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Reviews for No Plan B

by Lee Child and Andrew Child

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In the latest volume from Child, Inc., in which the retiring Lee's younger brother, Andrew, will soon take over the Jack Reacher franchise, the colossal ex-Army cop traces the killing of a woman in a Colorado town to a gruesome prison conspiracy in Mississippi. The death is ruled a suicide, but Reacher saw a man push the woman under a bus and steal her purse. After tracking down and disposing of the culprit, he learns that the woman worked for a private prison in Mississippi and had returned to Colorado to run troubling statistics about the prison's operation past her former boss. He died of a supposed heart attack 12 hours before her death. Teaming up with the man's tough-skinned ex-wife, Reacher heads South to sort things out, "wired to move toward danger." Fearing Reacher will interfere with their deadly schemes, prison officials set up a network of roadblocks outside of town to pick him off. Meanwhile, a vulnerable 15-year-old boy, escaping his abusive foster mother in Los Angeles, travels to Mississippi after his birth mother tells him life-changing truths about his father. He, too, is targeted by bad guys. Most of the ingredients of classic Reacher are here. Our sadistic hero delivers bone-crushing blows to his hopeless foes with sadistic satisfaction ("Would you care if you stepped on a cockroach?"). He eludes the traps set for him and penetrates the high-security prison. He drinks a lot of coffee and beds a local woman. What's missing in this follow-up to the collaborative Better Off Dead (2021) is Lee Child's elegant writing, for which he hasn't received enough credit. The sentences here are short and metronomically flat, and the early sections are uncharacteristically disjointed. But fans who come for the action and the traveling tips—a folding toothbrush is best, he advises—will not be disappointed. A grimly efficient addition to the Reacher canon. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.