The Midnight Line
Lee Child's The Midnight Line, number 22 in the Jack Reacher series, picks up exactly where number 20, Make Me, left off (number 21 was set in 1996). Reacher's female companion, Michelle Chang, just left Milwaukee, and he's also on his way out of Wisconsin when he sees a tiny West Point ring in a pawn shop's window. The size indicates the original owner was a woman, and the engraving says 2005, meaning the cadet enrolled at the military academy the year 9/11 happened. Reacher doesn't believe the hard-earned ring was given up easily.
Feeling a sense of obligation that he can't explain, Reacher decides to find the owner and return the ring to her. He encounters resistance from nefarious characters as he backtracks the ring's journey to that pawnshop. Sometimes he must use his full 6'5", 250-lb. bulk to plow through to the truth. He also discovers he's not the only one looking for the woman.
Reacher Creatures will be satisfied by tight pacing and action scenes in which their hero shows bad guys who's boss, but Midnight Line is also moving and timely. Along with touching on an epidemic the U.S. is battling, Child sheds light on the quality of life of veterans who return after wartime service, showing that some wounds are visible and others not, but all are deep and devastating. The dedication reads: "So far in our history, nearly two million Purple Hearts have been awarded. This book is respectfully dedicated to each and every recipient." It's a fitting tribute. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd