#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the next highly anticipated installment of Lee Child’s acclaimed suspense series, Jack Reacher comes to the aid of an elderly couple . . . and confronts his most dangerous opponents yet.
“Jack Reacher is today’s James Bond, a thriller hero we can’t get enough of.”—Ken Follett
“This is a random universe,” Reacher says. “Once in a blue moon things turn out just right.”
This isn’t one of those times.
Reacher is on a Greyhound bus, minding his own business, with no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. Then he steps off the bus to help an old man who is obviously just a victim waiting to happen. But you know what they say about good deeds. Now Reacher wants to make it right.
An elderly couple have made a few well-meaning mistakes, and now they owe big money to some very bad people. One brazen move leads to another, and suddenly Reacher finds himself a wanted man in the middle of a brutal turf war between rival Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.
Reacher has to stay one step ahead of the loan sharks, the thugs, and the assassins. He teams up with a fed-up waitress who knows a little more than she’s letting on, and sets out to take down the powerful and make the greedy pay. It’s a long shot. The odds are against him. But Reacher believes in a certain kind of justice . . . the kind that comes along once in a blue moon.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY EVENING STANDARD
About the Author
Lee Child is the author of twenty-three New York Times bestselling Jack Reacher thrillers, with fourteen having reached the #1 position, and the #1 bestselling complete Jack Reacher story collection, No Middle Name. All his novels have been optioned for major motion pictures—including Jack Reacher (based on One Shot) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in one hundred territories. A native of England and a former television director, Lee Child lives in New York City.
Date of Birth:1954
Place of Birth:Coventry, England
Read an Excerpt
The guy with the money knew where he was going. That was clear. He didn’t glance around to get his bearings. He just stepped through the depot door and turned east and set out walking. No hesitation. But no speed either. He trudged along slow. He looked a little unsteady. His shoulders were slumped. He looked old and tired and worn out and beaten down. He had no enthusiasm. He looked like he was en route between two points of equally zero appeal.
The guy with the goatee beard followed along about six paces behind, hanging back, staying slow, restraining himself. Which looked difficult. He was a rangy, long-legged individual, all hopped up with excitement and anticipation. He wanted to get right to it. But the terrain was wrong. Too flat and open. The sidewalks were wide. Up ahead was a four-way traffic light, with three cars waiting for a green. Three drivers, bored, gazing about. Maybe passengers. All potential witnesses. Better to wait.
The guy with the money stopped at the curb. Waiting to cross. Aiming dead ahead. Where there were older buildings, with narrower streets between. Wider than alleys, but shaded from the sun, and hemmed in by mean three- and four-story walls either side. Better terrain.
The light changed. The guy with the money trudged across the road, obediently, as if resigned. The guy with the goatee beard followed six paces behind. Reacher closed the gap on him a little. He sensed the moment coming. The kid wasn’t going to wait forever. He wasn’t going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Two blocks in would do it.
They walked on, single file, spaced apart, oblivious. The first block felt good up ahead and side to side, but behind them it still felt open, so the guy with the beard hung back, until the guy with the money was over the cross street and into the second block. Which looked properly secretive. It was shady at both ends. There were a couple of boarded-up establishments, and a closed-down diner, and a tax preparer with dusty windows.
Reacher guessed the kid would go for it, right there, and he guessed the launch would be prefaced by a nervous glance all around, including behind, so he stayed out of sight around the cross street’s corner, one second, two, three, which he figured was long enough for all the glances a person could need. Then he stepped out and saw the kid with the beard already closing the gap ahead, hustling, eating up the six-pace distance with a long and eager stride. Reacher didn’t like running, but on that occasion he had to.
He got there too late. The guy with the beard shoved the guy with the money, who went down forward with a heavy ragged thump, hands, knees, head, and the guy with the beard swooped down in a seamless dexterous glide, into the still-moving pocket, and out again with the envelope. Which was when Reacher arrived, at a clumsy run, six feet five of bone and muscle and 250 pounds of moving mass, against a lean kid just then coming up out of a crouch. Reacher slammed into him with a twist and a dip of the shoulder, and the guy flailed through the air like a crash test dummy, and landed in a long sliding tangle of limbs, half on the sidewalk, half in the gutter. He came to rest and lay still.
Reacher walked over and took the envelope from him. It wasn’t sealed. They never were. He took a look. The wad was about three quarters of an inch thick. A hundred dollar bill on the top, and a hundred dollar bill on the bottom. He flicked through. A hundred dollar bill in every other possible location, too. Thousands and thousands of dollars. Could be fifteen. Could be twenty grand.
He glanced back. The old guy’s head was up. He was gazing about, panic stricken. He had a cut on his face. From the fall. Or maybe his nose was bleeding. Reacher held up the envelope. The old guy stared at it. He tried to get up, but couldn’t.
Reacher walked back.
He said, “Anything broken?”
The guy said, “What happened?”
“Can you move?”
“I think so.”
“OK, roll over.”
“On your back,” Reacher said. “Then we can sit you up.”
“First I need to check you out. I might need to call the ambulance. You got a phone?”
