But then, neither should Reacher."-- Provided by publisher.
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c
chilidog12
May 30, 2018

this is besides the first jack reacher you read... is by far the best

w
wildct2003
Apr 16, 2018

I think this is one of Reacher's worst adventures: an ok read, but the bad guys seem more like 2-bit hoods than anything else.

k
KRandbarr
Apr 15, 2018

One of his best!! And they'll all good...

t
talk2terih
Mar 31, 2018

I liked this book, actually rather more than I usually like the Reacher tales. The fights were still part of the story, but it was a story that contained fights, not a series of fights strung together by a story.

I don't know if Childs is moving in a different direction with Reacher or if this was a one off, but either way, I enjoyed it.

Great job in describing Wyoming and the Western mentality. He included a number of details and reactions that are common to the area and often missed by writers who have not spent much time in the Rockies and their surrounding land.

7
7626dee
Mar 12, 2018

Best book in a long time in the Reacher series. Child is starting to have a discernible theme to his stories in this case the horrible treatment of our maimed and wounded warriors by an uncaring nation/political system. Always ready to throw them into the fray never ready to give a damn about them. Pentagon is equally at fault as these are their people and must be protected/cared for, forever if necessary that is the debt owed and the contract assumed.

d
Dreamstime
Feb 26, 2018

Shockingly boring and ridiculously unrealistic. I think Child wrote this for the paycheck. Even Tom Cruise could not redeem this disappointing story.

dustbunny53 Feb 20, 2018

The best Jack Reacher novel in quite a while. Keep 'em comin'.

4
4536o
Feb 16, 2018

Agree with the comments that this book gets back on track--the last few, following Never Go Back, have been peculiar or worse. One area in which Child excels (beyond gratuitous violence, of course) is his portrayal of physical settings. Here he created a fictional Wyoming environment that is fully palpable--you feel as if you'd really been there. (And in fact, I HAVE been there: Mule Crossing is actually Tie Siding, Wyoming, where I also went into the flea market to ask directions, just like our Jack. Child's depiction is right-on, other than suggesting a lot more trees and topography than can be found along the actual dirt road off to the west). In addition, Child viscerally portrays addiction from the addict's perspective. Never really understood how it must feel until reading this. And as a final closure: the image of Arthur Scorpio tumbling inside a clothes dryer turned on high is indelible.

j
jazpur
Feb 10, 2018

Yes, it is Lee Child's Jack Reacher formula yet again.Cliches abound both in language, people and situations but... I think Lee Child in this one feels duty bound to give an insight into the sad fates of those veterans of the wars the US has participated in who have fallen through the cracks on their return home The underlying theme of neglect and drug dependency hidden in small town mid west America is handled well.Not for the squeamish or anyone looking for a light touch and an entertaining read but an informed commentary indicative of the current state of the world in general and USA in particular..

b
bill556
Feb 10, 2018

Finally, Chlid returns to writing a decent Reacher tale.
As Jack ages, it seems he maims & kills fewer in his adventures.
And we learn what female feature charms him the most.

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

She had written, “You’re like New York City. I love to visit, but I could never live there.”
===

There had been Iraq, and there had been Afghanistan:2005 had been a tough year to graduate.
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People donate things and take the deduction. Mostly old cars and boats. But other things too. The guy gives them an inflated receipt for their tax returns, and then he sells the things he gets wherever he can, for whatever he can, and then he cuts a check to the charity.
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Reacher put his left fist on the table. The size of a supermarket chicken. Long thick fingers with knuckles like walnuts.
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He had seen elbows and feet, and he improvised a kind of all-purpose defensive posture against either, but Reacher ignored both and took the last unexpected stride at full speed, and seamlessly head-butted the guy full on the bridge of the nose. Moving mass and momentum. You bet your ass. Game over, right there. A second and a half.

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

Being dumb wasn’t a capital crime. Wasn’t a crime at all, in fact. Merely a handicap.
===

Bigfoot. She got the gist. A mythic ape-man, hairy, seven feet tall, from the Northwest woods.
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There was a dog on the back seat. Like a German Shepherd, but bigger. About the size of a pony. Maybe a freak mutation. It had teeth the size of rifle ammunition.
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“Who or what is Bigfoot?” She said, “He’s a giant ape-man who lives in the woods. On the slopes in the Northwest. About seven feet tall and covered in hair. Eats bears and cattle. One rancher lost a thousand head, over the years.” “Where was this?” “Nowhere,” the secretary said. “It’s imaginary. Like a fairytale.”

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

There’s something out there. The oldest fear in human history.
===

Reacher walked the length of the motel to an area near the fuel pumps, where a kind of unofficial hitchhiking market was being run, by a homeless-looking guy wearing a coat tied up with rope. He would collect the desired destination from each new arriving hitchhiker, and then he would walk around shouting it out to the drivers in line for the pumps, and sooner or later one or another would wave and agree to some particular destination, and the lucky hitchhiker would tip the shouting guy a dollar and climb up in the cab.
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This door must remain unlocked during business hours. To act as a fire escape for the cook. Another necessary amenity. Greasy spoon kitchens burned like napalm.

