I'm beginning to feel sorry for Jack Reacher. The poor guy can't even begin to take a trip somewhere without immediately running into a problem that demands his attention and derails his travel plans. The opening of this book finds Jack in Maine. With colder weather coming on, he decides to travel cross country, diagonally, from Maine to San Diego, California.
As is his usual practice, once the spirit moves him, he sticks out his thumb and catches a ride, but it lasts only a few miles before Jack gets let out in the middle of the woods in New Hampshire. As he's contemplating which road to take next, he sees a road sign for Laconia, New Hampshire, the small town where he believes his father was born. Curious, and having never been there, he decides to delay his trip by a day and check out the town. Once there, the situation will immediately become complicated--big surprise!
At virtually the same time, a young Canadian couple sets out on a long road trip to Florida. They're carrying very valuable cargo in the trunk of their ancient car, which they hope will set them up in a new life in Florida. However, just as they're passing near Laconia, the car overheats; the engine begins to clank, and things are not looking good. They see a sign for a motel out in the middle of nowhere and decide that they'd better get a room while they figure out what's wrong with the car.
The motel is brand new, and not quite finished. It's run by four fairly creepy guys and it turns out that the young couple are the only guests. But once stopped, their car won't start again, and so the couple has no choice but to check in. Their situation too will immediately become complicated.
The two stories run on parallel tracks until they very end, when Reacher's story intersects with that of the young couple. The book moves along swiftly and readers familiar with the series will know exactly what to expect. It's a fun read--perfect for a day at the beach or at the lake with Jack Reacher and a cold six-pack of Trout Slayer Ale or some other suitable beverage.