“No ambulance,” the guy said. “No doctors.”
He took a breath and clamped his teeth, and squirmed and thrashed until he rolled over on his back, like a guy in bed with a nightmare.
He breathed out.
Reacher said, “Where does it hurt?”
“Regular kind of thing, or worse?”
“I guess regular.”
Reacher got the flat of his hand under the guy’s back, high up between his shoulder blades, and he folded him forward into a sitting position, and swiveled him around, and scooted him along, until he was sitting on the curb with his feet down on the road, which would be more comfortable, Reacher thought.
The guy said, “My mom always told me, don’t play in the gutter.”
“Mine too,” Reacher said. “But right now we ain’t playing.”
He handed over the envelope. The guy took it and squeezed it all over, fingers and thumb, as if confirming it was real. Reacher sat down next to him. The guy looked inside the envelope.
“What happened?” he said again. He pointed. “Did that guy mug me?”
Twenty feet to their right the kid with the goatee beard was face down and motionless.
“He followed you off the bus,” Reacher said. “He saw the envelope in your pocket.”
“Were you on the bus too?”
He said, “I came out the depot right behind you.”
The guy put the envelope back in his pocket.
He said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea. More than I can possibly say.”
“You’re welcome,” Reacher said.
“You saved my life.”
“I feel like I should offer you a reward.”
“I can’t anyway,” the guy said. He touched his pocket. “This is a payment I have to make. It’s very important. I need it all. I’m sorry. I apologize. I feel bad.”
“Don’t,” Reacher said.
Twenty feet to their right the kid with the beard pushed himself up to his hands and knees.
The guy with the money said, “No police.”
The kid glanced back. He was stunned and shaky, but he was already twenty feet ahead. Should he go for it?
Reacher said, “Why no police?”
“They ask questions when they see a lot of cash.”
“Questions you don’t want to answer?”
“I can’t anyway,” the guy said again.
The kid with the beard took off. He staggered to his feet and set out fleeing the scene, weak and bruised and floppy and uncoordinated, but still plenty fast. Reacher let him go. He had run enough for one day.
The guy with the money said, “I need to get going now.”
He had scrapes on his cheek and his forehead, and blood on his upper lip, from his nose, which had taken a decent impact.
“You sure you’re OK?” Reacher asked.
“I better be,” the guy said. “I don’t have much time.”
“Let me see you stand up.”
The guy couldn’t. Either his core strength had drained away, or his knees were bad, or both. Hard to say. Reacher helped him to his feet. The guy stood in the gutter, facing the opposite side of the street, hunched and bent. He turned around, laboriously, shuffling in place.
He couldn’t step up the curb. He got his foot in place, but the propulsive force necessary to boost himself up six inches was too much load for his knee to take. It must have been bruised and sore. There was a bad scuff on the fabric of his pants, right where his kneecap would be.
Reacher stood behind him and cupped his hands under his elbows, and lifted, and the guy stepped up weightless, like a man on the moon.
Reacher asked, “Can you walk?”
The guy tried. He managed small steps, delicate and precise, but he winced and gasped, short and sharp, every time his right leg took the weight.
“How far have you got to go?” Reacher asked.
The guy looked all around, calibrating. Making sure where he was.
“Three more blocks,” he said. “On the other side of the street.”
“That’s a lot of curbs,” Reacher said. “That’s a lot of stepping up and down.”
“I’ll walk it off.”
“Show me,” Reacher said.
The guy set out, heading east as before, at a slow shuffling creep, with his hands out a little, as if for balance. The wincing and the gasping was loud and clear. Maybe getting worse.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I wait a year for Lee child book and have never been so disappointed. I felt like I was reading some other author. so very sad. I live to read. oct 2020. hope for the best
Yeah I was surprised by the amount of slaughter in this story. Obviously getting a nod towards a John Wick screenplay.
Eastern European gangs are every where and not this easy to deal with. But it's fiction and entertaining.
The premise worked for me but it soon got totally out of hand. Ending is so implausible. Will leave out the details for those who choose to read it but advise you pass it by. Big disappointment from one of my favorite authors. Please go back to what you do best. For me a good story is one with at least some credibility.
Blue Moon is Jack Reacher #24, and I have read them all. This will be the last. If Blue Moon had been written first, nobody would have published #2. The violence is so over the top that it is comic. Superman, cape and all, must stand aside when Jack Reacher enters the room because the Man of Steel melts to insignificance in the face of Reacher's unlimited physical prowess, his perfect omnipotence, charisma, and magnetic sex appeal. Even James Bond has to use a little seduction; in Reacher’s world, the only attractive female character in the story automatically takes him to bed as many times as she can, helps him kill several dozen people, and then wistfully waves goodbye as he rides off into the sunrise on the next Greyhound bus. She’ll have time for a nap before her next shift as a barmaid. The bad guys are portrayed as primitive, brutal savages in silk ties and town cars, but despite their ascendancy over their city and law enforcement they operate more like Wiley Coyote. In the presence of Reacher, they die so enthusiastically that their serial terminations resemble repeated lemming migrations. And through it all, Jack Reacher is so immune from personal harm that he doesn’t even need to buy his usual new clothes. The Fender bass he uses to punctuate the lone bad-guy survivor suffers more damage. This book is a mindless cartoon with never a moment’s doubt about what will happen next. Don’t waste your time.