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

Reacher saw a petite Asian woman, wearing a black skirt suit like a uniform. Five feet nothing, maybe ninety-five pounds soaking wet.
===

… reckless. There’s a clue in the word. Reck comes from reckon, and I felt I did more reckoning than most folks. Not less.
===

Privately Nakamura felt his brush with death had produced an epiphany. He was afraid of being forgotten.
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Reacher. He found a West Point class ring in a pawn shop and he’s tracing its provenance.” “Like a hobby?” “No, like a matter of military honor. Like a moral obligation. Verging on the sentimental, in my opinion.
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“I saw him, boss. You could put him in a zoo.”
===

Reacher stood still. He had choices. Life was full of them.

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

He was tall and thin. Maybe six feet two. Maybe a hundred sixty pounds. But only if he had a dollar’s worth of pennies in his pocket. All skin and bone, and awkward as a stepladder.
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I could rip your arm off and beat you to death with it, and they wouldn’t stop me. They’d sell tickets instead.
===

From time to time trucks would pass the bus, slowly, sometimes spending a whole minute alongside, edging ahead imperceptibly. Reacher was eye to eye with their drivers, across their empty cabs. Old men, all of them.
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“The Incredible Hulk? I thought I was Bigfoot. These guys need to make up their minds.”
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About sixty miles from here. Maybe seventy. That’s about two blocks away, by Wyoming standards.

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

“You took a risk coming here.” “Getting up in the morning is a risk. Anything could happen.”
===

Aspen groves blazed like flares on the slopes. Whole copses of hundreds of separate trees, but all joined together underground by a single root. An aspen wood was all one organism. The largest living thing on earth.
===

“What would be the army approach? Set the place on fire?” “No, that would be the Marine Corps approach. The army would conduct a careful survey of the exterior, and by great good fortune would discover a pane of glass previously broken by persons unknown, at a previous time, maybe long ago, or even just recently, which if true would reasonably suggest an ongoing emergency inside, which in turn would justify a good look around. I don’t think the Supreme Court could argue with that.”

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

“This is Wyoming. They drive epic distances for a loaf of bread. For a girlfriend, two hours, maybe. A hundred miles.”
===

Everyone lives twenty miles from everyone else.
===

Bramall told a joke about about a lawyer who died and got to the pearly gates. Not fair, he said. I’m only forty-five. Saint Pete said no, we got a new system. Now we do it by billable hours. According to our records you’re 153.
===

The corporations took eighty years to get back in the heroin business. They came in the side door. By that time in history heroin itself had negative PR. Nothing more than underworld squalor and a bunch of dead rock singers. Kind of sordid. So they made a synthetic version. A chemical copy.

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

Addicts are other people, with a dirty needle in a toilet stall. What they have is a pharmaceutical product, made in a lab, by pretty girls in masks who hold test tubes up to the light, with wondrous concern radiating from their clear blue eyes. They’ve seen it on the television, in the breaks between innings. But in fact they’re running worse risks. Those patches ain’t made for licking. Fifty thousand people died last year. Regular folk. Four times as many as got killed in gun crimes.
===

“Do you know what an accessory is?” “Something you put on your truck.” “Also a legal word,” Reacher said. “It means if you know a secret, and you don’t tell, then you go to jail too. …”
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I couldn’t get in. They’re sealed tighter than a duck’s butt on a choppy day. I
===
“Sometimes,” Reacher said. “How often?” “More than never. Less than always.”

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

The café was a new-age place, with all kinds of healing juices, and sandwiches Reacher figured had been put together by a blind man. All kinds of random ingredients. Huge seeds in the bread. Like sawdust mixed with ball bearings.
===

“You think virtue is its own reward?” “I don’t know much about virtue. I just want to find out what happened. I can’t charge money for a private satisfaction.”
===

“Who are they?” “Cowboys,” Reacher said. “Weaned on beef jerky and fried rattlesnake.”
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“Cowboys are the worst,” Reacher said. “Not much I can do to them, that a horse already hasn’t.”
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Sometimes you woke up, and you knew for sure, from history and experience and weary intuition, that the brand new day would bring nothing good at all.

j
jimg2000
Nov 21, 2017

High overhead ravens circled, and looked, and thought not yet, and soared away.
===

“You wanted to know the story.” “I got most of it,” Reacher said. “I got to the part where it ends about twenty miles before the road runs out.”
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That’s the hall of fame right there. You could put that on your tombstone. She led her soldiers well. An infantry officer couldn’t hear finer words than those.
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They’re shrinks. You said so yourself. They overcomplicate things. If you hear hoof beats, you look for horses, not zebras.
===

He took scissors from his glove box, and he cut a quarter-inch strip off the patch, and he slipped it under his tongue. Sublingual, it was called. Another magazine in the same salon said it was the best method of all.

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