The 22nd book in the Jack Reacher series, Midnight Line, has Reacher being sentimental in more ways than one. Finding a female’s West Point class ring in a pawn shop window, Reacher is moved to find the owner. His journey takes him west as he gradually uncovers a criminal trail involving prescription medication, veterans and a cover-up that goes to the highest levels. Along the way, in usual Reacher fashion, he makes friends and enemies, mowing down those who stand in his way, embracing those who wish to help him.
I really found the premise behind this book – the suffering of wounded veterans and the government’s indifference to their continued ordeal and the role of drugs in all of this harrowing, relevant and engaging. Reacher, being a soldier himself, is motivated by the plight he uncovers and is prepared to sacrifice a great deal to help those he understands and deeply respects. But in other ways, this book didn’t have the verve and energy of others in the series. It plodded at times, felt padded in parts, and lacked the meat and punch that makes the Reacher series such page-turners. I enjoy that Reacher is getting older and his priorities in some regards have changed, but in others, he is still reliably (un)stable – doing what he’s always done, refusing to put down roots, to become “settled”, all the while drifting and casting a long, unforgettable shadow.
I wonder where his next adventure will take him?