I have read all of the Reacher novels. Some of course are stronger than others but I always look forward to them. This book, to me feels like it could have a subtitle, "Slaughter in a small town". I am disappointed.
Getting to that ridiculas point in his writing
Read every Reacher book. This does not even come close to a good rating. Predictable to the point of reading page one and then the last. Third grade reading, at best, Plot was poor, unbelievable, etc. Save your money.
Entertaining, but pretty predictable
albakaar says the book is okayish and not that great and since i have read it ..you can have it too
Did Lee Child really write this book? Reacher did not drink enough coffee. Reacher wanted to dance? OMG and Reacher delegated tasks to a Marine! It is time for Reacher to die a glorious and honorable death or love a woman and stop the wondering.
Really like lee child books. This one was different. A little to much killing, reacher seemed like a different character. More bent on killing everyone and not so much helping the situation. Still enjoyed the overall book and look forward to the next installment.
I've read and enjoyed all of the Reacher series, but Blue Moon contains considerably more violence than past novels. Unfortunately, despite some interesting twists and turns, the never ending human destruction depicts Jack as a common, albeit creative, thug.
I think I've read them all. This one was very disappointing Too much detail about physics . Too much detail about the mental physics of the bad guys. Plot was a bit thin. Seemed like a script for the next movie.
A typical Reacher novel in which Reacher takes on a lost cause and makes everything turn out right in the end. But in this case the end is preceded by a long, long trail of dead bodies. While Reacher was never one to shy away from violence, neither was he callous about it. He and his ragtag group of do-gooders bring down the house in more ways than one. Definitely over the top.
too many people killed, way beyond fun
I would have to say that i awaited this new novel with hope and anticipation. I was very disappointed. did not have the normal Reacher feel. Almost as if Lee Child didn't write this one. I can only hope he gets it together for the next one or it will be my last.
Used to love this author. Not convinced he has much left to write, as his work is consistently getting worse. Taking Child off my must read list,
With the possible exception of a book detailing the battles of World War II, I think it would be hard to find one with a body count as high as this one. If blood and guts in just about every chapter is your thing, you'll love everything about it. Honestly, multiple murders, no matter how gruesome, usually don't bother me, but too many happen here that just don't seem to be justified even if the victims are really, really bad guys. In this case, they're members of rival Albanian and Ukrainian gangs who have made an uneasy peace running their loan shark and "protection" rackets in the smallish town where the bus carrying Jack Reacher to just about anywhere makes a pitstop. As he's about to step off, Reacher sees an about-to-happen robbery of an elderly man and steps in to thwart it. He then learns the man and his wife have borrowed money from the wrong people, resulting in dire consequences if it's not repaid pronto. Taking pity on the couple - who were victims of circumstances with which most readers would sympathize - Reacher decides to do what he can to take care of the problem. Temporarily, at least, his idea works - but it doesn't take Reacher long to realize he's put himself smack dab in the middle of a turf war with the take-no-prisoners gangs. If he's going to make things all better - even with a little help from a couple of brawny friends and one tiny but tough waitress - Reacher himself must adopt a take-no-prisoners approach. In addition to the murders are numerous car chases, narrow escapes and, of course the wry humor for which Reacher (via the author) is known. One in particular tickled me, as he and the waitress drive the mob getaway car they've stolen (but not before loading three newly deceased mobsters in the trunk. As the back end of the car bounces into the road multiple times during their getaway, those extra 600 pounds, Reacher muses, were "Maybe never taken into account during the Lincoln's design process." All told, the book is easy to read and entertaining, if perhaps a bit implausible (the extensive deductive reasoning of Reacher and his cronies alone is daunting, to say the least). If you like your heroes strong in mind and body and love constant knock-'em-down, shoot-'em-up action, this one's for you. For me, it was just a little too far over the top.
One of the concepts that makes the Jack Reacher series so entertaining is Reacher appearing to be a mortal man with extraordinary abilities who wanders around getting into and out of unusual situations he encounters. This book went too far and is almost comical. Reacher finds perfect strangers and enlists them to put their lives at risk to help in his endeavors, and to escape every dangerous situation he & they find find themselves in. The bad guys definitely took a beating, but I found the story line to be weak and the situations and outcomes unbelievable in the extreme. Unlike Reacher, you can't win them all.
I was so disappointed in this book. There was much too much detail regarding everything they did. I skimmed over those parts. They got tedious. The other characters were good and I didn’t mind the violence. After all-that’s what Jack Reacher does. Lee Child-next time please don’t feel like you have to go into enormous detail to make a book longer. Your plots are good enough.
I cannot wait for the next Jack Reacher book. Will start at number 1 and reread them all again.
Finished in a day...Fast good read with most of all us Reacher fans want!